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What kind of kids are we shaping?

"My parents told me to study hard, get good grades, get into a good university, get a good job with high salary and then pay them back." Almost 99% of my students in the gifted class told me that while we were analysing the parenting styles yesterday, last lesson of the course

Let me be the tiger mom, where goes the 1%? How come not 100 marks?

I am glad it's not a 'perfect' score! The only student who didn't share the same thought was the one who always gave me different ideas in class.

Parents and teachers, are we shaping kids to be the same? Or are we here to unleash their unique potential? Are we expanding their limits or are we limiting theirs?

It's my 5th year teaching gifted students on critical thinking and experiential learning. This year I was shocked to have observed the following:

1. Almost all students gave me similar answers for the questions I asked in class while in the previous years, I always got new inspiration from them. Yes, I did learn from the students.

2. 1/3 of the students couldn't sit still and read for more than 5 minutes while 5 years ago, the concentration span could go up to 30 minutes. It took me the whole course time to train 90% of the kids to sit still and read for 25 minutes.

3. It's the FIRST time ever that most students played games on their phone during break while in the precious years, students read books, read the articles I provided, made new friends, asked me questions...

4. It's the FIRST time ever that most students didn't want to have any group work, no discussion with others, didn't want to make friends! Social skills have dropped to... An unbelievably low level.

5. It's the FIRST time ever that majority of the students couldn't organise their ideas and thoughts and present them. Ideas were too general to be true and lack of elaboration.

6. It's the FIRST time ever....

Are the students not gifted anymore? Or are we limiting their potential and destroying their giftedness?

What kind of kids are we shaping?

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