M2D4: Eminence vs. Self-Actualization

No pandemic thoughts here today—it’s a bit too overwhelming. Aside from a nice walk and an hour on the Peloton with Matt Wilpers, I spent most of the day with Linda Silverman’s Giftedness 101 (see here too). After two solid years of graduate study, there’s not really much there I haven’t seen/read before, but I’m trying to gather my thoughts (and inspiration) for an “Intro to Gifted” presentation. Halfway through, my main takeaway is the pervasiveness of the tension in gifted education between focusing on eminence versus self-actualization.

For me, there’s no tension. Eminence is a loaded and biased concept. Few will reach it, and most of them will be white men from privileged backgrounds. Perhaps more importantly, reaching eminence does not automatically equate to a life well lived. And for whom is it to decide that eminence should be the goal of every gifted individual? There are so many other ways to contribute to the betterment of the world that don’t result in eminence. And finally, why should we need to resort to the eminence argument to get support for the learning needs of gifted kids? Do they not deserve a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment too?

Today’s main LEGO activity was watching The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. It is actually quite clever and fun, with some social commentary. Keeping with the “2” theme, I also opened window 2 on the Advent Calendar.

Window 2, no hints as to its contents.

I think it is a snowball launcher, but I can’t be sure. 😜⛄️

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