Editor’s Note* It is my pleasure to present Barbara Clark as the guest editor for this special issue on The Brain and Gifted Learners. Brain research has long been a special focus in Dr. Clark’s writing and speaking and we are fortunate to have her expertise in preparing this issue.
Barbara Clark is a Professor Emeritus of California State University, Los Angeles and the author of the widely used text, Growing up Gifted, now in its seventh edition. She has published in professional journals and has chapters in a number of books. She has served as the Editor of World Gifted, the newsletter of the World Council for Gifted and Talent Children, and as review editor for the Gifted Child Quarterly and The Journal of Gifted Education. Dr. Clark is a Past President of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, a Past President of the National Association for Gifted Children, and is on the Board of Directors and a Past President of the California Association for the Gifted. She is a recognized international scholar and has presented major addresses and workshops throughout the United States and in countries around the world. As Advising Editor of the Gifted Education Communicator she contributes to the planning and development of the journal.
In “The Gift of Reflection and the Development of Wisdom,” Daniel Siegel and Beth Seraydarian imagine a world in which we value wisdom and compassion as much as we do intelligence and logic. In so doing they allow us to round out our inquiry into the functions of the brain by showing us how to include—and the importance of including—the development of wisdom. They make the case that traditional education has been pressured into focusing on linguistic and logical skills rather than on the basic elements of wisdom with the result that our children lack the essential emotional intelligence they need to live fully. With their guidance we now look at the brain through a new lens. Siegel and Seraydarian reiterate the premise that the mind can be considered to have infinite potential.
With the article, “Teaching Our Students About the Brain,” Susan Ryan takes us into her world of children and learning. She shares some of her experiences and the strategies she has used successfully with her students as they explored the form and functions of their brains. Using the very principles that research has found to support learning, she allows us to participate in a session and experience the lesson with her students. She provides both a guide and some seasoned principles for using these ideas at home or the classroom with gifted learners.
From this beginning, let us now continue this exciting and most important journey.