A recent NY Times article reported that people who are resistant to addictions of all sorts have larger frontal lobes. As a result, they have greater self-regulatory behavior. And we know that the most successful students have greater self-control. Perhaps the best way to identify gifted students is with a brain scan. MRIs might become our best approach to student selection. I am, BTW, a firm believer that while we should support struggling students all we can, the gifted students will still run this country when they’re adults. These children must be placed in highly enriched learning environments and in buildings that keep gifted students separate from other students. I know some would argue that this is elitist but frankly, I taught in public schools for nearly 30 years and low functioning students tend to retard the learning process for motivated children. We’ve spent generations (and fortunes) focusing on dysfunctional students. We need to start supporting those who will inevitably inherit the controls. Sorry for the tacky pun but: The geeks will inherit the earth.
–Hal W. Lanse, PhD is the author of THE RAINBOW CURRICULUM: TEACHING TEENS ABOUT LGBT ISSUES (Queer Street Books, Inc.)