The Relevance of Intelligence
People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don’t realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world. – Calvin & Hobbs
The USA Library of Congress houses a document titled:
Project MKULTRA, the CIA‘s Program Of Research in Behavioral Modification, Joint Hearing Before the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on Human Resources United States Senate Ninety-Fifth Congress First Session, August 3, 1977.
Project MK-Ultra extended to Australia. For example, MK-Ultra sub-project No. 84 was conducted at Sydney University in 1960 under CIA Dr Martin Orne. The resultant research project was titled, Social Control in the Psychological Experiment: Antisocial Behaviour & Hypnosis.
When considering Project MK-Ultra, the experiments conducted in the USA and Australia, their subjects, and the project’s ultimate goal, the most important variable to understand and appreciate is INTELLIGENCE.
‘You need to write an Australian book on gifted education,’ Mrs Holland once suggested to me. Her son had been recently enrolled in a private school for gifted kids that I had just withdrawn my child from.
‘Sure,’ I joked. ‘I’ll call it, The Genius’ Guide to Complete Idiots.’
‘Oh…don’t you think that’s a little harsh? I mean, couldn’t you tone it down a bit…think of something less confrontational?’
Six months later, Mrs Holland phoned me. Through clenched teeth she spewed out a torrent of abuse concerning her son’s so-called gifted education program. ‘And I’ll tell you another thing!’ she hissed, ‘You write that book! You write that book and you keep that f*ing title!’
In Australia, it is perfectly acceptable to brag about your kid’s selection for an elite sporting team. However, the very mention of a child’s intellectual superiority will invariably incur criticism and victimisation. Australians are so entrenched in the tall poppy syndrome that I have attracted criticism for daring to suggest that I was the victim of an ‘elite’ paedophile ring:
Oh, elite you say?! So, you’re not good enough to be abused by just any old paedophile ring – yours has to be an elite paedophile ring!
So, you can well imagine the criticism I copped for daring to mention that at age five years I tested at one-in-a-million on a comprehensive IQ assessment. I no longer feel guilty confessing my IQ score, since subsequent events have validated this memory to my satisfaction.
As part of my six years of psychology training, I was required to practise IQ assessment with colleagues. I first played guinea pig for a student peer in 2007, prior to my visual-cortex stroke. I blitzed the Wechsler test battery, especially Block Design which giftedness guru Linda Silverman considers to be the best test of visual-spatial processing.
At the start of 2014, I was assessed by my therapist. I underwent a battery of tests including being hooked up to an EEG, the results of which indicated my high IQ. I also completed working memory training and my final learning index for this was more than double the expected average.
Another validating incident occurred in 2009 when my husband started purchasing redundant IQ assessments on eBay. Some people get flowers and chocolates – I received dusty old IQ tests. The tests meant no more to me than my eBay-addicted husband’s previous buying sprees. Like the time he broke my favourite teapot and then five teapots arrived by post before I received the correct replacement.
I found Jon’s latest spree amusing – until ‘it’ arrived. ‘It’ was a mint condition Stanford Binet L-M. I opened the box, took a brief look at its gleaming contents and sank into shock. My being was instantly transported back to 1974, as I ran my fingers over the familiar pieces. ‘I know this…’ I whispered through welling tears. That evening, I lay in bed still stunned at the realisation that my memories were real.
‘You found it,’ I acknowledged the accomplishment of my husband’s stealth mission. ‘You found my test…’
The greatest dose of validation was injected when I had my own two children assessed on the only comprehensive IQ test designed to assess for giftedness, the Stanford Binet 5. I personally believe that the optimal time for testing is age 5 years because once a child enters formal education their IQ is negatively affected by the poor education typically received in this country. My children were tested at age 8 following problems with boredom and underachievement at school.
My eldest scored in the >99.99th percentile, reaching the ceiling on certain subtests including visual-spatial processing. Sydney Giftedness guru Fiona Talbot-Smith explained to me, ‘K has the intellectual capacity of a thirty-five year old. She could be one in a million…but I’d need to assess her on the LM to know.’ She then advised me to pull my child out of school, concluding, ‘No school in the country can cater for this.’ When I received my child’s comprehensive psychological report, I exclaimed to the assessor, ‘Did you assess my child – or me?! What you wrote perfectly describes me!’
My youngest child scored one IQ point higher than her sister on the same test. After receiving S’s report, I had to ask the psychologist, ‘I don’t understand these newer tests and what their scores mean. I relate better to the old tests. How does the SB5 compare to the L-M?’
‘You can’t really compare them. It’s harder to achieve a high score on the new test. You only had to score highly in one area on the old test to boost your IQ score. You have to do well on every subtest to score highly now.’
‘So, can you give me a rough idea – based on their SB5 scores and your experience at having tested kids on both tests – what do you expect my kids to score on the old L-M?’
‘In the one-seventies to one-eighties.’
‘I recall being tested on the SB L-M at age five. Obviously I can’t access my original report, but I recall scoring one-eighty overall, two hundred on visual-spatial processing. Is that score feasible?’
