Gifted Education and ‘Woo’

text: Gifted Education and 'woo' , yellowreadis.blogspot.com.au Picture: stethoscope and medical forms

In the last few weeks there have been ‘shocking’ headline articles [1] in my state of Victoria about a gifted education provider used by at least 30 schools. The ‘shock’ is due to the founder’s unusual non-mainstream, non-scientific (and pretty out-there) ideas which were taught without either their parents or the school’s knowledge. There were a lot of very upset people – both in the medical establishment, in the schools and in the general public – pulling their hair and wailing about standards, speculating about the ‘reasons’ [2] and generally lamenting about ‘woo’ being taught without reflecting on how this incident revealed and illustrated some of the deeper issues that currently plague gifted education in most Victorian schools [3].

Sadly, that this happened isn’t really a surprise. It was almost inevitable. Because, when it comes to gifted education, almost all schools already deal in woo.
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I Got My Lunchbox …

Warning: Occasional foul language when appropriate.

I was 13 when I decided school was a prison. As I read my way through the classics of sci-fi – from Asimov’s ‘Foundation‘, through to Phillip K Dick’s ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?‘, wending my way through Heinlein, Herbert and Clarke, – I learned about social structures. And I learned more by finding and reading works like Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince‘, Bernard Shaw’s ‘Man and Superman‘, and even the mad absurdity of ‘Waiting for Godot’. And in my 13-year-old mind, I started to put together a theory of social conditioning.

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