Education Week, "The Nation's Education Newspaper," is generally pretty quiet on things gifted, but this week they hosted a live chat with the authors of The Development of Giftedness and Talent Across the Lifespan, a forthcoming book in which they argue that giftedness is not static, nor is it something you are born with, but rather, like talent in sports or the arts, specific abilities, varying by person, which need to be nurtured. (The "live chat" link takes you to the transcript of the live chat. Click the title to order the book.)
(EdWeek keeps insisting that the book says "Giftedness can be taught," which is not at all what the authors are getting at. "[Author] Rena F. Subotnik:
We are arguing that giftedness can be developed rather than taught. Development of giftedness in a domain comes from high quality instruction and curriculum (like the work of those you mention above), mentoring in how to be successful, challenging peers, and personal motivation. The work of Benjamin Bloom in Developing Talent in Young People is very relevant here. He and his colleagues reported on the development of talent in athletics, arts, and academic domains. In each case, three types of teachers were most effective at different stages. In the first stage, the teacher helps students to fall in love with the topic or area. In the second stage the teacher provides advanced skills and knowledge and shares the values associated with that field. In the third stage individuals get a kind of coaching to help them refine their individual voice and contribution. In this way giftedness is "taught" or developed.")
To go along with the live chat, Donalyn Miller, who blogs as The Book Whisperer, and Tamara J. Fisher, who writes Unwrapping the Gifted, also have gifted-themed blogs this week. (Admittedly, Tamara's is always gifted-themed.) Read Donalyn's Lowering the Bar and Tamara's "The Evolving Definition of Giftedness."