We are fortunate to share in the reflections of Joe Renzulli, an important figure in gifted education. From his 3-Ring Conception of Giftedness to his appeal to include more children using his School-Wide Enrichment Model, he has affected the thinking and practice of educators and administrators around the world. He has had a major impact on the education of gifted students.
Research in the social sciences relies heavily on statistics and practice does not remain the same year after year. New knowledge of the statistics required to make informed interpretations of research results needs to be reflected in the literature. In their article "Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Effect Size Reporting in Gifted Education Research from 1995-2000," Kelli Paul and Jonathan Plucker update us on the progress in the addition of effect size to reported statistics in the three main research journals in gifted education: Journal for the Education of the Gifted, Roeper Review, and Gifted Child Quarterly.
Parents of gifted children may not be surprised to hear that young gifted children and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may engage in similar behaviors. This similarity can create serious problems when a gifted child is misdiagnosed as ADHD. Niall Hartnett, Jason Nelson, and Anne Rinn explore this possibility in their article "Gifted or ADHD? The Possibilities of Misdiagnosis." First year graduate students in a school counseling program were likely to mistake behaviors of gifted children as indicative of ADHD in this study. This study reminds us that counselors in training should receive information concerning these similarities at some point in their program to avoid the severe consequences that can result from a misdiagnosis.
In her article "Giftedness in Early Childhood: The Search for Complexity and Connection," Cathie Harrison shares an in-depth exploration of the "kind of thinking" young gifted children do. In stark contrast to the behaviors noted on a checklist to describe children's behaviors in diagnosis for giftedness or ADHD, Harrison's longitudinal study of 15 young children paints a rich picture of the unconventional thinking that characterizes this special population.
Television has changed our world in subtle as well as the more obvious ways. Robert Abelman, in his article "TV Literacy and Academic/Artistic Giftedness: Understanding Time Leaps and Time Lags," explores one of the narrative devices commonly used in creating television programs — temporal sequencing — and how young gifted and nongifted students comprehend them. The power of television and its ubiquity are sure to mean that such devices as temporal sequencing will appear in unexpected domains. Dr. Abelman's article is a positive step in understanding how such accepted practices may be affecting children's learning.
Learning style preferences have been the focus of much research. Letty Rayneri and Brian Gerber recognized that just knowing how a student prefers to learn does not improve learning without an understanding of how the student perceives his or her environment. How bright is too bright or how loud is too loud? In their article, "Development of a Student Perception Inventory," Rayneri and Gerber describe the instrument they have developed to address this need.
Gifted education is intended to focus on the needs of the special population of gifted children. One group that is often left out of planning for these children's needs is one that knows, perhaps, the most about them. Nancy Hertzog and Tess Bennett examine this sometimes forgotten group in their article "In Whose Eyes? Parents' Perspectives on the Learning Needs of Their Gifted Children." Parents are a valuable resource in understanding what their children need. Educational planners who recognize this will benefit from encouraging their input.
Lesli Preuss and Eric Dubow offer a contribution to our understanding of the psychology of gifted children in their article "A Comparison Between Intellectually Gifted and Typical Children in Their Coping Responses to a School and a Peer Stressor." It is interesting to note that, when dealing with school and peer Stressors, gifted students are like their nongifted peers except in their use of problem-solving strategies.
Our book review this issue is by James Lynch, who recommends Esther Kogan's book Gifted Bilingual Students: A Paradox? We also continue our reporting of recent dissertation research in gifted studies.
I am sure you will enjoy this issue of Roeper Review. Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions with me.