‘Absolutely! There’s three of you the same.’
Australians justify their criticism of intellectual assessment and specialist educational interventions by equating these acts with some kind of strive for an elite Aryan race. Such false notions of giftedness are propagated by the very educational institutions that successfully dumb down our kids and insist on social conformity. Too many educators are fuelled by human ignorance and jealousy of the fact that some people are simply smarter than others.
To illustrate what parents of these children endure, here is a conversation I had with a teacher aide who cold-called me one afternoon:
Teacher: Hi, I’m calling about S. I teach her in [blah, blah boring-sounding crap]. Were you aware of that?
Me: No, I wasn’t.
Teacher: I was calling about S’ behaviour lately. Last week she refused to do a test on Governance, complaining it was too hard. But when I checked the work with her she knew it. Today she wouldn’t fill out a work sheet; she answered some questions and then scribbled them out and complained it was too hard. When I checked the answers beneath the scribble, they were all correct. I had a talk with her to find out whether there was something wrong, and she said something about you being busy, but not much else. Someone mentioned to me that she’s gifted [slight air of contempt], that she’s been bumped up [disapproving tone], and that she came from another school this year. Where was she last year?
[That’s the point at which I should have asked, ‘Have you read the 38 page specialist report sitting in S’ school file?’ But alas, I was already frazzled and not in the mood for a provocative confrontation of the worst kind…]
Me: She completed Prep at ___, then first term of Grade 1, and then the school decided that she knew all of the Grade 1 work and they decided to accelerate her to Grade 2 which she completed. Then at the end of Grade 2 S told me she was bored and ready for harder work again. Further, she experienced some social issues where she didn’t relate to her age peers, and she was becoming stressed. So I enrolled her in Distance Ed for two years. The school pre-tested her at the end of Grade 2 and said that she tested at a Grade 5 level. Last year she completed Grade 6 content, apart from math which I supplemented with a USA curriculum to cater for her visual-spatial learning preference. At the start of this year, your school pre-tested her and she scored very highly in every subtest. Two years ago I flew her to Sydney to be assessed by the country’s leading expert in the area, and her test results on the SB5 equates to about IQ180 in the old language.
Teacher: Well, she’s not performing in the basic work tasks I’ve given her.
Me: You’re saying that you have not seen any evidence that she is gifted.
Teacher: That’s right. I have three Grade 6 girls who are very bright and [waft of haughty arrogance] I would say gifted, and she’s not performing anywhere near them.
Me: Well, it’s statistically impossible for those children to be anywhere near as bright as S. I would say that they are more likely around 120 which is the optimal IQ for achieving in a classroom which is traditionally geared toward the auditory-sequential learner: which is why the average IQ of your doctor or lawyer is 120. Truly gifted kids typically don’t excel at school because it rarely caters to their preferred learning style. If S is being taught in an auditory-sequential fashion, her brain will immediately shut down. Further, if she perceives that she is different to her classmates and that they don’t accept her peculiar way of thinking – she will hide her true ability.
Teacher: Social emotional skills are important too. A class of 33 children has a bunch of learning styles, such as kinaesthetic, visual, etc, but we can’t go changing the curriculum for them all.
Me: You’re talking about multiple intelligences, emotional intelligence, and the notion that every child has gifts – theories which negate the existence of the special needs group I refer to. These children are actually a special needs population, and technically by law teachers are required to differentiate the curriculum to suit their learning needs and style, just as you would for a child with Aspergers or an intellectual disability. You wouldn’t expect a child with an IQ three standard deviations below the mean, to perform like the rest of the class on your works tasks; similarly you cannot expect a child with an IQ three standard deviations above the mean to perform normally. They are both special needs groups. Intellectual giftedness is a physical, measurable, inherited phenomenon. There exists a correlation between well-administered comprehensive IQ tests and objective measures such as reaction time, and fMRI results. Giftedness is simply different brain structure and function. Just as we inherit our parents’ physical looks, so too we inherit their brain structure and function. The brains of these children are denser and more interconnected – which also accounts for their hypersensitivity to incoming stimuli. But of course we’re not taught anything about this in teachers college, are we?
Teacher: [Blah, blah, blah – same crap I’ve been listening to since my eldest started school…]
Me: Can I ask you something? Have you ever read anything on giftedness?
Me: There’s a 38 page report from a specialist psychologist sitting in S’ school file – have you read that?
Me: Well, there’s a heap of free resources available on the net. I suggest you start with […blah, blah, blah…]
Teacher: But don’t you agree that it’s unacceptable for a child to refuse to do as she’s asked? Isn’t there a minimum behavioural standard?
Me: That depends on the circumstances. If S is merely being lazy or disobedient, then that is unacceptable and we won’t tolerate that. However, if she is being taught in a style that disengages her brain, then that is not her fault. Can I ask you something? What do you think of S as a person?
Teacher: I-I like her. She’s a nice quiet polite girl.
Me: And what do you think S thinks of you?
