Being Smart book cover

Great Potential Press
Paperback | 448 Pages
ISBN: 978-0910707954
CAD $26.95

BEING SMART ABOUT GIFTED EDUCATION

Being Smart about Gifted Education, now in its 2nd edition, is written for teachers and parents who want to understand what intelligence, giftedness, and talent are, how high level ability develops, and what they can do to support and encourage it. It connects current research in the cognitive and neurosciences and developmental psychology with practices in education, illustrating the important roles that appropriate support, challenge, practice, and persistence play in high academic achievement.

Foreward

Foreword to Being Smart about Gifted Education by Rena Subotnik, PhD

Psychology has lots to offer gifted child studies and gifted education, and always has. Most of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the field were trained in the discipline, as were many of their rebellious “sons” and “daughters.” This wonderful volume continues that tradition by promoting evidence-based practices that have been carefully culled and vetted through psychological science, education and evaluation research, as well as by the deep expertise of the authors.

Dona Matthews and Joanne Foster’s conceptualization of “Mastery” versus “Mystery” approaches for gifted education and gifted child studies unveils the source of conflicting outcomes we see in the gifted education literature. They make it clear that unless the preparation provided to teachers and the consultations we provide to parents are grounded in some form of definitional consensus, our field will undermine its ability to play a greater role at the table of school reform and policy development.

The authors explicate the arena of gifted education in a number of constructive ways. They do not accept hearsay or ideology as an excuse for promoting practices in identification, curriculum, evaluation, or counseling services. They provide solid advice to parents, educators and decision makers in language that is accessible to all interested readers. Every reader, from those with little exposure to the field save experiences with their own children and their children’s teachers, to those who have been immersed for decades in serving the needs of gifted children, will find this book a welcome reference.

Rena F. Subotnik, PhD
Director, Center for Gifted Education Policy American Psychological Association

Book Reviews

Reviews for BEING SMART:

“Being Smart has become even smarter in its second edition. This is an essential book for anyone interested in gifted education”

James Borland, Ph.D.Professor at Columbia University; Author and Researcher

“Talent is transformed into high performance through a willingness to try, invest time in guided practice, and persist when tasks are difficult. These authors describe ways to do just that.”

Frank Worrell, Ph.D.Professor at the University of California, Berkeley

“This helpful book points out the nuances to teaching and parenting gifted children, and the fine line between achievement and underachievement. Rich with examples, it highlights the importance of an optimal match between challenging and engaging school and home experiences, and opportunities to develop gifts and talents! A practical, thoughtful contribution by twoleading experts!”

Sally ReisUniversity of Connecticut

“This is a highly readable and accessible volume about the development of children with gifts and talents. It is practical and theoretical; it is informed by the most recent research; and it is filled with useful information and insights. It is a book that will be valued by all teachers, parents, and counselors who care about fostering the development of gifts and talents in children and adolescents.”

Frances Degen HorowitzThe City University of New York Graduate Center

“These authors present exciting new work on mindsets, as well as recent research findings on expertise and cognitive neuroscience, that show the importance of habits of mind in cognitive development. This book will prompt people in the gifted child field to reexamine many long-held beliefs!”

Carol Dweck, Ph.D.Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

FOREWORD
PREFACE

SECTION I. BEING SMART ABOUT GIFTEDNESS

CHAPTER 1. PERSPECTIVES AND PARADIGM SHIFTS

  • What Is Giftedness?
  • Two Perspectives: Mystery and Mastery
  • Shifting Paradigms
  • Origins: Nature or Nurture?
  • Domains of Competence
  • Is Learning Easy?
  • Other Terms
  • Historical Perspective
  • Guidelines and a Definition

CHAPTER 2. CREATIVITY AND GIFTEDNESS

  • What Is Creativity?
  • Can We Measure Creativity?
  • Nurturing Creativity
  • Creative Parenting and Teaching

SECTION II. BEING SMART ABOUT DIAGNOSING MISMATCHES

CHAPTER 3. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT TESTING

  • Who Needs Testing?
  • What Are the Key Concepts?
  • What Purpose Does Testing Serve?
  • When to Test?
  • Where to Test?
  • Why Test?

