A question of potential

By Audrey SomnardLex KlerenMisch Pautsch Switch to French for original article

Is a child who is turbulent in class and always bored a sign that he or she might be different, or even more intelligent than average? Standardised tests exist to reassure worried parents and to give an explanation to families who are a little lost. Here are some explanations.

If a few years ago we used to speak colloquially of "gifted" children, today the preferred term is "high potential". Children who have an IQ of at least 130, but who do not necessarily make sparks fly on the school benches. While some very competitive parents dream of pushing their child to excellence, others are terrified of having to deal with a child who is different from the others, and who, for many of them, have difficulty integrating into the classroom. Is Luxembourg different from other countries in this respect?

Several psychologists have observed an 'important' number of cases of high potential children in Luxembourg, without really explaining it: "In Luxembourg there are many families from high social backgrounds and because these children are often stimulated, I notice that we find a few more than elsewhere, but that's just my observation", says Catherine Verdier, a specialised psychologist. It is often the school that puts the parents on notice: the child is different, the teacher does not know how to deal with them. That is when the test is suggested.

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A question of potential


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