Buckminster Fullers Numineuze ervaring: ommekeer in het leven (in Engels)

Buckminster Fuller recalled 1927 as a pivotal year of his life. Fuller was still feeling responsible for the death of his daughter Alexandra, who had died in 1922 from complications from polio and spinal meningitis. just prior to her fourth birthday.Fuller felt a personal responsibility for her death, wondering if her death may have been caused by the damp and drafty home which the Fullers had been living in.This provided motivation for Fuller’s involvement in Stockade Building Systems, a business which aimed to provide affordable, efficient housing.

In 1927 Fuller, then aged 32, lost his job as president of Stockade. The Fuller family had no savings to fall back upon, and the birth of their daughter Allegra in 1927 added to the financial challenges. Fuller was drinking heavily and reflecting upon the solution to his family’s struggles on long walks around Chicago. During the autumn of 1927, Fuller contemplated suicide, so that his family could benefit from a life insurance payment.

Fuller said that he had experienced a profound incident which would provide direction and purpose for his life. He felt as though he was suspended several feet above the ground enclosed in a white sphere of light. A voice spoke directly to Fuller, and declared:

From now on you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others

Fuller stated that this experience led to a profound re-examination of his life. He ultimately chose to embark on “an experiment, to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity

Speaking to audiences later in life, Fuller would regularly recount the story of his Lake Michigan experience, and its transformative impact on his life. Historians have been unable to identify direct evidence for this experience within the 1927 papers of Fuller’s Chronofile archives, housed at Stanford University. Stanford historian Barry Katz suggests that the suicide story may be a myth which Fuller constructed later in life, to summarize this formative period of his career

Common Gifted Education Myths

Bron: NAGC (USA: National Association for Gifted Children)

* Gifted students don’t need help; they’ll do fine on their own * That student can’t be gifted; he’s receiving poor grades
* Teachers challenge all the students, so gifted kids will be fine in the regular classroom * Gifted students are happy, popular, and well adjusted in school
* Gifted students make everyone else in the class smarter by providing a role model or a challenge * This child can’t be gifted; he has a disability
* All children are gifted * Our district has a gifted and talented program; we have AP courses
* Acceleration placement options are socially harmful for gifted students * Gifted education requires an abundance of resources
* Gifted education programs are elitist


Myth: Gifted Students Don’t Need Help; They’ll Do Fine On Their Own
Truth: Would you send a star athlete to train for the Olympics without a coach? Gifted students need guidance from well-trained teachers who challenge and support them in order to fully develop their abilities. Many gifted students may be so far ahead of their same-age peers that they know more than half of the grade-level curriculum before the school year begins. Their resulting boredom and frustration can lead to low achievement, despondency, or unhealthy work habits. The role of the teacher is crucial for spotting and nurturing talents in school.

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Myth: Teachers Challenge All The Students, So Gifted Kids Will Be Fine In The Regular Classroom  
Truth: Although teachers try to challenge all students they are frequently unfamiliar with the needs of gifted children and do not know how to best serve them in the classroom. The National Research Center on Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT) found that 61% of classroom teachers had no training in teaching highly able students, limiting the challenging educational opportunities offered to advanced learners.[1] A more recent national study conducted by the Fordham Institute found that 58% of teachers have received no professional development focused on teaching academically advanced students in the past few years. Taken together, these reports confirm what many families have known: not all teachers are able to recognize and support gifted learners.

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Myth: Gifted Students Make Everyone Else In The Class Smarter By Providing A Role Model Or A Challenge  
Truth: In reality, average or below-average students do not look to the gifted students in the class as role models. They are more likely to model their behavior on those who have similar capabilities and are coping well in school. Seeing a student at a similar performance level succeed motivates students because it adds to their own sense of ability. Watching or relying on someone who is expected to succeed does little to increase a struggling student’s sense of self-confidence. [2] Similarly, gifted students benefit from classroom interactions with peers at similar performance levels.