Teacher: I think she likes me.
Fed up, and wanting her to shut up, I added that my child was in trauma counselling concerning a break-in plus corrupt police holding semi-automatic weapons to her father’s head on side of highway… That worked.
My eldest daughter’s initial, angry response to this situation was: ‘Did you tell the teacher you’ve already been through all this with me?!’
I was initially forced to confront this thing called ‘giftedness’ after our eldest entered the public education system. Three months into Kindergarten, she began refusing to attend school. This was the same child who, immediately after her third birthday, announced: ‘I want to go to a school where they wear uniforms and learn numbers and letters.’ At age four, K enjoyed a private preschool where she completed three grades of math.
The following year, I mistakenly enrolled K in our local public school. I did so because the school was academically ranked within the top few NSW schools, and because my sister had fond memories of attending there. But at the time of K’s enrolment, a new principal took over. Within five years the school lost its excellent staff, free extracurricular programs, and fine reputation.
My daughter was assigned to Ms Valium’s Kindergarten class. Ms Valium made K redo Kindergarten math, despite my polite requests for academic acceleration. It was K’s reading aide who approached me and warned that K was ‘dying’ in that school and she pleaded with me to ‘do something.’ ‘K has completed all the readers,’ she explained, ‘and they won’t let me give her the next level. Every lesson, I have to apologise to K and make her reread the same books.’
I politely consulted the principal who politely dismissed my concerns. I then attended the school’s P&C meeting. Following a protest by a health professional parent against the education department’s upcoming ban on the sale of lollies in the school canteen, I raised a couple of less pressing concerns. Firstly, there was the matter of the paedophile teacher who had been shuffling from local school to local school during the past 15 years every time complaints of sexual assault flooded in about him. My second submission began with, ‘This school does a lot to cater for the kids who are struggling. For example, I have assisted all term with the remedial reading programme. However, the school is not catering for the brightest kids.’
As when water is poured on an ants nest, the room erupted. ‘Gifted!’ one female teacher hissed venomously. ‘Only a very small percentage of the population is actually gifted.’
I hadn’t mentioned the word ‘gifted.’
The principal leaned back in his chair, arrogantly placed his hands behind his head and scoffed: ‘What do you want us to do? We can’t place them all in a single classroom!’
I left the meeting realising that I needed proof that K was gifted. So, I phoned the Gifted Children’s Association and explained my predicament. The volunteer on the receiving end concluded dryly, ‘Fiona, welcome to the reason why any of us ever gets our children tested.’
One thousand dollars later, I had a piece of paper stating the bleeding obvious. The assessing psychologist then gave me some advice:
‘Now, don’t take this test result to the school principal, throw it down on his desk and say, “Here! She’s gifted. What are you going to do about it?” You will be banging your head against a brick wall. You will have to go private. The public system simply does not cater for these kids.’
Ignoring the psychologist’s advice, I armed myself with K’s report and confronted the principal. A slightly more subdued principal confessed that perhaps Ms Valium was not the best teacher for K. However, he refused to remedy the situation. So, I appealed to the District Office. I suggested a tailored program for K that allowed her to study core subjects by distance education, but still attend school for social interaction during sport and library. The special needs officer took my case ‘to the top’ of the NSW Education Department where it was rejected. Finally, the woman devised a special program where K was accelerated for her core subjects within our local school. The special needs officer called me to say that she had just spoken with the principal who had agreed to the plan.
Ten minutes later, the principal phoned me and contemptuously declared, ‘I’m not going to put my teachers out for you.’
The following year we enrolled K in Hillcrest Christian College, a private school which boasted a full-time gifted education program. K skipped Grade 1 and was accelerated into a Grade 2/3 composite class. K didn’t find this school as boring because she was permitted to undertake the Grade 3 work, which was two years ahead of her age level. K said it was a good year, apart from when a board member’s kid threw chairs around the classroom while the teacher sheltered K and her peers behind a bookshelf.
During that year, K attended whole-class IQ testing and achieved a phenomenal score. Yet despite having access to this result, K’s teacher for Grade 3 and 4 refused to let her accelerate. This was despite K directly asking her teacher for more challenging work, particularly in math. That teacher rewarded neatness and quantity of work rather than demonstrations of abstract reasoning and higher order thinking skills. To make matters worse, the girl whom the teacher voted class dux bullied K for the entire two years, and ostracised her from her former friends.
By the end of Grade 4, my eight-year-old child was underweight, underachieving, and she particularly despised math. I took her to be assessed by the psychologist described to me by legendary USA giftedness expert Karen Rogers as the ‘only one in Australia’ with the necessary knowledge and experience, Fiona Talbot-Smith.
After pulling my child out of ‘Hellcrust’ school, I did what most parents do in the same situation. I read numerous relevant books and articles on giftedness, I employed and interrogated every expert I could find nationally and internationally and I generally armed myself with enough facts to frighten any educator during parent teacher interviews. Spending thousands of dollars on various specialists, assessments and interventions, and sampling every school in the district quickly encouraged me to differentiate between fluffy textpert ideology and what actually worked.
