The Routledge International Companion to Gifted Education

The Routledge International Companion to Gifted Education

The Routledge International Companion to Gifted Education

The Routledge International Companion to Gifted Education

Synopsis

The Routledge International Companion to Gifted Educationis a ground-breaking collection of fully-referenced chapters written by many of the most highly-respected authorities on the subject from around the world. These fifty contributors include distinguished scholars who have produced many of the most significant advances to the field over the past few decades, like Joseph Renzulli and Robert Sternberg, alongside authorities who ask questions about the very concepts and terminology embodied in the field - scholars such as Carol Dweck and Guy Claxton.

This multi-faceted volume:

  • highlights strategies to support giftedness in children, providing ideas that work and weeding out those that don't;
  • is written in jargon-free language in an easy-to use themed format;
  • is the most authoritative collection of future-focused views, ideas and reflections, practices and evaluations yet produced;
  • includes chapters dealing with the major controversies and concerns in the field today, from the problems of identification to changing understandings of giftedness and creativity.

The international aspect of the Companion, and its juxtaposition of points of view - whereby chapters are deliberately positioned and accompanied by editorial commentary to highlight the contrasts with each other - ensures that different views are addressed, allowing the reader to absorb and reflect upon the many perspectives on each issue.

The Companionis a guide to the new ideas and controversies that are informing gifted education discussion and policy-making around the world. It is a first class resource to students and researchers alike.

Excerpt

Initially, upon reading the introduction to this volume, I had some misgivings. After all, the editors aspire to a great deal – perhaps, I thought, more than can be achieved between two book covers.

Consider the scope of the work. Not only have the editors attempted to collect chapters that, in the aggregate, address issues in gifted education in a comprehensive fashion, a difficult feat of editorship in itself, but they have attempted to do so from an international perspective. This is crucial because, whereas other works have drawn on the perspectives of authors of diverse nationalities (one thinks of Heller, Mönks, Sternberg and Subotnik’s estimable International Handbook of Research and Development of Giftedness and Talent), the goal in this volume is to have the authors address issues specific to the development of gifted education in their own countries. This has made the collection international in more than a nominal fashion, which is very refreshing for those of us who tire of seeing everything in the field viewed through American-centric lenses. In addition, asking the contributors to comment (in 150 words or fewer!) on how they would like to see the field develop in their countries was a masterstroke of editorial genius that has resulted in some pithy and provocative aperçus.

Also consider that the intended audience, as described in the book’s introduction, would seem to subsume most of literate humanity: policy makers, parents, educators, psychologists, researchers, undergraduate students, graduate students, academics, general readers. The book cannot possibly appeal and be accessible to all of these groups, one would logically think, but the results contradict that logic. Without compromising the quality of their scholarship, the authors whose work is collected herein have delineated, analyzed, synthesized and critiqued the critical issues in the field in a manner that is lucid, unusually jargon-free (or at least -reduced), and, mirabile visu, readable.

As the editors assert, the field of gifted education is in flux. Virtually everything is up for grabs, and I think that is a good thing. We have been stuck in conceptions and practices based on received wisdom for far too long, and that received wisdom, consisting of ideas that were fresh and served us well in the revivified field of the 1970s and 1980s, now seems tired, rote and reflexive. This collection of papers is bracing in the freshness of so many of the ideas, perspectives and recommendations it contains. All of this suggests reasons for optimism, even among orthodox pessimists such as me.

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