A proposal for gifted education in reluctant schools

The case of the Greek school system

Authored by: Elias G. Matsagouras , Evangelia Dougali

The Routledge International Companion to Gifted Education

Print publication date:  September  2008
Online publication date:  February  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415461368
eBook ISBN: 9780203609385
Adobe ISBN: 9781136028786


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In Europe, the idea of fostering intellectual excellence can be traced back to the ancient Greeks. Plato’s Republic grouped society into classes based on intelligence. Only those who performed well in advanced studies could undergo further training to become philosopher-kings. As far as choosing the rulers of the future, Plato asserted that a higher education – namely, the studies of geometry, astronomy and other disciplines of the highest order – be assigned to the surest and the bravest and those with natural gifts which would surely facilitate their education (Tannenbaum 2000). Plato was convinced that the survival of Greek democracy was dependent on the education of those excellent citizens who were going to work in leading positions.

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