For high-ability students it can be lonely at the top

Gifted children feel separate them from their peers. At worst, they develop social problems and drop out of school, and they rarely receive help. Special educator Jørgen Smedsrud has long been interested in high-ability children. He recently delivered his doctoral dissertation on the subject at the University of Oslo’s Department of Education. Like most special education teachers, he was initially interested in kids who were not performing so well academically. But in 2009 an article about one of Norway’s smartest individuals caught his eye. “Stig Westerhus has a 180+ IQ, but he’s selling car stereos instead of finding a cure for cancer,” A-magasinet wrote at the time. “I began to read about intelligent children and realised that this is part of special education. But in this field we rarely talk about high-ability children,” says Smedsrud.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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