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Gifted Children


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Table of Contents

* Nine Myths About Giftedness * Globally Gifted: The Children Behind the Myth * Unevenly Gifted, Even Learning Disabled * Artistic and Musical Children * The IQ Myth * The Biology of Giftedness * Giftedness and the Family * So Different from Others: The Emotional Life of the Gifted Child * Schools: How They Fail, How They Could Help * What Happens to Gifted Children When They Grow Up? * Sorting Myth from Reality

About the Author

Ellen Winner is professor of psychology at Boston College and senior research associate at Harvard Project Zero. She is the author of Invented Worlds: The Psychology of the Arts, and The Point of Words: Children's Understanding of Metaphor and Irony.


Stephen, aged 5, fluently reads orchestral scores. Hillary, 12, ranked in the 99th percentile nationally in all subjects (math, language, reading, science, social studies) on standardized aptitude tests. Winner's case studies of exceptional children are as intrinsically interesting as her findings in this eye-opening study. Gifted children, we learn, are often socially isolated and unhappy. Having a high IQ is irrelevant to giftedness in art or music. Only a very few of the gifted become eminent, creative adults-and when parents are over-involved or push to excess, gifted children are especially likely to drop out or lose interest in their domain of talent. A Boston College psychology professor, Winner blames unchallenging, neglectful schools for wasting gifted children's time and potential. She recommends allowing exceptional students to skip grades and be given individualized instruction and advanced programs. Illustrated with remarkably precocious artwork, her survey throws much light on creativity, learning and personal growth in both normals and gifteds. (June)

In this examination of commonly held beliefs about gifted children, Winner (psychology, Boston Coll.) considers a number of questions: Are gifted children gifted in all subject areas? Are artistically gifted children gifted or talented? Does giftedness depend on IQ? What role do environment and biology play in giftedness? Are gifted children psychological and social misfits? In her analyses, Winner cites and explains a broad range of recent research, including extensive notes and references with each chapter. She then offers her recommendations for dealing with gifted children in America's educational systems‘recommendations that are controversial and not necessarily supported by her research. She calls for elevating standards for all while cutting back on expenditures on those she deems only somewhat gifted. The value of this provocative book is in its comprehensiveness. Recommended for both public and academic libraries.‘Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, Md.

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