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Insightful and Innocent Children?

#25: April - June 2006 (Fiction)
pctacitus

Insightful and Innocent Children?

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Two topics I keep noticing in the various discussions is that the children are too smart and that they are innocent and seem to be corrupted by their circumstances. Firstly, their intelligence can be explained in an odd way. They are the result of a worldwide search for a few hundred kids, of which, Ender and crew are at the top of the chain. Valentine and Peter were qualified intellectually but not emotionally for admittance into the group. I grew up around an older sister who was always in Gifted and Talented classes, buried in a book and brought home friends who were smarter than her. She was among the smartest in her GT classes in grades 3-8 but then went to a special school for 400 kids a year from a sizeable area and put them in an environment where they were put together to learn not only from their classes but from each other. I saw a sort of battle school environment for the mind from the perspective of the someone who got to sitback and watch the behaviors of others.Secondly, the corruption of the kids that takes place is the same as all other kids. The circumstances of their lives pushes any corruption that would take place to occur faster in an environment that shields them less than they would have encountered elsewhere. Look at Peter and Valentine who take advantage of tehir minds to maneuver themselves without being in the same place as Ender. Can anyone who has read Ender's Shadow argue that Bean was corrupted by Battle School? "...the great events in life come from the books, rather than the people, one comes across." - Robert D. Kaplan, Mediterranean Winter: the Pleasures of History and Landscape in Tunisia, Sicily, Dalmatia, and Greece
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Re: Insightful and Innocent Children?

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pctacitusI'd be interested to hear more about how your sister faired in such a competitive environment. How did it effect your relationship with her? Do you think she was pushed too hard as a child? These types of questions are important for any parent with a gifted child. When are you pushing too hard? Should a child be allowed to be a child or should you try to make them into an intellectual giant?
pctacitus

Re: Insightful and Innocent Children?

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The trick with my sister as well as the kids in Ender's game is that they drove themselves. She went from being the smartest or really close to it to being near the bottom of the pack. Granted, the bottom half of her graduating class wound up at places like William & Mary, Virginia Tech or the University of Virginia. It wasn't uncommon for kids to end up at Stanford, the Ivy league or someplace comparable. Imagine a school where the c average kids scored over 1400 SAT score.It didn't change our relationship. However, I did notice that she enjoyed her classmates more than the people she had been in school with when she was younger. However, I don't doubt that had the children been screened to require aggressive tendencies as would be necessary to lead troops into battle, she would have encountered a much different environment. "...the great events in life come from the books, rather than the people, one comes across." - Robert D. Kaplan, Mediterranean Winter: the Pleasures of History and Landscape in Tunisia, Sicily, Dalmatia, and Greece
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