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GRE Issue 37: Society Should Identify Those Children Who Have Special Talents - With A Free Essay Review
Society should identify those children who have special talents and provide training for them at an early age to develop their talents.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
The statement claims that society should identify those children who have special talents and provide training for them at an early age to develop their talents. Although this recommendation is well intentioned and throughout history, some talents, such as Mozart, have justified this recommendation, in some cases, identifying those gifted children and providing special training for them, from my perspective, are not always effective ways to develop their talents.
It goes without saying that some children show great talents in some aspects at their very early age. Receiving specific training, these children could accumulate rich knowledge of certain fields and exploit their talents fully and properly. Mozart is an excellent example of this point. Mozart demonstrated his gift at the age of five, being able to compose and play piano fluently. After Mozart’s father discovered his talent, his father afforded him strict and comprehensive training, not only imparting knowledge of music to him, but also bringing him to meet with some prestigious musicians, such as Bach. Besides, his family also made several European journeys in which he performed as a child prodigy, which enabled Mozart to hone and show his ability before an audience. All these factors made Mozart finally become one of the most eminent musicians. Had Mozart received little training, he would have no opportunities to utilize his talent to absorb and learn knowledge in a systematic way. Therefore, like Mozart, some children, though talented, might not find proper ways to study and gain knowledge without training provided by adults. So, in some cases, society should identify those children with special talents and provide them with training at an early age.
By contrast, under different circumstances, this action may have a negative influence on children’s all-round development, especially mental growth. Admittedly, some children show great talents in some fields, but most of them are immature in mentality and lack abilities of thinking independently. Being identified or overexposed by society is detrimental to children, putting stress on them. Take China for example. Due to the fact that Chinese society puts a high value on academic performance, society is eager to identify those children who have special talents in academic performance. Parents are willing to hire private tutors to train their prodigies. However, with large amounts of study, these children have little time to play like other peers and have no chance to enjoy the nature. Because of an overload of study and attention from society, these talents can hardly have freedom as well as pleasure. Sometimes, they even have a negative attitude towards life and commit suicide. Thus, in some cases, the recommendation may turn out to be wrong.
In conclusion, the answers to whether society should identify those children who have special talents and provide training for them may be diverse under different circumstances. On the one hand, if gifted children like receiving these kinds of trainings and parents also pay attention to all-round development of children, maybe providing training leads to positive consequences. On the other hand, if societies focus too much on these children, putting too great a burden on them, these talents might become distressed.
This essay represents a pretty good response to the prompt. I still think you have a tendency to rely too much on your examples to carry the burden of demonstrating the truth of your argument. The Mozart example is compelling enough, but a condensed version of the example would be as effective and would free up some time to address the original recommendation in a more complex or detailed manner.
There are quite a number of relevant issues here that you don't get to address. For instance, the recommendation concerns what society ought to do. You don't address the question of why society ought to be in the business of identifying and developing talents. You don't discuss what society might have to gain (or lose) from such action or why it might or might not be important to develop such talents. You don't discuss the role of the parents and what say they should have in deciding whether a child should be given a specific form of training.
I've suggested that the example might get in the way of the elaboration of other issues. But don't take that advice as necessarily the best advice for you to follow on every occasion. It may be that on occasion an elaboration of the example itself would lead to a fruitful discussion of many different issues. In the case of your Mozart example, for instance, you claim that it shows that "society should identify those children with special talents and provide them with training." Your reason in support of this claim is that Mozart would otherwise have had "no opportunities to utilize his talent etc." Why is that a good reason? Why would it matter if Mozart had been a lawyer or a brick layer instead of a composer? What is advantageous (to use the word from the prompt) about developing the talents of the Mozarts of this world and to whom is it advantageous?