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Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Mindsby Jan Davidson and Bob Davidson and Laura Vanderkam
Synopses & Reviews
With all the talk of failing schools these days, we forget that schools can fail their brightest students, too. We pledge to "leave no child behind," but in American schools today, thousands of gifted and talented students fall short of their potential. In Genius Denied, Jan and Bob Davidson describe the "quiet crisis" in education: gifted students spending their days in classrooms learning little beyond how to cope with boredom as they "relearn" material they've already mastered years before. This lack of challenge leads to frustration, underachievement, and even failure. Some gifted students become severely depressed. At a time when our country needs a deep intellectual talent pool, the squandering of these bright young minds is a national tragedy.
There are hundreds of thousands of highly gifted children in the U.S. and millions more whose intelligence is above average, yet few receive the education they deserve. Many school districts have no gifted programs or offer only token enrichment classes. Education of the gifted is in this sorry state, say the Davidsons, because of indifference, lack of funding, and the pernicious notion that education should have a "leveling" effect, a one-size-fits-all concept that deliberately ignores the needs of the gifted. But all children are entitled to an appropriate education, insist the authors, those left behind as well as those who want to surge ahead.
The Davidsons show parents and educators how to reach and challenge gifted students. They offer practical advice based on their experience as founders of a nonprofit organization that assists gifted children. They show parents how to become their children's advocates, how to win support for gifted students within the local schools, and when and how to go outside the school system. They discuss everything from acceleration ("skipping" a grade) to homeschooling and finding mentors for children. They tell stories of real parents and students who overcame poor schooling environments to discover the joy of learning.
Genius Denied is an inspiring book that provides a beacon of hope for children at risk of losing their valuable gift of intellectual potential.
"This is an exhortatory book that doesn't resort to finger pointing; it even includes 'what you can do about this' suggestions aimed at everyone from policymakers and principals to parents." Publishers Weekly
"[A]n absorbing look at how our nation is neglecting children of exceptional intelligence....The final chapter offers advice to parents on how they can help their children and advocate on their behalf." Vanessa Bush, Booklist
"[The Davidsons] present [their teaching] methods eloquently and suggest forceful ways to restructure schools to embrace rather than deny genius. Recommended." Library Journal
"Genius Denied is a highly readable and important book about some of the most important issues in the field of gifted education today. Jan and Bob Davidson make the compelling case that schools are not meeting the educational needs of our brightest students, and offer clear recommendations on what we can do about it. This book will have an impact and I absolutely recommend it." Nicholas Colangelo, Ph.D., Director, the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, The University of Iowa
"Every teacher and administrator in America can benefit from reading about how lives of intellectual promise have been squandered by our public schools...and what must be done to transform genius denied into genius fulfilled." Dr. James R. Delisle, Professor, Kent State University, and author of Gifted Kids Survival Book and Guiding the Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Youth
"Genius Denied is a fascinating, well-written, carefully thought-through call for better attention to the educational needs of bright boys and girls." Dr. Julian Stanley, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Founding Director of the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth, Johns Hopkins University
"A thought-provoking book which demonstrates vividly how the concept of 'equity' has been misinterpreted in America's schools to deny an appropriate education to hundreds of thousands of children. A must-read for teachers and parents alike." Dr. Miraca Gross, Professor of Gifted Education, Director of the Gifted Education Research, Resource and Information Center, University of New South Wales, and author of Exceptionally Gifted Children
"This book is not only a valuable and reassuring guide for parents of highly gifted children but also a clarion call for national attention to education's biggest 'dirty little secret.'" Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., Educational Psychologist, author of Endangered Minds and Your Child's Growing Mind
About the Author
Jan and Bob Davidson are the founders of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a nonprofit foundation that provides assistance to gifted children and to schools. They are the founders and former chief executives of Davidson & Associates, the educational software company that published "Math Blaster." They live in Incline Village, Nevada.
Table of Contents
1. Genius Denied
2. The Sorry State of Gifted Education
3. The Lowest Common Denominator
4. Parenting Pushy Kids
5. Patrons, Teachers, and Mentors
6. School Solutions: "I Do Not See Boredom Here"
7. Raising the Ceiling and the Floor
What You Can Do
What Our Readers Are Saying