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What's New in Gifted Education
Announcing the 2011 Davidson Fellows
Oct. 5, 2011, 18 young people were honored at the
Fellows award ceremony for their work in Science,
Literature, Technology, Music and Mathematics. Davidson
Institute for Talent Development co-founders, Bob and Jan
Davidson, presented the awards at the 11th annual ceremony
held at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American
Indian. In recognition of their remarkable achievements,
each of the 2011 Davidson Fellows received a $50,000,
$25,000 or $10,000 scholarship.
View the Washington, D.C. photo gallery.
NAGC Urges States to Enact Policies to Support High-Ability Learners
National Association for
Gifted Children (NAGC) recently released the latest version of their biennial report on state gifted legislation, the
2010-2011 State of the States in Gifted Education. The report
includes individual states' approaches toward identification, funding, acceleration and more. The
State of the States also describes how gifted funding and policy can vary greatly between different school districts, even in the same state. The report concludes that most states lack the critical infrastructure necessary to adequately identify and teach gifted students; teacher preparation and professional development is insufficient; there is little to no public accountability; and inconsistent access to services. Sources:
NAGC Overview (PDF),
NAGC Summary of Findings (PDF),
Giftedness and Gifted Education"
How much do the abilities of individuals matter,
particularly in specific talent domains? How much must
society strive to promote opportunities for gifted and
talented students, and how much responsibility should
students take for their own growth and development? Which
psychosocial variables determine influences in the
successful development of talent? These questions and more
are answered in
this recent Psychological Science in the Public Interest (PSPI) study
by Rena Subotnik, Paula Olszewski-Kubilius and Frank
Worrell. This new report focuses on the question of how to nurture young talent across all fields,
with emphasis on the disparity between athletic talent and academic talent.
2012 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Applications
Applications for the 2012 Davidson Fellows scholarships are available online. Young people 18
and younger have the opportunity to earn a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in the categories of Science, Technology, Mathematics, Music, Literature and Philosophy, or a project that represents Outside the Box thinking. The application deadline is
February 1, 2012.
2012 THINK Summer Institute - Applications
Applications are available for the 2012
THINK Summer Institute, which will run July
14 through Aug. 4. Students can earn six college credits at this three-week residential summer program on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. To qualify, students must be 13 to 16 years old during THINK.
The application deadline is March 1, 2012. Due to limited
space, it is strongly encouraged to submit an
application before the deadline. Homeschooled students are
eligible to apply.
Tuition is $3,000 and covers course credits, books and materials, room and board and the cost of planned activities. Need-based scholarships are available.
The Davidson Academy of Nevada
A free public school, The Davidson Academy of Nevada
encourages and supports the abilities, strengths, and
interests of profoundly gifted middle and high school
who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ or college entrance
tests, such as the SAT or ACT. If you are interested in applying to The Davidson Academy
for the 2012-2013 school year, visit
How to Apply page to download the application files. Please review the
Qualification Criteria page and the
Application Review Process page for more information.
Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
Each month during the school year, The Davidson Academy hosts a tour for prospective students and their parents. At these tours, visitors meet current Academy students, parents, faculty and staff, and ask specific questions about the school. Our upcoming school tours will be held on the following
RSVPs are required for the tours. For additional details and to RSVP, please visit our
- Dec. 16, 2011
- Jan. 27, 2012
- Feb. 24, 2012
- March 30, 2012
- April 27, 2012
Davidson Young Scholars program provides FREE services designed to nurture and support profoundly gifted young people and their families, including talent development and educational advocacy, an online community, annual get-togethers, and the Ambassador Program. Applications are due the first of each month. For more information, see the
How to Apply and
Qualification Criteria pages.
Davidson Discussions delve deeper into information and topics specific to parents of profoundly gifted students who seemingly experience the same issues time and time again. These videos,
posted on the Davidson Institute's
YouTube channel, are a current and fresh way for the
Davidson Institute Family Consultant team to share our
experiences of working with this unique population of
students over the past 12 years. The latest episode
provides strategies and tips intended to help students study
The Davidson Institute's
Educators Guild is a FREE national
service for active elementary, secondary and post-secondary
educators, as well as other professionals who are committed
to meeting the unique academic needs of gifted students.