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Myth: All Children Are Gifted
Truth: All children have strengths and positive attributes, but not all children are gifted in the educational sense of the word.  The label “gifted” in a school setting means that when compared to others his or her age or grade, a child has an advanced capacity to learn and apply what is learned in one or more subject areas, or in the performing or fine arts.  This advanced capacity requires modifications to the regular curriculum to ensure these children are challenged and learn new material. Gifted does not connote good or better; it is a term that allows students to be identified for services that meet their unique learning needs.

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Myth: Acceleration Placement Options Are Socially Harmful For Gifted Students
Truth: Academically gifted students often feel bored or out of place with their age peers and naturally gravitate towards older students who are more similar as “intellectual peers.” Studies have shown that many students are happier with older students who share their interest than they are with children the same age.[3] Therefore, acceleration placement options such as early entrance to Kindergarten, grade skipping, or early exit should be considered for these students.

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Myth: Gifted Education Programs Are Elitist
Truth: Gifted education programs are meant to help all high-ability students. Gifted learners are found in all cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups.  However, many of these students are denied the opportunity to maximize their potential because of the way in which programs and services are funded, and/or flawed identification practices.  For example, reliance on a single test score for gifted education services may exclude selection of students with different cultural experiences and opportunities. Additionally, with no federal money and few states providing an adequate funding stream, most gifted education programs and services are dependent solely on local funds.  This means that in spite of the need, often only higher-income school districts are able to provide services, giving the appearance of elitism.

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Myth: That Student Can’t Be Gifted; He’s Receiving Poor Grades
Truth: Underachievement describes a discrepancy between a student’s performance and his actual ability.  The roots of this problem differ, based on each child’s experiences.  Gifted students may become bored or frustrated in an unchallenging classroom situation causing them to lose interest, learn bad study habits, or distrust the school environment.  Other students may mask their abilities to try to fit in socially with their same-age peers.  No matter the cause, it is imperative that a caring and perceptive adult help gifted learners break the cycle of underachievement in order to achieve their full potential.  See ERIC digests on underachievement in gifted boys; underachievement of minority students.

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Myth: Gifted Students Are Happy, Popular, And Well Adjusted In School
Truth: Many gifted students flourish in their community and school environment.  However, some gifted children differ in terms of their emotional and moral intensity, sensitivity to expectations and feelings, perfectionism, and deep concerns about societal problems. Others do not share interests with their classmates, resulting in isolation or being labeled unfavorably as a “nerd.” Because of these difficulties, the school experience is one to be endured rather than celebrated.  It is estimated that 20 to 25% of gifted children have social and emotional difficulties, about twice as many as in the general population of students. [4]

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Myth: This Child Can’t Be Gifted, He Has A Disability
Truth: Some gifted students also have learning or other disabilities. These “twice-exceptional” students often go undetected in regular classrooms because their disability and gifts mask each other, making them appear “average.” Other twice-exceptional students are identified as having a learning disability and as a result, are not considered for gifted services. In both cases, it is important to focus on the students’ abilities and allow them to have challenging curricula in addition to receiving help for their learning disability. [5]

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Myth: Our District Has A Gifted And Talented Program: We Have AP Courses
Truth: While AP classes offer rigorous, advanced coursework, they are not a gifted education program. The AP program is designed as college-level classes taught by high school teachers for students willing to work hard. The program is limited in its service to gifted and talented students in two major areas: First AP is limited by the subjects offered, which in most districts is only a small handful. Second it is limited in that, typically, it is offered only in high school and is generally available only for 11th and 12th grade students. Coupled with the one-size-fits all approach of textbooks and extensive reading lists, the limitations of AP coursework mean that districts must offer additional curriculum options to be considered as having gifted and talented services.

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Myth: Gifted Education Requires An Abundance Of Resources
Truth: Offering gifted education services does not need to break the bank. A fully developed gifted education program can look overwhelming in its scope and complexity.  However, beginning a program requires little more than an acknowledgement by district and community personnel that gifted students need something different, a commitment to provide appropriate curriculum and instruction, and teacher training in identification and gifted education strategies.

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Continue to an in-depth look at the first myth Return to the Know Your Information main page.
Return to Myths About GIfted Education Homepage Return to the Advocacy Toolkit main page.


