Baywood Learning Center
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These days, the word "Gifted" is a maligned and misunderstood term. In some communities it is so heavy laden with negative implications, that parents have all but stopped using it publicly, even if it may accurately describe their child.  Parents, fearful of being labeled as "One of Those Parents", experience isolation as a result of not being able to freely talk about their gifted child.

Before you explore this site any further or consider whether or not your child fits the moniker, please allow me to dispel the worst of a few  persistent and harmful myths associated with the term "gifted".

By far the worst and most persistent myth, which has stubbornly resisted all relevant facts for, literally, centuries, is the completely erroneous  assumption that you can identify a gifted student by their advanced academic performance. If that were true, then why did the K-12 teachers of Einstein and Newton not recognize two of the world's greatest minds in their classrooms? Instead, teachers marked these young geniuses with aspersions such as "learning disabled" and "idle-minded".
Research consistently shows that teachers are the least able to identify a gifted child (Donna Y. Ford, "The Underrepresentation of Minority Students in Gifted Education" )
Hundreds of years later, nothing has changed, Teachers today are still not taught how to recognize the true characteristics of highly or profoundly gifted learners, nor how to serve their unique learning needs. Click here for information about the true characteristics of gifted learners. We wonder how many children there may be in the world's school systems right now who hold such potential, but are at risk of being shut down and forced into mediocrity and conformity. It is not possible to calculate how much human ingenuity is being extinguished under the giant grinding wheels of the "education" system.

The fact is, that in elementary and secondary schools, the telling characteristics of highly and profoundly gifted learners are NOT always academic performances. Of course the POTENTIAL for high performance is there, and some are performing within it, but more often than not, the traditional schooling model inhibits the academic progress of gifted learners, often causing them to shut down to school-work entirely. In some cases the excruciatingly slow pace and rigid system of teaching have stamped out the joy of learning from the learner, in some cases even creating permanent aversions to subjects that were once of interest. Generally speaking, the higher the IQ the more likely there will be "problems". Read a new article: Sensitive. Gifted. At Risk.

Sadly, often before learning they have an exceptionally gifted child, most parents first learn, "something is wrong". Of course, the system cant be dysfunctional, so when something is not working, the child is a handy and voiceless scape goat. So parents learn from teachers that their child has ADHD or Opposition Defiance Disorder, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, emotional problems, behavioral problems, or a plethora of other problems. They watch in helpless dismay as their child changes from a happy curious learner into a "behavior problem" who must be increasingly disciplined, medicated or conformed into a compliant, non-thinking automaton.

In a class of 20-30 students to one teacher, perhaps rendering the gifted learner into a silent, non-thinking automaton, is actually the most the teacher can hope of a gifted student, short of expelling them into the "Prison Pipeline".
Baywood Learning Center offers an alternative. If you have a gifted learner, please consider this as an invitation to join our community and support our cause to help these at risk, but special young people.

Grace Neufeld
Founder and Executive Director
Supporting Alternative Education for Asynchronous (gifted) Learners
 
Baywood Learning Center is an education program and resource center dedicated to serving the needs of exceptionally gifted children. We champion a new paradigm in education designed BY these children who love to learn FOR children who love to learn. Our mission is to serve the emotional and educational needs of gifted children. To keep the "Spark" alive. 

Support special education for gifted!

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