In April 2004, Simon & Schuster published Genius Denied, co-authored by Jan and Bob Davidson with Laura Vanderkam
In April 2004, Simon & Schuster published Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds, co-authored by Jan & Bob Davidson with Laura VanderkamGreetings!
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 the 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,
Jan and Bob Davidson

We received the following three questions from a 5-year-old boy in first grade:

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?
A. 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.
Q. When my teacher asks a question she always says I should not answer. Why?
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 current class.
Is there a school for people who can answer questions all the time if they think they know the answer to the questions?
A. 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?

Here's some additional information about gifted learners that you may want to share with your teacher and principal

Q. 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.”

For 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.
A. 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 testing done by your 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 sidebar.

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Please send any questions to be answered in future newsletters to: 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 or visit Genius Denied - On Tour.

CBS TV "Sunday Morning"
Features Gifted Students

The Davidson Fellows and our work at the Davidson Institute will be featured on

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.

Information about Gifted Learners

Basic educational options for gifted students in schools by J. VanTassel-Baska 
Grouping the gifted and talented: Questions and answers by K. Rogers
Types of acceleration by T. Southern and E. Jones
Iowa acceleration scale: A guide for whole-grade acceleration K-8 S. Assouline, N. Colangelo, A. Lupowski-Shoplik, J. Lipscomb, and L. Forstadt
Research highlights from the Templeton Acceleration Report: A nation deceived by N. Colangelo, S. Assouline, and M. Gross

Articles on Underachievement and Talent Development

Academic underachievement among the gifted: Students' perceptions of factors that reverse the pattern by L. Emrick

Gifted achievers and underachievers: A comparison of patterns found in school files by J. S. Peterson and N. Colangelo

Home influences on talent development by K. Sloane.

Information on IQ Testing

A place to start: Is my child gifted? by Davidson Institute for Talent Development

Assessing gifted children by J. Osborn


"We can't take any credit for our talents. It's how we use them that counts."  

  ~Madeleine L'Engle

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Supporting our nation's brightest young minds

9665 Gateway Drive, Suite B, Reno, Nevada 89521
Phone: 775-852-3483 Fax: 775-852-2184
Email:     Web:


NOTE: The appearance of selected programs and/or resources in the Davidson Institute's E-News broadcast does not imply
an endorsement or affiliation. Programs and resources are highlighted for informational purposes only. 

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