I returned to university to study the relevant psychology and gifted education. By the time I commenced a master of gifted education at UNE, I was forming my own, original hypotheses regarding this area, and I found the outdated course content painfully inconsistent with my library and real life experience. Not surprisingly, the lecturing staff didn’t appreciate my methodical autopsy of their star graduate’s flawed PhD thesis. Nor did they appreciate my dismissing one of their pet theorists as an academic prostitute whose debunked theory was (a) banned from informing Education Queensland policy and (b) solely blamed for the collapse of gifted education in Australia. My second favourite criticism that I encountered in that course was being told that I had referenced ‘too many books’ in an essay (atop the numerous research articles I included). My favourite was when a lecturer accused me of not owning the 1926 Lewis Terman classic that I referenced in an essay. ‘Do you actually have this book?’ she angrily scrawled across my assignment. Sure I did. It’s called eBay.
Definitions and misconceptions of giftedness abound. After a decade of paying attention to this developmental phenomenon, I have formed some firm conclusions. Conceptualising giftedness is like appreciating child birth – one has to actually experience it first. Giftedness has nothing to do with the notion of ‘multiple intelligences’ nor is it the antithesis of ‘emotional intelligence.’ These mischievous unproven theories serve to divert public attention from a hidden agenda.
Giftedness has everything to do with that which pioneers Galton, Spearman, and Terman were researching. Today the mention of these names heralds cries of ‘elitism’ and ‘Nazi eugenics.’ Yet just because Nazi scientists misused information, does not render that information untrue. Medics don’t go about refusing to implement our understanding of the temperature at which people die, just because the Nazi’s discovered such.
Modern science is revealing that which the pioneers hypothesised – that intellectual ability is a genetically inherited trait. People with superior intellectual ability (i.e., IQ130+) possess different brain structure and function. Scans show that the brains of intellectually gifted individuals are denser and more interconnected. Functional MRi scans show that gifted individuals engage both brain hemispheres when they are performing cognitive tasks, compared to normal brains that are activated on a single side.
A 2011 article caught my attention. It indicated public disclosure was beginning to catch up with decades old Nazi understanding:
Genes, intelligence linked for first time (10 August, 2011, 10:59) by Boonsri Coxinson
Today DNA is commonly used to reveal ancestry information and health risks. Now researchers claim up to 50 percent of people’s smarts can be traced to their genetic makeup. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh looked at half a million genetic markers called single nucJontide polymorphisms (SNPs) in more than 3,500 people in Scotland, England and Norway. Differences in knowledge base and problem solving skills can be an ” additive influence” of genetic variations, the scientists wrote in a paper published in Molecular Psychiatry. The differences were found in mutations called linkage disequilibrium.
“We have found genetic signals associated with people’s intelligence differences. We have not found the actual genetic differences that cause some intelligence differences, but we now have evidence that some of the genetic causes are linked to those genetic factors that we tested. This gives us leads that we are now planning to follow,” Ediburgh’s epidemiologist Ian Deary said in a statement.
This study demonstrates the complexity of the genetic basis of IQ…
Another interesting statement occurs in the following article:
Autistic brains are heavier: study ABC news (9th November, 2011, 09:52)
“Because cortical neurons are not generated in postnatal life, this pathological increase in neuron numbers in autistic children indicates prenatal causes,” the study said.
The statement cortical neurons are not generated after birth suggests that brain structure and function is a fixed characteristic.
Another scientific fact sheds light on the matter. Highly intelligent individuals have faster brain impulses. If brain impulse speed is determined by a fixed number of neurons, then it suggests that intelligence is a genetically determined, fixed characteristic. Therefore the nature-nurture debate is resolved – intelligence is genetically predisposed and environmentally enhanced. If you don’t have the genes, you can’t be nurtured into a genius.
The brain is stimulated by five major senses: vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch. There are also two lesser known senses – proprioceptive and vestibular. The gifted individual’s denser and more interconnected brain allows her to receive and process greater amounts of sensory input at the one time. Therefore the gifted person will detect and respond to sensory stimuli more quickly.
Sir Francis Galton was the first to hypothesise that variation of sensory discrimination and speed of response to stimuli would reflect intelligence differences, and he measure thousands of individuals’ reaction time to visual and auditory stimuli. Yet Galton’s conclusions regarding intelligence were publicly rejected as too simplistic. Recently we have seen a reprise of Galton’s research into reaction time and IQ differences, and modern results are consistent with Galton’s original hypothesis. For instance, near perfect correlation was found several years ago between rapidity of eye response to light and intelligence level as determined by IQ tests.
