Anno 2012, we get more and more in this colorful society with groups that are different from "the average". From the moment a child sees the light of day, it is already subjected to the "average line of life". But what exactly is the average child?
I'll take you back in time ...
In 1904, the French psychologist Alfred Binet, at the request of the French Ministry of Education, developed a test to trace the less successful children in schools. The Binettest was administered to a large group of children - aged 3 to 11 - and the average score on the test was determined. Binet introduced the concept "Mental Age" and "Chronological Age" and a little later in 1912 the term "Intelligence Quotient" (IQ) was created. The average IQ in a child was set at 100. The Stanford Binette tests of that time are the intelligence test (WISC / RAKIT) of today. But ... a test remains a snapshot and is only an aid in determining someone's capabilities. Times change, people change.
As soon as the child makes his / her entrance at the primary school, intelligence will play an important role, because any deviation in intelligence can have major consequences for the child, his / her development and environment. It will be clear that highly intelligent and gifted children (IQ> 140) will score higher on intelligent tests than infirmitated children. However, high intelligence alone is insufficient to be gifted. In addition to high intelligence, factors such as determination, self-confidence and a positive social environment will be necessary for a child to develop into a gifted individual.
Oh well, it seems so nice to have a gifted child ... a child who can learn very well and come to school, but the reality is (unfortunately) different. Often, gifted children have a hard time at school. They often raise incomprehension and amazed reactions among teachers, supervisors and fellow students. One of the big problems of gifted children is that they often feel lonely in social terms. At school they are often the "outsider" of the class and often envy fellow students or fall prey to bullying. The subject matter at school often does not offer a challenge to the gifted child, with all its consequences. The motto: "get out, what's in it" is not or hardly possible.
In addition to the gifted children, we in this society also have to deal with a group of mentally handicapped children. Approximately 15% of the pupils in the primary schools are mentally retarded (IQ <90). Weak learners can keep up with primary school, but are clearly among the weakest in the class. They have a slower learning pace and more difficulty with reading, writing and arithmetic, among other things. The current policy is aimed at ensuring that both highly and mentally disadvantaged pupils participate as much as possible in mainstream education. In order to be able to maintain these groups of children in mainstream education, many schools do benefit if a label is stuck to the child without any reason, so that a "backpack" with money can be applied for. But ... is this the solution to the problems at school or for the future of the child? Mind you, money is not a solution for everything! Looking beyond your nose for a long time, by immersing yourself in the real problem would already be a step in the right direction. Today's education is and remains a place of learning for children with "average" intelligence and therefore the "regular" elementary school is still insufficiently equipped to include very gifted or mentally gifted pupils, while these groups are growing and there are "Average" child is almost no longer there. In giftedness there is a "normal distribution". The gifted children can be found on the right side of the normal distribution, the low gifted children are on the left side of the normal distribution. Well, if we also implemented this "normal distribution" on the political front, then this will in any case not be a good development for the Netherlands, should one of the left parties become part of a new Cabinet to be formed. For the time being, the announced cutbacks regarding the Fitting Education will be in the fridge for a while, but whether it is going to the left or to the right? I leave that in the middle for now. The fact remains: every child is an individual and deserves a future!