Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Smart Girls, Part 2

Dr. Barbara A. Kerr in her book Smart Girls Gifted Women emphasizes the issue of conformity versus achievement that was the focus of the Kaufmann study of highly gifted girls. Kerr writes: "The study showed them [highly gifted girls] to be loners and nonjoiners, high achievers without much regard for recognition. . .The highly gifted are never quite as 'normal' socially as are the moderately gifted; they seem to be more concerned with self-actualization--being all they can be--than with adjustment." Unfortunately, Kerr goes on to say that likely society's emphasis on the impossibility of combining love and achievement forces many gifted girls to become preoccupied with their relationships rather than personal achievement. The word normal simply meaning commonly occurring rather than functional or desirable gave me pause when I read Kaufmann's study. If you are looking to do a random act of kindness in the New Year, maybe befriending a gifted girl with the goal of helping her realize that combining love and achievement IS possible (males do it all the time!); encouraging her to identify what her brain loves to do and to pursue personal achievement, as well. Talk about helping the next generation . . .

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