The link between IQ and impulse speed was mentioned in mainstream media a few years ago:
The end of evolution? Scientists say human brain may have reached full capacity Dailymail (1st August, 2011) by S. Borland
‘…scientists…have found that the cleverest people have the best wiring, with messages carried very quickly between different parts of the brain. Ed Bullmore, professor of psychiatry at Cambridge, where he specialises in brain imaging, measured the efficiency with which different parts of the brain communicated with each other. He found impulses travelled fastest in smarter people and slower in those who were less intelligent. He said: ‘High integration of brain networks seems to be associated with high IQ…
Their different brain structure and function is what enables the gifted individual to absorb, assimilate, compute, process and synthesise information quicker than normal. It allows the gifted individual to typically think more complex and abstract, scan visual images quicker and make connections between seemingly unrelated bits of information. Consequently, intellectually gifted students may acquire language earlier, calculate math problems quicker, read micro facial expressions, shoot a target with greater accuracy, or reverse a vehicle more precisely.
The brain has two hemispheres. The left hemisphere is responsible for verbal or auditory-sequential tasks, the right for non-verbal or visual-spatial tasks. Gifted individuals experience greater interaction between the two hemispheres and they tend to prefer a visual-spatial learning style that activates the right brain hemisphere. Australian schools teach in an auditory sequential manner suited to the average learner, a style characterised by phonetics and rote learning. Research estimates that at least one third of students are visual-spatial learners who do not respond to this traditional classroom approach. This helps to explain why our brightest children are being unidentified and neglected in the Australian classroom.
Francis Galton, Lewis Terman, Letta Hollingworth and Eric Spearman pioneered an evidence-based approach to the study of intelligence. Terman produced the Stanford-Binet (SB) intelligence test. Spearman created math formulae which identified a general innate component of intelligence (g) within the SB and later IQ tests. Terman and Hollingworth identified characteristics common to children who scored in the gifted range on the SB, thereby dispelling previous misconceptions of giftedness.
These fundamental findings were later undermined by Renzulli, Sternberg, and Gardner who fostered today’s popular misconception that everybody is gifted when compared to a long enough shopping list of possible talents. The idea that everybody is gifted forces everybody into the far right tail of the normal distribution curve – which is mathematically impossible. Consequently, IQ tests were criticised for not supporting this subjective and vague definition of giftedness, and for not identifying all talents on the ever-expanding shopping list. They were criticised for what they were not designed to measure, such as creativity, character, personality, and motivation. Tests designed for use on the majority of our English-speaking population were criticised for their inapplicability to non-English speaking minority groups. Teachers shunned evidence-based IQ testing in preference for non-standardised personal opinion and home-made tests.
Well established intelligence tests like the Stanford Binet, Wechsler series and Ravens Matrices, involve visual puzzles and counting tasks that do actually measure the brain’s cognitive ability. People with faster brain impulses perform better on these tests. Therefore, a properly administered, comprehensive intelligence test is able to identify that which the pioneers of intelligence research designed them to measure.
Administering IQ tests to the average adult requires a degree of knowledge and training, while administering them to gifted children is an art form which requires knowledge of giftedness and natural ability. Gifted children can quickly size up an assessor, and they are unlikely to cooperate with someone whom they perceive is unskilled, intimidated, condescending, arrogant or fake.
Another issue with IQ testing is the age that gifted individuals are tested at. The most masterful assessor in history, John Gittinger, taught that age five is the optimal time to test children, when their potential is raw and unadulterated by formal schooling. Like it or not, IQ tests results reflect knowledge learned over time. Classroom boredom, vision disorders, and other problems can cause learning gaps in school children and so reduce IQ test performance.
Another problem with IQ testing is the type of test employed. The Stanford Binet was specifically designed to identify intellectual giftedness. The 1960s Stanford Binet LM remains the only test which is able to identify the top two IQ categories. Advantages of the LM include its ability to identify visual-spatial preschoolers and the top two IQ categories. The common IQ categories are moderately gifted (IQ130 to 144), highly gifted (145 to 159), exceptionally gifted (IQ160 to 179) and profoundly gifted (IQ180+). Discrimination between levels is crucial because children of a similar IQ share similar intellectual and emotional needs. For instance, setting a profoundly gifted child curriculum suited to their chronological age is akin to making you, the reader, sit through primary school again.
The IQ test series created by David Wechsler are commonly employed to identify giftedness in Australia. This has been problematic for the following reasons. The Wechsler tests are timed and gifted individuals typically do poorly on timed tests which don’t allow for their abstract thinking ability to ponder all alternatives. Further, the Wechsler series are boring, particularly the preschool test which made my child’s temperature rise to the point where she was undressing mid-assessment.
The Wechsler tests were designed to identify intellectual disability rather than ability. The tests measure verbal versus non-verbal cognitive ability. A discrepancy between test scores on these two abilities can indicate a problem such as a learning disability or brain damage. For example, a high verbal score coupled with a low nonverbal score may be seen in a student with an auditory processing problem. The reverse may indicate a visual processing problem.
That said, the Wechsler tests contain the best measure of visual-spatial ability in existence – the block design subtest. Further, the newer editions of the test contain some excellent measures of innate mathematical ability such as propensity for algebra. I once had a goal of combining the nonverbal Wechsler measures with subtests from the SB5 and the Ravens Matrices to create a more comprehensive IQ test for Indigenous, non-English speaking, dyslexic and other neglected student groups.