For the cost of staff traveling expenses, the Educators Guild offers
presentations to schools with faculty interested in learning more about gifted students.
You can also become a member of the online community with access to free consulting services and Educators Guild publications
here. If you would like more information, please email EdGuild@DavidsonGifted.org.
Legislative & Policy News
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee recently approved a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s core K-12 education law. The bill included a few provisions addressing gifted and talented students. An amendment to increase federal support for gifted students was not allowed to be offered, due to fears that it would affect a fragile bipartisan agreement on the bill. However, committee supporters, along with Sen. Grassley (Iowa) are beginning to lay the groundwork to amend the bill when it comes to the floor of the full Senate.
Source: National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)
– Through Valdosta State University’s new Center for Gifted Studies, teachers can add a gifted endorsement to their current Georgia teaching certificate.
Parents and teachers have access to a resource library, and students can talk to experts in the field about their unique social, academic, and emotional needs. Source:
ILLINOIS – Due to space limitations, the gifted program at South Loop Elementary School in Chicago will be cut. Sources:
INDIANA – Center Grove School District students in grades K-3 will be able to take advanced classes next year, thanks to a law updated in 2007 requiring districts to provide alternative, advanced lessons for students who show the potential to learn and work faster than their peers. Source:
NEVADA – Gifted and talented programs have expanded to numerous schools in the Washoe County School District. The school district is equipping every elementary school with onsite gifted programming and instruction, debuting magnet schools that focus on gifted programming at four middle schools and offering a number of new GATE internships. Source:
NORTH CAROLINA – The
Governor’s School, a
residential summer program for academically gifted high school students, has
been kept alive for next summer thanks to more than $500,000 raised by the North Carolina Governor’s School (NCGS) Foundation.
The Foundation is now setting their goals even higher, hoping to raise closer to
$1 million to allow the school to operate both of its campuses next year.
News & Observer,
Greensboro News & Record
OHIO – A
new report (PDF) by the Ohio Association for Gifted Children claims that Ohio gives excellent grades to school districts that don’t deserve it, and that the state's expectations for its schools are too low. The study also found that many of the top-rated districts serve fewer than 20 percent of their identified gifted students; some reported no gifted services at all. Sources:
Reynoldsburg City Schools has expanded its programs for gifted students to seventh and eighth grades. Previously, gifted programming was offered exclusively to students in fifth and sixth grades. One reason for the expansion is to better prepare students heading into high school who will potentially take enriched and Advanced Placement courses. Source:
– The Brookhaven Academy in Allen recently launched a gifted and talented trilingual (Chinese, English and Spanish) pre-kindergarten program. Source:
– With the hope of placing more students from underrepresented populations into the gifted program, Chesterfield County Public Schools is expanding its criteria for identifying students. The change will allow K-12 students to be eligible for gifted education even if they score high in only one of three standardized tests used as criteria. Previously, a student’s composite score on the three tests was used to determine eligibility. Source:
– A new faculty position, focused solely on preparing teachers for talented and gifted education, has been created at Whitworth University. This faculty endowment of $3 million creates a new chair position to be named for Margo Long, a retired associate professor who founded and directed the Center for Gifted Education and Professional Development. Source:
How gifted-friendly is your state? Find out
Davidson Gifted Database State Policy Map.
If you know of new legislation, please contact the
On the Web
Gifted Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted.
One of her recent posts is, "Life With Gifted Children (New Series Idea)." Join the discussion
Articles and Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database at www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB is a gateway to resources for
and about gifted students.
See what's new!
As keynote presenter at the recent New England Conference on Gifted and Talented Education, Colleen Harsin, Director of The Davidson Academy, spoke about cost-effective options for gifted education, educational advocacy examples and tips,
in the presentation,
Amplifying the Voices of the Gifted through Advocacy.
this article, Jim Delisle provides information on the peer relations of gifted students, the differences between an "agemate" and a "peer," and resources on forming social relationships.
In the article
Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, and Intelligence, Hanna David discusses the education of gifted students who have attention deficit disorders.
Read a book review of The Gifted Teen Survival Guide: Smart, Sharp, and Ready for (Almost) Anything (Revised & Updated 4th Edition). This
one-of-a-kind book is full of sage advice to help gifted
teens understand themselves, relate well with others, and
reach their potential in life.
