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TRULY GIFTED CHILDREN CAN LEARN ANYWHERE

When citing children as intellectually "gifted," we tend to deny the connotative elitism imposed on children by their parents and educators, especially those who demand that gifted kids be segregated from average or below-average learners.

Arguments for segregated education are callous, selfish and specious. Parents should not isolate their children from average kids, whose enormous population constitutes and dictates social reality. Any isolation, including educational isolation, is a selfish act, both elitist and punitive.

Gifted kids, if they are gifted emotionally as well as intellectually, can nourish their cognitive brilliance anywhere, including a classroom filled with average kids. Indeed, the real test for secure thinkers is to be amazingly productive amid diversity peopled with endless inspiration for creative thinking. By sprinkling a group of average kids with gifted kids, all of them are more apt to learn wisdom -- the essential education.

WILBUR CHILDS West Falls

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