CHAPTER 4. ASSESSMENTS AND TESTS

  • It Starts with the Teacher: Classroom Assessment
  • Standardized  Tests
    • Academic Achievement
    • High-Ceiling and Above-Level Testing
    • Intelligence Testing: What It Is and Is Not
    • Creativity Testing
    • Career Interest Inventories
  • Nonstandardized Measures and Other Information Sources
  • A Synopsis

CHAPTER 5.  MISMATCH DIAGNOSTICS: MOVING AWAY FROM CATEGORICAL IDENTIFICATION AND LABELING

  • The Way It Ought to Be: Diagnosing Mismatches
  • The Way It Too Often Is: Mystery Model Identification
    • The Typical Identification Process
    • Other Questionable Approaches
  • Labeling
    • The Label: A Mixed Blessing
    • Parents and Children Need to Know What’s Happening and Why
  • Moving Toward Mismatch Diagnostics
  • Early Identification
  • Parents’ Roles

SECTION III. BEING SMART ABOUT MEETING GIFTED LEARNING NEEDS

CHAPTER 6. ADAPTATIONS: THE GIFTED LEARNER IN THE REGULAR CLASSROOM

  • A Flexible Range of Educational Options
    • Differentiation
    • The Inclusive Classroom
  • Options in the Regular Classroom
    • Foundations of Best Practice
    • Diversifying the Options
      • Curriculum Compacting
      • Project-Based Learning
      • Guided Independent Study
      • Cross-Grade Resources
      • Single-Subject Enrichment
      • Single-Subject Acceleration
      • Career Exploration Built into the Curriculum
      • Peer Coaching
      • Cyber-Learning
    • Systems of Differentiation

CHAPTER 7. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS: STRETCHING THE BOUNDARIES

  • Whole-Grade Acceleration
  • Gifted Classes
    • Full-Time Gifted Classes
    • Part-Time Gifted Classes
  • Second Language Immersion and Dual Track Programs
  • Specialty Subjects
  • Specialized and Alternative Schools
  • Private and Independent Schools
  • Homeschooling
  • Casting the Net Farther Afield
  • Extracurricular Enrichment
  • Mentorships
  • Career Exploration
  • Books
  • Travel
  • Do-Nothing Times
  • And So…

SECTION IV. BEING SMART ABOUT GIFTED DEVELOPMENT

CHAPTER 8. MOTIVATION AND ACHIEVEMENT ISSUES

  • Motivation: The Heart of Learning
    • Encouraging Students’ Expectations of Success
    • Facilitating Students’ Understanding of the Value of Learning
    • Enhancing Respect and Self-Esteem
  • Motivators: Practical Strategies
  • Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation
  • Achievement Issues
    • Cultural Differences
    • Underachievers
    • Academic Mismatch
    • Learned Helplessness
    • Frustration and Boredom
    • Study Skills and Work Habits
    • Academic Overload and Gifted Programming
  • Practical Ideas
    • Ideas for Maximizing Motivation

CHAPTER 9. HOW DOES GIFTEDNESS DEVELOP?

  • Nature or Nurture? Back to Origins
  • Developmental Pathways
  • Gifted Development in Early Childhood
  • The Importance of Play
  • Early Adolescence (Sigh)
  • Differences Between Boys and Girls
  • Parenting Adolescents
  • Being Smart and Being Funny
  • What’s Love Got to Do with It? The Role of Passion in Gifted Development
  • Effort, Persistence, Perseverance, and Practice
  • Cultural Differences
  • Prodigies and Extreme Giftedness
  • Twice Exceptional: Learning Problems and Gifted Development
  • Career Counseling and Gifted Development
    • Multipotentiality
    • Certainty, Uncertainty, and Time Out
    • Recommendations

CHAPTER 10. EMOTIONAL, SOCIAL, AND BEHAVIORAL CONCERNS

  • Gifted Labeling
  • School Change: Social Concerns
  • Social Skills
  • Self-Concept
  • Perspective and Attitude
    • Fear of Failure
    • Fear of Success
    • Perfectionism
    • Arrogance
  • Excessive Computer Time
  • Suicide
  • Other Behavioral Concerns
    • Bullying, Anger, and Conflict Resolution
      • Strategies
  • Solutions: Emotional Intelligence
  • Well-Being, Benevolence, Wisdom, and Leadership
  • Ways to Love a Child

