The Telegraph reports today on the somewhat suprising finding that gifted children do not, by and large, do better than the general population in terms of career and lifestyle. It seems that motivation and personality are more likely to affect success than being gifted. Professor Joan Freeman, who studied the adult careers of 210 child prodigies for her book Gifted Lives: What Happens When Gifted Children Grow Up, found that of the 210, only six ended up being very successful as adults. Professor Freeman advises parents to consider the 'whole person' rather than focusing on their child's giftedness. She reminds parents of the importance of childhood by citing examples of children who were denied simple pleasures such as reading comics. The answer? Let your children be children! Full story
The Telegraph reports on the response of Baroness Warnock to the recent findings by Ofsted that the numbers of special education children may have been falsely reported. Baroness Warnock commented that the architects of the 1978 Warnock Report would not have thought that "..children’s supposed special needs would be exaggerated and exploited in order to attract more money for schools; still less in order to allow schools to slither out of their responsibility to ensure that as many children as possible achieve a respectable standard of literacy and numeracy, and a reliable understanding of how they ought to behave”. Full story
The Telegraph reports on the accusations made by Ofsted that schools are "exaggerating special needs to hide poor teaching". Christine Gilbert, Chief Inspector of Schools stated that .."higher expectations of all students, and better teaching and learning, would lead to fewer children being indentified as having special educational needs..". She also added that some parents encouraged that their children be labelled as special needs in order to ensure that they received extra tuition.
The Telegraph reported on the story of a very special teacher, Gareth Malone, who is 'thinking outside the box' in helping boys enjoy reading and writing. Swapping the usual teaching format in favour of 'managed risk, competition, physical activity and immediacy', he has succeeded in helping the boys in his class become passionate about books.
The Guardian reports that the Fabian Society has accused the Conservatives of associating poor families with educational failure and bad behaviour.
Their report, What's fair? Applying the fair test to education - 'accuses the Conservatives of playing to middle-class fears and invoking a "moral panic" about education',
The Telegraph reports on the negative effect on boys due to the lack of male teachers in primary schools. Dr.Tanya Byron, consultant psychologist, said that..."male primary school teachers can often be stable and reliable figures in the lives of the children that they teach. They inspire children to feel more confident, to work harder and to behave better".
The Independent reports on the Generation Net, which describes children as young as three years old who are blogging about a wide range of topics (and some making quite a good living) whilst also improving their literacy skills. Eight year old, Sonny To, commented that "...blogging has also made my writing much better and I have learnt how to explain things properly..."
The Guardian reports on cuts to the library services in Doncaster and how this will do nothing to serve a 'failing' council. It appears that the council is not aware of the importance of a functioning library service and has failed to train its staff accordingly. The audit commission's report into the council reported that it had a history of "dysfunctional politics, poor services, and ineffective leadership".