[1] Archambault, F. S., Westberg, K. L., Brown, S. W., Hallmark, B. W., Emmons, C. L., & Zhang, W. (1993). Regular classroom practices with gifted students: Results of a national survey of classroom teachers (#93102). Storrs, CT: the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.

[2] Fiedler, E.D., Lange, R. E., Winebrenner, S. (1993). In search of reality: Unraveling the myths about tracking, ability grouping, and the gifted. Roper Review, (16), 4-7.

[3] Colangelo, N., Assouline, S. G., & Gross, M.U.M. (2004). A nation deceived:  How schools hold back America’s brightest students.  Iowa City: University of Iowa.

[4] Winner, E. (1996). Gifted children: myths and realities. New York:  Basic Books.

[5] Olenchak. F. R., & Reis, S. M. (2002) Gifted students with learning disabilities. In M. Neihart, S. M. Reis, N. Robinson, and S. Moon (Eds.), The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children (pp. 177-192).  Waco TX:  Prufrock Press.

NAGC has created a poster/brochure refuting the 10 most common myths in gifted education.  Hang it up to instruct or remind your colleagues what is true about high-ability children and gifted education. You can find the poster in our online bookstore.

Hoogbegaafd, talentvol en toch niet gelukkig?

Trees (81 jaar oud) schrijft over haar ervaringen

Misschien bent u het zelf, weet u hoe dat voelt, hoe het vroeger thuis was en op school. hoe je reageerde op de sfeer van anderen -nèt niet leuk- je soms heel alleen voelend, ànders…

Een kind als alle kinderen, maar toch. “Meedoen” was niet vanzelfsprekend gemakkelijk. De ‘eisen’ thuis en op school pasten niet steeds. Je kon zelfs ónderpresteren, behaalde niet de waardering die je door je aanleg gemakkelijk zou kunnen krijgen. Je deed aan ‘op-het-nippertje-presteren’ want je was ‘van binnen’ bezig met iets anders. Dan maar niet naar de universiteit ondanks de intellectuele mogelijkheden die je had, en hebt. Tekort gekomen en tekort geschoten.

Deze slimmerds moesten zichzelf maar redden, waren veel alleen, gevoelig, kwetsbaar. Ze blonken niet uit, leerden wat lijden is aan hun hogere mogelijkheden, onbekend soms voor henzelf en problematisch op hun weg in de maatschappij. Wie ben ik eigenlijk? Faalangst.

Jezélf bijsturen, je toekomst bepalen… dat was niet steeds hoopvol… teleurstellingen op je pad. Geïrriteerd, onvoldaan, eigenlijk zelfs kansarm op de weg naar innerlijke vrede en levensblij leven, naast anderen, ouders, ‘vriendjes’.

Er zijn zo heel wat talentvolle mensen, tussen ons in levende kinderen en ouderen die hunkeren naar de beloftevolle toekomst die past bij hun hoogbegaafde aanleg.

Voor deze ontdekkingsgerichte mensen ontstaat een groeiend bewustzijn in de samenleving. Hier en daar (maar niet veel) bieden scholen of ouden de ruimte en aanpak om jonge kinderen, jongvolwassenen, ouderen, hoe dan ook te stimuleren op hun nivo, hun wensen en vragen te horen, hen kansen te bieden die niet zo voor de hand liggen.

Een mentor behoort, denk ik, náást hen te zijn, zonder directief de weg in te vullen. Een mentoring te bieden die specifiek is: ruimte biedend, stimulerend wat de (jonge) hoogbegaafde van binnen wil.

Bemoediging te geven die opwekt, want de ‘vondst’ de creativiteit, het plannetje is ‘anders’ en krijgt kansen, wordt herkend, is nabij.

Ruimte laten ontstaan, die mogelijk pas in een open, vriendelijke, respecterende verbondenheid, van vertrouwen tussen mentor en mentee kan openbloeien… op de groei! Echt wijs en liefdevol zijn geeft groeikansen en wederzijdse voldoening.

Een begeleidend team oriënteert zich: Jan en Lisette. Zij noemen de naam van Marco Polo en spreken die uit als ‘het Huis van Marco Polo’.