SECTION V. BEING SMART ABOUT FAMILIES, ADVOCATES, AND EDUCATORS

CHAPTER 11. PARENTING MATTERS

  • Making Decisions about Programming, Placement, and Change
    • Change-Related Considerations
    • Helping Children Adapt to Change
    • Choosing a School
    • Ten Things that Make an Exceptional School
    • Making the Decision
  • Making the Choice Work
  • Advocacy: Helping Schools Meet Children’s Needs
    • The Advocacy Process
    • Advocating for Your Child
    • Advocating for All Children
  • Supportive Parenting
    • Top Ten Strategies
    • Finding Reliable Information
  • Sibling Relationships
    • One Gifted, Another Not
    • Environmental Response Differences
    • Differences of Opinion
    • Talking to Children
  • Seeking Professional Help
    • Who to Consult?
    • When to Consult?
    • Being Pre-emptive

CHAPTER 12. TEACHER DEVELOPMENT

  • Teacher Development
    • What Do Teachers Need?
  • Administrative Support
  • Formats
    • Preservice Teacher Education
    • Inservice/Professional Development
  • What Can Parents Expect?
  • The Dynamic Scaffolding Model (DSM) of Teacher Development
    • How the Model Evolved
    • The Consultant in Action
  • Engagement in Teaching and Learning
    • New Teachers
    • Guiding Principles
    • Gifted Education at the Preservice Level

CHAPTER 13. OPTIMAL LEARNING FOR ALL CHILDREN

  • Sharing Resources in a Changing World
  • University-Based Gifted Education Resource Centers
    • Objectives of a Gifted Center
    • Components of a Gifted Center
  • Questions and Answers
  • The Importance of Staying Up to Date
  • Being Smart about Tomorrow

APPENDIX I: THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF ASSESSMENTS

  • Interpreting Test Scores
    • Translating Standard Scores into Percentiles
    • Score Conversion
    • Composite Scores
    • Interpreting Lower-than-Expected Scores
    • Understanding Scoring Patterns
      • Global Giftedness
      • Domain-Specific Giftedness
      • Multiple Exceptionalities
      • Anomalous Scoring Patterns
  • A Case Study with Excerpts from a Psychoeducational Report

APPENDIX II: EDUCATIONAL DECISION-MAKING

POEM – THEY TELL ME I’M GIFTED…
ENDNOTES
REFERENCES
INDEX
ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Excerpts

Being Smart about Gifted Education, 2nd Ed.
A Few Excerpts from the Book

Although many challenges face us today, in our lives, in our communities, and globally, there are also many indicators that it is a time of unprecedented opportunity for making a difference. In this book, we provide evidence-based suggestions for supporting the development of those who are exceptionally capable in one or more domains, and for fostering optimal development in all children. We emphasize that giftedness is domain-specific, and highly diverse, and that it is not easily measured or always recognized. We are excited about the paradigm shift in the field of gifted education, and we are seeing how the mastery perspective is gaining momentum and providing an impetus to meet the learning needs of more and more children.

We are also happy to see the research in the field moving forward in many productive directions including different ways of connecting conceptual understandings and practice-centered initiatives. Tapping into technological advances to enhance gifted education, discovering the effects of brain development on teaching and learning (and vice versa), investigating creative productivity, challenging curricular models, and developing collaborative partnerships are just a few of the research thrusts for today and tomorrow.
(Chapter 12)

The school choice experience should work to include everyone’s best interests and aspirations. It’s vital that parents and children talk about the possibilities and listen to one another. They are wise to openly share their feelings, perspectives, and concerns, and to consider the implications of any choice, including the motivational, emotional, social, behavioral, and developmental factors. (Chapter 9)

Finding the best fit program requires ongoing flexibility from parents and teachers, most likely involving a combination of options…, and/or changing programs from time to time as circumstances change. In the process, it should be remembered that children who possess high-level skills in one or more domains are very often asynchronous in their development; that is, although they might be intellectually gifted, they function closer to or within the normal range in some areas (e.g., cognitive, physiological, and psychological developmental constraints). Academic advancement is not always the most important factor in choosing the right program for a gifted learner. (Chapter 9)