Suggest a Resource
Suggest an Article
In the News
November 19, 2011 -
New York Times,
Sorry, Strivers: Talent Matters
(David Hambrick & Elizabeth Meinz)
November 16, 2011 -
R & D Magazine,
Gifted 14-year-old conducts research at Cornell
November 8, 2011 -
Parenting Gifted: Free Materials, Alternate Course Design
What Gifted Students Need From You
(Anthony S. Colucci)
November 8, 2011 -
Washington-area schools confront the ‘gifted gap’
November 7, 2011 -
Five myths about ‘gifted and talented’ students
October 31, 2011 -
Gifted education is a worthwhile investment
October 28, 2011 -
Local student to be awarded $25,000 as 2011 Davidson Fellow
October 23, 2011 -
When he was
8 years old . . .
October 20, 2011 -
IQ scores fluctuate dramatically in kids, study says
October 18, 2011 -
Questions Raised About 'High-Flyers' Study
October 17, 2011 -
When high achievers shortchanged, we all suffer
October 12, 2011 -
American River Current,
A Big Deal in a Little Package
October 12, 2011 -
Why gifted education misses out
October 10, 2011 -
What is Gifted
& Talented Education anyway?; IQ & the Bell-Curve
October 10, 2011 -
How to Support Gifted Students in Your Classroom
October 6, 2011 - OpEdNews,
Educating all special learners including the most gifted
(Susan Lee Schwartz)
Discuss these stories and
more on the
Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.
Ethan Cruikshank - A Davidson Young Scholar Making a Difference
What are some past and present projects you have worked on to help make a positive difference in the lives of
When I was 5 years old I joined the YMCA Indian Guides. I did many small projects within my group. As I got older,
I was the lead on several projects.
In the spring of 2009, I was taking Strings class in 5th
grade at my local elementary school when my teacher
announced that because of budget cuts my school district had
removed the musical instrument program from the curriculum. Both my brother and I had benefited from
the program; we took viola and both play guitar outside of
school. I know how important it is to have an opportunity to
be introduced to a musical instrument. Music is an important
part of my life and my friends' lives. With the help of these same friends I knew I could do something to continue the program. In October of 2009, I founded
Music To My Ears, a community service program that offers free musical instrument lessons to elementary school students taught by experienced middle and high school musicians. We teach guitar, piano, and violin. Our lessons help provide an introduction to a musical instrument so students can decide if they want to continue lessons in middle school or privately. It has been very successful and so far 34 children have benefitted. We started
our third session in September 2011 and have 15 children
signed up for lessons. Every year I try to add more teachers
and students to my program along with additional
What are some of your long term
Recently, I’ve met so many families who expressed that their
community schools have also lost resource programs and
experienced reduced music class funding as a result of the
economic downturn. So I want to call on all
musicians who have ever considered how they could get
involved with giving back to their community to join me in
volunteering by sharing your musical talent. Please visit my
website at MusicToMyEarsHanover.org and click on the
“Starting Your Own” page to see how we can make a difference
together. I want to spread this initiative to many
I am also working on a book about my experience
founding Music To My Ears. My hope is that other children
will read about how important it is to get involved with
their communities and what a difference you can make in
someone’s life. We teach children about so many things, we
need to teach and show them what community outreach can
How has the Young Scholars program helped you to reach your goals and accomplishments?
The Young Scholars program provides me with many
opportunities. It allows me to network with kids like
myself, provides educational seminars, offers resources to
support my family in my educational planning, and has made
available a wide range of specialized programs in which I
can participate, such as the Ambassador Program.
Ambassador Program has given me a year and a half of
valuable seminars and resources that have greatly helped
progress my project and improve my communication, leadership
and organizational skills. It is an invaluable program that
gave me the support I needed, from the Ambassador Program
Coordinator and Advisor to highly skilled professionals that
mentored us in training. I highly recommend it to anyone who
wants to start their own community service project.
To read more about Ethan and Music to My Ears,
this article in the Davidson Gifted Database.
"The nation's infrastructure to serve our high-ability and high-potential students is in disrepair and in urgent need of attention. Unless the U.S. redoubles its effort to identify and serve our high-potential and
high-ability students, we will fail to ensure our future
competitiveness, security and prosperity."
~ Paula Olszweski-Kubilius, President of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)
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