As we begin a new year, we do so with increased optimism that
someday ALL children in our nation’s schools will be given the opportunity to learn to the extent of their abilities and
motivation — bright children included. Last year when we traveled
country talking about Genius Denied, we met
many committed educators and parents who are working toward such a
vision. We applaud your efforts, and we are eager to continue to work with you
in supporting our nation’s brightest youth.
All our best,
and Bob Davidson
the following three questions from a 5-year-old boy in first
If I do not get all my answers correct in math, language or
spelling does it mean that I am not very smart all the time?
No. How smart
you are has much more to do with your ability to learn than what
you know. Remember, you are going to school to learn not to
show the teacher how much you know.
When my teacher asks a question she always says I should not
You should ask
your teacher why she says you should not answer. (Find a time
when she is not in the middle of a lesson, maybe before or after
school.) It might lead to a good discussion about your placement
in school. If, for example, you know much more than the other
students in the class, maybe you should be placed in a class
with more challenging material than what is provided in your
Is there a school for people who can answer questions all the
time if they think they know the answer to the questions?
If there were such a school, would it be
as much fun
as a school where you didn't already know most answers
and could learn new things every day?
additional information about gifted learners that you may want
to share with your teacher and
Are there any studies on what the
long-term effects are of allowing a highly gifted child to dumb
down in school settings? What if you are stimulating this child
outside of school? -C.P.
A. We have not come
across any such studies, so we sent your question to Dr. Julian
Stanley; we knew he would be able to tell us if such
research existed. Here is his response:
“That is a difficult
question to study objectively. We know, of course, that bright
children tend to be under-stimulated in regular school settings,
public or private. That is why I started my supplemental out-of-school work in 1971. The success of such efforts is well set
fourth in the professional literature. I refer you especially to
our books, in particular the Camilla P. Benbow and Julian C.
Stanley ACADEMIC PRECOCITY: ASPECTS OF ITS DEVELOPMENT, Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1983. It contains many studies of the
effects of outside-school educational facilitation.”
additional information on underachievement and talent
development, see the links on the side bar
Q. I know my
child is very bright, but I’m not sure I want to know his IQ.
What does a number really tell me? What is the advantage of
an intelligence test? And finally, is there a
way to have a child tested that doesn't break the bank? -L.F.
An intelligence test is a
useful informational tool to help you and your child’s teachers
address his/her educational needs. It is particularly valuable
if your child is not doing well in school, is bored, or is
unhappy. An intelligence assessment by a knowledgeable,
experienced assessor provides much more than a number, it
provides information on individual strengths and weaknesses,
learning styles, and much more information
that will help the school match the
educational program to the student's abilities.
Regarding the cost, unfortunately IQ testing is
expensive. A comprehensive assessment that provides quality
information must be administered by a qualified and licensed
professional. The most cost-effective approach is to have
child's school, however, what the school offers in the way of
intelligence testing varies widely from district to district.
For more information on IQ testing
see the links in the
* * *
Please send any questions to be answered in future newsletters to: JanandBob@davidsongifted.org.
NOTE: Due to space constraints, questions answered in this newsletter may
be edited and similar questions combined.
If you or your organization would be interested in a book signing or
a "Meet the Author" session with the authors of Genius Denied,
please email your request to
email@example.com or visit
- On Tour.
CBS TV "Sunday
Features Gifted Students
Fellows and our work at the Davidson Institute will be
CBS Sunday Morning
with Charles Osgood
on February 6th
<Tentative Air Date>
In most areas, the show airs at 7:00 am
or 8:00am; check your
local CBS station schedule for the exact time in your area.
Please take the time to email CBS your feedback – positive or
negative – about the segment:
If they hear from many interested viewers, they'll be more
likely to give gifted education coverage in the future.