Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Responding to "elitist"

"Teaching gifted kids to self-advocate won’t work because it would be elitist."

How do I respond?

The self-advocacy movement is about people speaking up for themselves. It began as an effort to reduce the isolation of people with disabilities and give them the tools and experience to take greater control over their own lives.  Who would consider that elitist?

And this is exactly what we want for all outliers, including those who are gifted and talented.

Our children are empowered when we help them to recognize their uniqueness – their strengths and weaknesses, their attitudes and interests, their pleasures and passions.
     Self-recognition is not to fuel egotism or elitism, but to align with a more powerful, creative part of you that will let your heart, your knowledge, your talent loose on the world.   
Mary Rocamora, founder and director
Rocamora School, Inc.

(BTW, don’t you get tired of charges of elitism from those who don’t understand that the major goal of gifted advocates is to give every student an appropriately challenging education?)

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