Intelligence testing comes under great criticism within the field of education. The information taught in many teacher training programs amounts to unscientific speculation that contradicts the content of first year science degrees. The fact that misinformation is currently being taught to trainee teachers today helps to explain why intellectually gifted students continue to be neglected despite the 2001 Senate Committee Inquiry into the Education of Gifted and Talented Students. The Senate Committee drew the following conclusions about Australian gifted education:
- In evidence all types of interest groups agreed that there is a problem with education of gifted children. These children have special needs in the education system; for many their needs are not being met; and many suffer underachievement, boredom, frustration and psychological distress as a result.
- There is a duty to help all children achieve their potential. The common belief that the gifted do not need special help because they will succeed anyway is contradicted by many studies of underachievement and demotivation among gifted children.
- Negative attitudes and mistaken beliefs about gifted children appear to be widespread. There is a need for research into the reasons for negative attitudes.
- Special needs (giftedness) should be seen in the same light as special needs (intellectual disabilities) or special needs (physical disabilities). Policy documents should make this clear.
- The curriculum needs to be differentiated to suit the different learning needs of gifted children. Ad hoc enrichment activities, or enrichment that is suitable for the whole class, are insufficient.
- There is overwhelming research evidence that appropriate acceleration of gifted students who are socially and emotionally ready usually has highly advantageous outcomes. However willingness to use acceleration varies considerably from state to state.
- Submissions argued that the Commonwealth should establish a national strategy on gifted education, to ameliorate the changeable and unstable state of policy and practice.
There has been zero improvement in the catering for gifted students since the 2001 Senate Inquiry. Gifted education will never improve in Australia. Although gifted education programs are beginning to sprout all over the country, none of these actually cater for gifted children. The so-called gifted education programs cater for children with a maximum IQ of 120, as did the former system of streamed classes. IQ120 is the optimum intelligence level for achievement within our schools, which likely explains why the average IQ of doctors and lawyers is only 120. Gifted children (IQ130+) more often than not underachieve and drop out of school; their survival usually depends on parental tenacity. As Fiona Talbot-Smith said of the so-called gifted education programs:
‘I’ve wiped the lot of them. They disgust me.’
Australia’s early adoption of USA psychologist Renzulli’s intelligence theory is described as the single most detrimental impact on Australian gifted education. A main criticism of Renzulli is his lack of sound research. Renzulli based his theory on a retrospective study of second hand observations of allegedly creative and productive adult males whose intelligence levels remain unknown. He then generalised his conclusions about this group to all gifted children and adolescents. This renders his study void of external validity, meaning it says absolutely nothing about gifted children. Renzulli’s poor methodology is inexcusable, because psychology research standards were well established at the time of his study. Despite these problems, and the fact that Renzulli’s theory is banned from informing gifted education policy in at least one Australian state, the coordinator of my master of gifted education program promoted Renzulli as current best practise, and schools still employ Renzulli based educational interventions.
Another reason why gifted education will not improve in this country stems from the fact that our education system is underpinned by communist ideology. A prime example of such ideology is ‘cultural capital theory’ – a concept which student teachers are encouraged to embrace. Cultural capital theory stems from the work of Pierre Bordieu whose influences include the ideas of Karl Marx, socialist and father of communism. Bordieu coined the term ‘cultural capital’ which refers to the resources that people possess and which give them higher social status. Resources may be physical, such as science equipment, or intangible elements like understanding, knowledge, attitudes and skills that over time shape a child’s character and thinking. Vocabulary and expression, appreciation of the value of education and understanding of and compliance with expected behaviour within educational settings are specific examples of ‘intangible resources.’ These resources are said to be acquired through the individual’s successful middle-class education and in turn passed on to their children who benefit in terms of educational outcomes and career options.
Cultural capital theory is said to account for the discrepancy in educational outcomes between the classes. It is presented as being synonymous with parental education level. Since parental education level predicts university attendance, cultural capital is said to determine academic success. The implication here is that because a social class system exists, the resources are not equally distributed and so individuals in the underclass are deprived of equal access to a quality education.
According to cultural capital theory, intelligence is an intangible resource which must be equally distributed. Therefore, identification of gifted individuals, and catering for these individuals by giving them special educational intervention, is unfair and elitist.
However, a direct causal relationship between cultural capital and academic success cannot be drawn, because the idea ‘cultural capital’ has not been operationalised and so is unmeasurable. Further, cultural capital theory attributes differential education outcomes to the uneven distribution of wealth while ignoring other determinants of academic success including traumatic life events, hemispheric learning preference, motivation, personality and the single best predictor of academic success – intelligence level. Cultural capital theory also shifts the blame for poor educational outcomes away from poor governance.
