School as cause of serious difficulties with exceptionally gifted children

Tolan in Webb, Meckstroth, and Tolan, Guiding the Gifted Child, 228

Until the exceptionally gifted child goes to school, there may be few, if any, serious difficulties with him.  Often…the child is not identified before beginning regular school.  At home and in some good, open nursery schools, there may be enough flexibility to allow the child to be himself, regardless of how different that is from the norm.  Eventually, however, the child is sent to school, and one way or another, the trauma begins.  Reactions to school may be different, but the one thing that seems inevitable is that in school obstacles are placed in the way of learning, usually for the first time.  Children react in one or more ways, though some of those ways are not recognized at first as negative.  Some children attempt to please adults by rigidly adhering to the system’s requirements, some withdraw, other rebel and become disruptive.  Some try each of these responses in turn.  But in every case there is real damage to their attitudes, learning patterns and abilities.


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