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 winsupport 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
"I absolutely recommend this book." Nicholas Colangelo, Ph.D., Director, The Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, The University of Iowa
"Through their work with gifted students, the Davidsons have discovered teaching methods that nurture the intellect. They present these methods eloquently." Library Journal
"A handbook for parents who want to be general contractors of their gifted child's education, whether in the system or out." The New York Times
"An absorbing look at how our nation is neglecting children of exceptional intelligence." Booklist
Like the national bestseller A Mind at a Time, Genius Denied proves that the "one size fits all" educational philosophy fails children in this case, gifted students who are shortchanged by undemanding schools.
With all the talk of failing schools these days, we often forget that schools can fail their brightest students too. Gifted children forced into a "one size fits all" approach to schooling find themselves bored or frustrated, which can lead to underachievement, behavioral problems, or depression. Without sufficient challenges and resources, say Jan and Bob Davidson, America's brightest young minds languish, never reaching their full potential. Society can't afford that loss.
In Genius Denied, the Davidsons -- founders of a nonprofit institute that provides assistance to gifted children -- offer hope and practical advice to parents and students alike. Through their own experiences and those of the families they've worked with, the Davidsons show parents how to find an appropriate education for their children, when to go outside the school system, and how to create a support network with school authorities and other parents. Genius Denied shows that with commitment and creativity, gifted students can get the education they deserve, one that nurtures their talents and minds.
About the Author
Jan and Bob Davidson
are the founders of the Davidson Institute for
Talent Development, which provides financial and other assistance to gifted children. They live in Incline Village, Nevada.Jan and Bob Davidson are the founders of the Davidson Institute for
Talent Development, which provides financial and other assistance to gifted children. They live in Incline Village, Nevada.Laura Vanderkam is a contributing editor at Reader's Digest and is the coauthor of Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds. She lives with her husband in New York City.
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