Australia’s embracement of socialist ideology is reflected in the resurrection of Soviet psychologist Vygotsky in our education textbooks. Vygotsky based his intelligence theory on communist doctrine under threat of being persecuted like Russia’s intellectual elite by a government that condemned giftedness assessment. Vygotsky claimed that intelligence is not innate but rather learned via social interaction. This claim supports the socialist notion that giftedness is elitist, that every child can learn to be gifted, and therefore no-one is actually gifted. This same anti-elitist ethos underpins the theories of Renzulli, Gardner and Sternberg, theories which are being promoted in tertiary institutions.
Australian academics within the education field are generally reluctant to conduct sound scientific intelligence research or to examine the applicability of overseas research. Consequently, educators’ ideas about giftedness lack a valid research basis and there is no evidence that identification methods and programs based on these notions work. Most university teacher training courses promote subjective means of identifying gifted students, such as teacher observation. This practise contradicts research which indicates that teachers, who have an average IQ of 110, are poor at identifying gifted students.
A more recent identification trend in Australian education is something called ‘dynamic assessment.’ Dynamic testing is an intervention whereby individuals receive a set of test items with explicit instruction on how to complete these. It is part of a larger pedagogical approach called dynamic assessment. The phrase dynamic assessment (DA) was coined by Israeli psychologist Feuerstein (1979) who developed this approach to understand the ‘learning potential of retarded performers.’ Hence DA was not designed to identify giftedness. A recently resurrected Vygotsky is the second major theorist behind DA. Vygotsky’s research focused on cognitive ‘defectology’ and so has nothing to do with giftedness either.
Not surprisingly then, DA supporters assert that (a) intelligence stems mainly from a child’s interaction with the social environment and so can be taught, and (b) traditional IQ tests do not measure intellectual ability, while DA does.
DA fails to adhere to the scientific method, cannot test the current concept of intelligence, is ungeneralisable, has poor measurement characteristics, cannot identify multiple giftedness domains, is expensive and inconvenient, and cannot identify levels of giftedness, particularly exceptionally gifted underachievers – who constitute the most at-risk minority group.
And my point is?
While Australia educators ignore the intellectually gifted student – others are watching. Students are quietly tracked via performance on national competitions, online math and science programs, and participation in gifted education holiday camps. For example, Junior high school students identified as intellectually gifted are encouraged to participate in The JASON Project, an online science curriculum program purportedly designed to motivate and inspire students to pursue a science career. The JASON Project was developed by NASA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association, the National Geographic Society and other familiar names. The name ‘JASON’ stems from The JASON Group, a secret organisation of the world’s elite scientists.
One former Australian representative for The JASON Project has had access to thousands of children’s IQ test results while working for giftedness assessment specialists in the private sector and at the Gifted Education Research, Resource and Information Centre (GERRIC). GERRIC was formed after the 2001 Senate Committee recommended the establishment of a national centre for giftedness. GERRIC is located at the University of NSW – the same university which lost its anatomy licence after staff sexually interfered with body parts. GERRIC operates workshops and camps for gifted children. At the time that I was being persuaded to enrol and send my child off to these camps, they offered courses focused on ancient occult mythology and Harry Potter (which is essential Witchcraft 101 for kids).
While university lecturers openly mock the validity IQ tests, our national security and defence forces do not. The first thing that military applicants do is sit an IQ test. In a military setting, the government does not give a toss about appearing elitist or hurting peoples’ feelings – they simply don’t want a person with impaired visual-spatial IQ in charge of a tank. The military recognises that individuals who score extremely highly on measures of visual-spatial ability are likely to be more accurate at hitting a target when they fire a gun, and so that is their basis for elite sniper selection.
Gifted, creative, visual-spatial learners are valuable to espionage agencies and perpetrators of mind control due to their following natural abilities:
- Ability to think in pictures.
- Capacity for photographic memory.
- Quicker reflexes.
- Ability to think quickly in high pressure, complex situations.
- High accuracy with weapons.
- Ability to synthesise seemingly unrelated pieces of information and detect patterns amongst multiple variables.
- Abstract thinking ability.
- Ability to read facial expression to the point where they can anticipate what a person is thinking, how someone is about to react and whether they are lying.
- Rapid foreign language acquisition.
It is easy to deduce from this list that such an individual would be the ideal candidate for activities like code breaking, researching, intelligence gathering, car chasing, assassination, engineering, physics, geometry, architecture and computer programming.
The ability to mentally visualise images is essential for programming activities. Only the visual-spatial learner is able to ‘picture falling back through the carriages of a train…’ Leonardo DiCaprio’s 2010 movie Inception tells the story of an architecture student recruited by a secret organisation due to her ability to visualise and create mental images. The movie highlights the importance of visual-spatial abilities to the mind control programming process.
The most prized mind control victim is the exceptionally gifted and creative individual. Creativity is not synonymous with intellectual giftedness. As far as the public is told, it is impossible to even test creativity because no-one has yet defined the concept of ‘creativity’ so that it can be operationalised with a manual assessment tool.