Ik ervaar het als een Huis waarin de hoogbegaafde zich gekend, herkend kan voelen, en waar vreugde kan groeien en negativiteit kan verminderen. Waar de eigen onvoldaanheid, het onbegrepen zijn kan verminderen. Waar het nukkig zijn en het gebrek aan aansluiting bij de sociale omgeving, thuis, op school, op het werk, in blokkades… waar de eenzaamheid in allerlei situaties, óók in het bejaard zijn, thuis of in een tehuis, doen stagneren en pijn doen… er is aandacht voor en ik kan onderzoek doen naar wie ik ben in dit alles.

Het symbool van Marco Polo is dat van degene die er op uittrekt, onderzoekt wat ontdekt kan worden en die bemoedigt; die eigen keuzes volgt als bevestiging van de eigen talenten; die, vruchten voortbrengend ten bate van de levenden zélf coach is. Mogen er zó veel coaches gaan bloeien!

(Trees is zelf een HB-er die door omstandigheden thuis niet heeft kunnen studeren, maar met intens enthousiasme iedereen volgt die onderneemt in wat zij als essentieel ervaart: mensen die hun bestemming vinden en met voldoening kunnen kijken naar hun leven en daarin voor anderen zinvol zijn.)

De Hooggevoeligen en hun wereld

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:

A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.

To him…

a touch is a blow,

a sound is a noise,

a misfortune is a tragedy,

a joy is an ecstasy,

a friend is a lover,

a lover is a god,

and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – – – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.”

Pearl Buck– nobelprijswinnaar literatuur 1938

De werkelijk creatieve geest op welk terrein dan ook is in de kern dit:

Een menselijk schepsel, ongewoon geboren, onmenselijk gevoelig.

Voor hem/haar:

Een aanraking is een klap
Een geluid is herrie
Een tegenslag is een tragedie
Een vreugde is als extase
Een vriend is een minnaar
Een minnaar is een god
En mislukking is de dood

Voeg bij dit wreedaardig gevoelige wezen de overweldigende noodzaak om te scheppen en te scheppen en te scheppen — zodat zonder het scheppen van muziek of poëzie of boeken of gebouwen, of IETS van betekenis, de levensadem wordt afgesneden van haar/hem. Dit wezen MOET scheppen, MOET creaties afscheiden. Door een soort onbekende, vreemde drang en innerlijke noodzaak is er niet werkelijk leven zonder het scheppen.

Kaszimier Dabrowski, 1972: het Psychoneurotisch Manifest

Gegroet, psychoneuroten!

Want jullie zien gevoeligheid temidden van de ongevoeligheden van de wereld, onzekerheid binnen de wereld van zekerheden,

Want jullie voelen anderen vaak net zo goed als jezelf’

want jullie voelen de angsten van de wereld en haar bodemloze nauwheid en zelfverzekerdheid,

Want jullie fobie om je handen te wassen vanwege het vuil van de wereld, vanwege jullie vrees ingesloten te worden binnen de beperkingen van de wereld, vanwege jullie schrik wegens de absurditeit van het bestaan.

Vanwege jullie subtiliteit in het anderen niet vertellen wat jullie in hen zien.

Vanwege jullie onhandigheid in het omgaan met praktische dingen, en vanwege jullie handigheid in het omgaan met onbekende dingen, jullie alle grenzen overschrijdend realisme en gebrek aan hier-en -nu realisme, vanwege jullie uitzonderlijkheid en de angst om goede vrienden te verliezen, vanwege jullie creativiteit en uitzinnigheid, jullie onaangepastheid aan ‘dat was is’ en jullie gerichtheid op ‘dat wat zou moeten zijn’, vanwege jullie grote maar onbenutte vermogens.

Vanwege de wel erg late waardering van de echte waarde van je grootsheid die toch geen garantie biedt voor de waardering van de grootsheid van hen die na jullie komen.

Vanwege jullie ‘behandeld worden’ in plaats van het anderen te behandelen, vanwege jullie hemelse kracht welke steeds wordt neergedrukt met brute kracht, vanwege dat wat ‘vooruitwetend’, onuitgedrukt en oneindig is in jullie.


Vanwege de eenzaamheid en vreemdheid van jullie wegen.


Weest gegroet!