FROM THE EDITOR
Between birth and 5 years-of-age is a period in human development that has been identified by neuroscientists and educational researchers as the richest period for growth and change over the lifespan.” So states Barbara Clark in the opening statement of her feature article, “The Importance of Early Learning.”
Gifted Education Communicator specifically directs its articles and columns toward educators and parents of K–12 gifted students. Therefore, we rarely go in depth into issues of preschool learners. The recent abundant research cited in Clark’s article reminds us that giftedness does not spring forth when a child approaches the classroom. The information and recommendations she includes should prove valuable to parents and
other adults who are part of every young child’s world. Several of our regular writers have joined our feature writers in this issue. Jennifer Beaver, Associate Editor for Parent Topics, follows Clark’s comments on early learning with her parent perspective on the need for early identification of gifted children. Her article, “Is My Young Child Gifted? Why Early Identification Is Important: A Parent’s Perspective” traces the
journey she and her husband made in parenting their young son. She feels fortunate that their school district identifies children for the gifted program right after kindergarten. Other parents may need to rely on a variety of other methods to accomplish the same end when their schools do not begin the identification process until the end of second or third grade. She includes rationale and resources to assist parents in doing so.
Carolyn Light, a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in San Diego, and also parent of a gifted child, shares insights into a perennial question: Should I tell my gifted child he or she is gifted? In her article, “All Of Me: A Discussion about Discussing Giftedness with the Gifted,” she also shares personal experiences in the identification of her young gifted daughter. She too had accepted the notion that “telling” would
lead to elitism and be harmful to her child. Professional inquiry led her to delve more deeply into the question and she shares her conclusions and recommendations with readers. Development of giftedness does not stop at identification, however. Carolyn Cooper has expanded her usual
Administrator Talk column to feature length in her article, “Nurturing Our Gifted Learners’ Growth: A Role Administrators Can Love—Even in Hard Times.” She directly addresses the fiscal crisis existing throughout society and our schools at this time—a time when programs for gifted learners are often neglected or eliminated. She impresses upon administrators the importance of supporting gifted students and programs even during hard times.
Our “Hands-on Curriculum” columnists, Ann MacDonald and Jim Riley outline ways for teachers to increase self-awareness on the part of gifted learners in an expanded feature entitled, “Giftedness: Noting Personal Growth.” In their usual manner they present lesson plans that teachers can follow step by-step in assisting students to note their own strengths and goals. Though it is meant for classroom use, I believe it could be equally effective as an activity between parent and child at home.
Always provocative in a positive way, Stephanie Tolan presents, “In Praise of Pollyanna,” an article to argue the case for optimism as a practical strategy in supporting gifted learners. She declares that, “Pessimism and cynicism are pervasive in our culture, particularly among the intelligentsia” and has a negative impact on society at large and gifted learners in particular. She relates her experience in rereading Eleanor H. Porter’s Pollyanna with episodes from the book that illustrate the effectiveness of Pollyanna’s positive outlook. She continues with modern-day illustrations showing that seeking the positive can make an entire change in perceiving the world, and can be used as a tool to overcome the inevitable adversity entering into one’s life. While we address the origin and growth of gifted children, we also note the beginnings of our own field. In her “Carpe Diem” column, Elaine Wiener pays homage not only to the “father” of gifted education, Lewis Terman, but to California’s
own May Seagoe. Dr. Seagoe was a pupil in Lewis Terman’s study; however, it was her 39 years as a teacher at the University of California at Los Angeles, her writings, and mentoring that left a lasting impact on so many of us.
Finally, pardon us for doing a little back patting. The entire GEC Editorial Board and the CAG organization were very pleased to learn that our Fall 2008 issue, Visual & Performing Arts, was named a Finalist by the Association of Educational Publishers for its Distinguished Achievement Awards program and we proudly display the logo on our front cover. More details can be found on page 34.
Happy summer holidays to all. We will be back in the fall with our annual subject-matter issue that will focus on“Philosophy in the Gifted Classroom.
—Margaret Gosfield, Editor