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ABC Peel Reading List - Parents - last updated 01-2002 (24KB PDF)


ABC Peel Reading List - Kids - last updated 01-2002 (27KB PDF) 


ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC) 

ERIC digests are short reports (1,500 to 2,000 words) that provide a basic overview, plus pertinent references, on topics of interest to the broad educational community. 


Being Smart 

Understanding and Encouraging Giftedness in Children. A Resource Book for High-Ability Children, their Parents and Educators. Presents practical strategies to help parents and educators identify and nurture exceptionally high ability in children Published by Great Potential Press. By Dona Matthews, Ph.D., and Joanne Foster, Ed.D. 


Web links about reading

Setting the Stage for a Love of Reading,  

How to create a “literate environment” that will set the stage for a lifelong enjoyment of reading By Teresa Pitman.  See the reference to Claire Zeller, co-ordinator of Gifted Programs with the Peel Board of Education. 

This site has an online library of many classics in literature sorted by author. The entire text of the books is available chapter by chapter

Great Potential Press, Inc. 

Great Potential Press is an award-winning publishing company devoted to books and videos for parents and teachers of gifted children.


GENIUS DENIED: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Minds

by Jan and Bob Davidson with Laura Vanderkam, ISBN #0-7432-5461-9, Published 2004, Simon and Shuster

About the Author(s): 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. Prior to entering the world of Philanthropy they owned Davidson Software, an educational software company.
Laura Vanderkam is a freelance writer and contributing editor at Reader’s Digest. As well, she is a member of USA Today's Board of contributors. She lives in New
York City.

“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, behaviour 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”.

The Davidson’s founded their non-profit organization in 1999 to help American’s brightest children get the education they need. They often receive e-mail from parents  describing their children. While they often ‘smile’ at these stories, sadly not all the stories that are shared with them make them smile. In fact, most of the stories they are told, tell them how “schools and communities  are neglecting these highly intelligent children”.

These children are kept with their age-mates, and often do not receive work that challenges them. Often they are told they will just have to learn to work at the same
pace as everyone else. Talk about de-motivation !!!

Whether schools and communities choose to squelch or nurture their intelligent young people, and what happens when they choose to deny or embrace these individuals, this book tells their stories.

The Davidson’s have discovered over the years that when it comes to “LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND’, highly  gifted students are the most likely to fall through the
cracks of the classroom. In explaining what they mean by “Genius Denied” the Davidson’s say these students are the most likely to underachieve, and may have the greatest gap between what is asked of them and their

When something makes sense to us and we understand the concept we have what we call “aha moments”. The purpose of this book was to share the stories of these
students and how the schools deny these “aha” moments  to their bright students by failing to challenge them. According to the authors, most educators and schools are not necessarily hostile to the needs of the gifted, rather they are indifferent. Schools may ask themselves why the focus should be on students who seem better able than others to fend for themselves. The myth perpetuates: people believe that these children have it easy. 

All students regardless of level deserve to have their education needs met.

The Davidson’s believe that schools shouldn’t discriminate against gifted children. They subscribe to what many parents and educators also subscribe to which is
that all kids, low-achievers, high achievers, and those in the middle deserve.... to have their education needs met. Through their institute, the Davidson’s have met
many young people. Some have written novels, or composed symphonies, all before they were old enough to vote. These are the young people whom have benefited
from parents, teachers and mentors who supported and encouraged them. Unlike many of their peers, there intelligence was encouraged, nurtured, NOT denied. How
can we as a society benefit from gifted children and their  creativity later in their lives if we allow schools to dull their minds into indifference once they attend school or
have been there for a while.

Shift in Thinking Needed, Time to Change Gears

The solution proposed by the Davidson’s is simple and based on what we already know. Make the following two points a reality:
1) Make sure that gifted children, like all other children, are given material that is challenging enough to allow them to learn.
2) Place children together. Children learn best with their intellectual peers.

The education system needs to change gears. We need a complete Paradigm Shift. A Paradigm is a model or a pattern that forms the basis of a methodology. The traditional paradigm has focused on whether the child passes the standard test and spends the required time in a classroom. The new paradigm needs to focus on whether a child reaches their potential. This will require a major change in the way we currently think, for all of us, Administrators and Policy Makers, Teachers and Parents. 

It won’t be easy. Change rarely is. It is very difficult to think outside of the box we have all been conditioned to fit into. However, it is a cause worth fighting for. This will make school more worthwhile for all students. In the case of the gifted students, society will be the ones to reap the rewards for many years to come. 

Education’s Dirty Secret 

The children the Davidson’s have met over the years come from many different backgrounds and have many different strengths and needs. What do these students have in common you may ask? 

All have:
• Intellectual abilities years beyond their chronological age.

• Minds capable of astonishing things 

• Need for teachers/schools that are capable of challenging them to the extent of their abilities 

So why is it that many of these families have discovered the dirty little secret of gifted education. “Gifted education is largely haphazard, ineffective and under funded; it is more style than substance and rarely provides what gifted kids truly need: work that challenges them to the extent of their abilities in an environment with other kids who love to learn. 

Pull-out Programs  

“Pull-out programs don’t provide what gifted children need which is advanced academic curriculum to match their abilities and the opportunity to explore topics in great depth while surrounded by academic peers. There is almost nowhere where bright children actually receive this kind of education program—a sorry state indeed”. Changing laws and legislation takes years and will likely come too late for the parent seeking the help this could bring. It is easier to seek smaller accommodations for a child rather than larger than life changes in law and policy. 

This double edged sword creates a cycle where nothing changes for gifted students. Allowing many of them spend their time in school staring at the floor. Other parties in the education process don’t have an interest in changing things either. Schools want to keep the students exactly where they are enabling them to keep up the good test scores. This leaves students remaining in a regular classroom where they often have a hard time being comfortable with themselves and who they are. Often, their greatest fear is that no one else will be comfortable with whom they are. Remaining in a classroom and being granted credits. Not because they learned something, but rather for their attendance (spending time) in a classroom. With the current sorry state of education for the gifted, many bright students have to waste the whole year to be deemed sufficiently educated.

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