Perhaps it is impossible to define creativity because it encapsulates the very essence of God. Perhaps creativity is the quality that distinguishes humans. Theologians debate that God created the world, while the enemy cannot create anything – he can only use and manipulate a person’s God-given creative ability.
That said, John W. Gittinger taught that it is possible to observe patterns in brain functioning of subjects while they performed creative tasks, and thereby measure creativity using sophisticated equipment that everyday professional citizens do not have access to.
This is where a definition of genius comes in. Lewis Terman defined genius as an individual who measured IQ180+ on the Stanford Binet. Others say genius is the combination of high IQ and high creative ability, and that it was demonstrated by Einstein, Mozart, Tesla and DaVinci. Consider the word genius stems from the word ‘genie’ and has occult connotations. What is the relationship between genius and artificial enhancement of natural ability via mind control? A clue may sit with Mozart’s godfather Mesmer, the famous hypnotist from whom the word ‘mesmerise’ was derived.
The very thing that enables gifted individuals to perform impressive cognitive tasks (i.e., nervous system hypersensitivity) may also make them abnormally sensitive to physical and emotional stimuli. Consequently, gifted people are typically overly sensitive to physical stimuli like light, noise, touch, smells; or psychological stimuli such as criticism, tragedy, and even exciting news. Such sensitivity to sensory stimuli has been labelled ‘sensory processing disorder.’ Thus a highly gifted child may complain that certain foods are too slimy, clothing labels press into skin like a pin, or that movie theatres are painfully loud. The higher the IQ, the more sensitive a person typically is to stimuli. I know of one boy with an IQ of 180 who experienced complete nervous system shutdown which required hospitalisation.
The brain area responsible for empathy is denser and more interconnected in gifted individuals. Consequently, gifted individuals tend to over empathise with others. The ability to imagine another person’s situation, coupled with the ability to visualise, allows gifted VSLs to replay traumatic incidents that they or someone else experienced, in their minds like a movie. Therefore, if the gifted person merely hears about an incident, they can replay the visual image as vividly as memory for real-life footage. This phenomenon makes the gifted child sensitive to news, scary stories, and susceptible to nightmares and anxiety. This phenomenon also renders the gifted individual vulnerable to vicarious trauma and to the flashbacks symptomatic of PTSD. This in turn has implications for abuse victims who experience Vietnam Veteran like flashbacks of their abuse.
Giftedness characteristics have the potential to develop into full blown mental health issues. Common characteristics such as perfectionism and a tendency to automatically recognise patterns everywhere may easily develop into anxiety disorders such as OCD. Further, owing to sensory processing problems, gifted VSLs are at increased risk of turning to illicit drugs as a way of numbing their senses to the constant bombardment of sensory input and imagery replay.
But few Australian psychologists, psychiatrists and educators understand anything I have just written…
Australian health practitioners are not taught that highly intelligent individuals are prone to obscure conditions such as ‘existentialist depression.’ They are not taught that children with IQ160+ are susceptible to a unique type of ‘reactive hypoglycaemia.’ Consequently, giftedness characteristics are commonly misdiagnosed as Aspergers, mania, depression, OCD, ADHD, BPD… Abnormality in the form of genius is being ignored and mislabeled insanity.
In conclusion, Australia fails to acknowledge, identify or cater for the special educational, medical, social and emotional needs of intellectually gifted individuals. The same gifted individual rejected by our education system, is embraced by the covert organisations that build upon Hitler’s blue print for trans-humanism.
Post-Nazi scientists participating in the true Jason Project mix human, animal and synthetic materials to develop the ultimate vaccination, with the goal of genetically altering human DNA. The vaccine promises to make soldiers immune to death and disease and to enhance physical, intellectual and spiritual capacities. The recipient will then become all that Hollywood has been promising its viewers – immortal, superior men… supermen.
Perhaps then, the communist egalitarianism that our system has been pushing for will finally be achieved. This may be the fundamental reason why naturally created gifted individuals are quashed like second class citizens, and why their situation will never improve.
If the Bible is to be taken seriously, God built into mankind a group of natural born leaders. The Biblical description of King David is a fine example of this select group. David demonstrated classic giftedness characteristics including intensity, spiritual awareness, extreme social justice, loyalty, empathy, passion, moral reasoning, abstract/higher-order thinking, musical brilliance and a talent for architecture and engineering. David passed on his physical characteristics to his son Solomon who was described as the most intelligent person in human history.
Perhaps if today’s gifted children were acknowledged, accommodated and permitted to assume their natural leadership roles, instead of the paedophiles who govern us and educate our kids, and our society might better reflect the prosperity of Solomon’s age instead of the evil, crime-ridden, decaying cesspit that it is.
Out of jealousy and a desire to be just like God, the enemy sought to destroy God’s creation and replace it with an imitation. In this process, God’s tall poppies were cut down – and idiocy took the throne. Failing to find his own dirt, the enemy manipulated, threatened and deceived our bright minds into rearranging God’s creation, the ultimate goal being the production of an imitation of God’s elite which the devil calls his own.