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In this fascinating book, Ellen Winner uncovers and explores nine myths about giftedness, and shows us what gifted children are really like.Using vivid case studies, Winner paints a complex picture of the gifted child. Here we meet David, a three-year-old who learned to read in two weeks; KyLee, a five-year-old who mastered on his own all of the math concepts expected by the end of elementary school; and Nadia, an autistic and retarded “savant” who nevertheless could draw like a Renaissance master.Winner uses her...
In this fascinating book, Ellen Winner uncovers and explores nine myths about giftedness, and shows us what gifted children are really like.Using vivid case studies, Winner paints a complex picture of the gifted child. Here we meet David, a three-year-old who learned to read in two weeks; KyLee, a five-year-old who mastered on his own all of the math concepts expected by the end of elementary school; and Nadia, an autistic and retarded “savant” who nevertheless could draw like a Renaissance master.Winner uses her research with these and several other extraordinary children, as well as the latest biological and psychological evidence, to debunk the many myths about academic, musical, and artistic giftedness.Gifted Children also looks at the role played by schools in fostering exceptional abilities. Winner castigates schools for wasting resources on weak educational programs for the moderately gifted. Instead, she advocates elevating standards for all children, and focusing our resources for gifted education on those with extreme abilities—children who are left untouched by the kinds of minimal programs we have today.
Winner (Psychology/Boston Coll.) notes that precocious youth differ from their peers in being "independent, self-directed, willful, dominant non-conformists," possessed of a raging desire to master new skills and an ability to improvise approaches to learning and problem-solving. Winner goes on to explode some myths about the gifted, including the belief that giftedness necessarily correlates with a high IQ, particularly among artists; some extremely talented young painters and sculptors have only average IQs, while others even suffer from learning disorders such as dyslexia. Gifted children also tend to have parents who provide intellectual stimulation and emotional support. Winner also points out the alarming fact that, while girls "make up about half the population in . . . programs for the gifted in kindergarten through third grade," by junior high school "they make up less than 30 percent." But it isn't only girls that society discourages: Our educational system lets down gifted children of both sexes, she asserts, by keeping them in classes with less advanced peers out of misguided egalitarianism, or by grouping them together in superficial programs that meet just a few hours a week. Winner's best section offers a convincing analysis of why some gifted children become highly creative adults—and why many do not. Gifted children must learn how to broaden, apply, and otherwise develop a talent that has come as a gift, transforming "sheer technical skill into something more conceptual, interpretative, and original."
Written in serviceable if unspectacular prose, her book should help parents and teachers to aid the gifted as they make the often difficult transition from being brilliant children to becoming genuinely creative and fulfilled adults.
|1||Nine Myths About Giftedness||1|
|2||Globally Gifted: The Children Behind the Myth||14|
|3||Unevenly Gifted, Even Learning Disabled||35|
|4||Artistic and Musical Children||55|
|5||The IQ Myth||104|
|6||The Biology of Giftedness||143|
|7||Giftedness and the Family||181|
|8||So Different from Others: The Emotional Life of the Gifted Child||207|
|9||Schools: How They Fail, How They Could Help||234|
|10||What Happens to Gifted Children When They Grow Up?||278|
|11||Sorting Myth from Reality||306|
Posted June 25, 2001
Ellen Winner does an excellent job of separating myths from realities concerning gifted learners. She backs up her findings with dozens of case studies and clearly documented research. A great source!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.