This was, in many ways frustrating to him. As much as we saw that he didn't understand the world around him -- and the world didn’t understand him -- I think he internalized this even more. We stubbornly fought to find a place for him, though over the years, I’ve come to understand that, like my little brother, a small percentage of the world seems to operate on a different frequency, neither understanding or being understood by the masses of humanity.
In theory means it doesn't really work.
At the end of each unit, my students complete independent projects. They present their projects to their classmates and parents. We always ask the students questions at the conclusion of their presentation. One of my questions is always, "What was the most significant thing you learned from this project?" Following an engineering project, a very insightful student responded with, "In theory means it doesn't really work." He got a few chuckles from the audience. It was cute. It was funny. It was also very true.
As many of my readers may know, my younger brother skipped many grades. He started by skipping 4th grade. He continued on to skip 7th - 12th grade. Okay, so many it isn't even grade skipping at that point. Throughout my life, I've met and worked with many students who either (1) skipped one or more grades or (2) seriously considered grade skipping but were unable to accomplish this within their school district. Grade skipping isn't for everyone. The social-emotional stigmas alone are enough to prevent many parents, students and educators from standardizing this practice. However, Johns Hopkins University recently found that 2 in 7 students may be ready for higher grade curriculum.
2 in 7 students may be ready for higher grade curriculum.
How do I know if my child is 'gifted?' What is gifted? In ten years, this is perhaps the most widely asked question I am asked. On a national level, there is no true 'definition of giftedness.' If you dig deep into research, you'll quickly see that no two researchers agree on this. Today, the most widely accepted definition of giftedness comes from Joseph Renzulli from the University of Connecticut. Err. I should say that he defines 'gifted behavior.' So, here's a brief overview of Renzulli's thinking:
Joseph Renzulli identifies three key characteristics that contribute to gifted behavior: above-average ability, task commitment and creativity. These three key characteristics are referred to as the "three-ring conception of giftedness." Renzulli makes the distinction that these three key characteristics, combined, result in demonstrated gifted behavior. This is notably different than a potentially gifted person. He also theorizes that an individual can demonstrate temporary gifted behavior. You can read his full research here.