Gifted Children: Myths and Realities

Gifted Children: Myths and Realities

Gifted Children: Myths and Realities

Gifted Children: Myths and Realities

Synopsis

Ellen Winner uncovers some of the misconceptions about children with special abilities, the emotions they provoke - like envy, fear and rejection - and shows us what these children are really like.

Excerpt

No society can afford to ignore its most gifted members, and all must give serious thought to how best to nurture and educate talent. While psychologists have long been interested in the issue of giftedness, the study of giftedness has taken a back seat to the study of the typical and the pathological. In addition, a number of unquestioned assumptions are often made by researchers, educators, and clinicians in this field.

I have organized this book around nine misconceptions about the nature of giftedness. There is nothing magical about the number nine. I might have come up with ten, to make the number even, but the nine that I have identified struck me as the most pervasive and the most problematic. I have tried to synthesize and evaluate the best scientific research on giftedness in the areas of art, music, mathematics, and verbal ability. begin with nine myths and conclude with what I hope are nine more informed views, which I have bravely called realities.

The children described in this book are real children, but some of their names have been changed. All the children that studied came to me by word of mouth. I found that all I had to do was mention the topic of my study, and friends and colleagues immediately thought of children who would be good . . .

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