Volume 54 - No. 3-4 - 2017
In May 1964, Lorraine Hansberry coined the phrase “to be young, gifted and black” in a speech honoring the winners of the United Negro College Fund’s Creative Writing Contest:
“Apart from anything else, I wanted to be able to come here and speak with you on this occasion because you are young, gifted and black. In the month of May in the year of 1964, I, for one, can think of no more dynamic combination that a person might be” (Hansberry, 2011).
This paper provides empirical findings from four different sources that lend credence to the deep-and-wide (DAW) hypothesis (Wong, 2012) in accounting for giftedness and creativity. The DAW hypothesis posits that difficult experiences and negative emotions motivate individuals to dig deeper into their inner resources and explore wider their external resources to find a creative solution to their distressing problems. To the extent that these endeavors are reinforced in these individuals’ early developmental stages, they will develop the predisposition of persistence, resourcefulness, and creativity. Therefore, there are two potential contributing factors resulting from negative experiences: a history of reinforcement of creative persistence and current difficult circumstances. The DAW hypothesis is supported by (1) experimental evidence, (2) biographical research on traumatic life experiences in early stages of development, (3) awareness of aging and death, and (4) struggling with psychopathology and suffering. Applications of the DAW hypothesis are discussed.
Lessons Learned from Working with Highly Gifted and Creative Kids by Steven I. Pfeiffer & A. Paige Blankenship
This paper provides an overview of creativity from a talent development perspective. The ideas are based, in part, on the first author’s 36 years of personal experience working with gifted and creative students. A case is made for a domain specific view of creativity, consistent with how eminence and creativity develops in almost all culturally-valued fields and domains. The article also offers specific suggested ways to enhance the unfolding of creativity in the classroom.
This article provides a brief review of some of the salient factors affecting giftedness, such as the origins of giftedness and creativity, nature vs. nurture as responsible for giftedness, characteristics of the gifted and possible emotional and social difficulties that may be correlated, or even caused, by high intelligence and talent, and the role of their family of origin and the educational system in enhancing their talents and assisting them to address disorders that they may develop.
Peer relationships are vital to all students’ development, including those who are gifted and talented. Both involvement in bullying and suffering from loneliness are disruptive for these positive relationships. This paper examines the evidence to date on whether gifted and talented students are more prone to involvement in peer bullying and experiencing loneliness than their non-gifted peers or are at less at risk. The research however, is scant with conflicting results on bullying involvement with often flawed methodology. Loneliness in gifted and talented students is even less researched with only three studies, however, all showing that gifted students are no more or less lonely than their peers. More rigorous and robust research is required for examining both bullying involvement and loneliness in this population.
The Socioemotional Intelligence of Gifted and Talented Adolescents as a Possible Predictor of Future Career Success by Carol Apt, Ph.D.
The term ‘gifted and talented’ is often bandied about with the tacit assumption that it denotes a youngster whose score on an IQ test is in the ‘above-average’ range and/or who receives consistently high grades in school. While some believe that the over-reliance on academics and IQ tests has produced a narrow view of what we believe intelligence to be (Gardner, 1993; Greene, 2006; Reis & Renzulli, 2004; Sternberg & Davidson, 1986), recent research has indicated that there is more than one kind of intelligence (Gardner, 1986; 1993; Goleman, 1995; 2006; Salovey & Mayer, 1998), and that some forms of intelligence might be far more important determinants of success in later life than high scores on schoolwork and on IQ tests (Gardner, 1995).
Gifted students have often been ignored or worse. Before the seminal work of Terman, many believe that gifted children were socially inept and generally unable to use their skills. Today, once-popular enrichment programs for the gifted have had to be cut for budget reasons. Although the gifted often function well in sub-optimal academic environments, they do face unique educational needs, and ignoring this talented group may well be short-sighted. This paper argues that inexpensive interventions can make significant contributions to gifted students. These programs include mentorship, online interactive instruction, tutoring (by the gifted child), and periodic intensive programs. Many of these programs may have broader applications that might well enhance the academic careers of all students.
Social scientists have studied the nature of creativity and the creative process for the past century. Yet despite perennial research interest in personality processes of creative individuals, no studies have presented a cohesive overview of the extant literature on the use of projective techniques in research on creativity. The aim of the current study is to present an historical review of findings on creativity and projective methods published in the scholarly literature. To that end, a keyword search of the database PsycINFO identified 47 articles on these topics that served as the data-pool in this bibliometric review. The aggregated analysis concluded that research findings in this specific area are rather preliminary, awaiting confirmatory investigation. However, several tentative conclusions are offered: Creative individuals tend to be elaborative, non-conformist, field independent, and express divergent thinking and wide breadth of affect. Most studies found that IQ and creativity are not related. From a psychodynamic perspective, creativity is best conceptualized as a) adaptation to primary process and b) striving for mental equilibrium. In terms of projective tests: a) Human content, Movement and Whole card responses on the Rorschach tend to be indicative of creativity, and b) the TAT Blank card has promise in the evaluation of creativity.
“Habits of Mind” Acquisitions by Gifted and Average Seventh and Ninth Grade Jordanian Students by Abdelnaser Al-Jarrah, Khaled Alazzi, & Aladin Obaidat
The purpose of this study was to investigate to what extent gifted and average seventh and ninth grade Jordanian students acquired “habits of mind.” Two groups of seventh- and ninth-grade students were surveyed in the Jordan’s Irbid Province about their acquisition of “habit of mind.” A total of 1,301 students were selected to participate in this quantitative study. The study revealed that students in both the seventh- and ninth-grade are acquiring “habits of mind”; however, at the same time, they rate “habit of mind” according to their priorities. The study also shows statistically significant differences (at the 0.05 level) in three “habits of mind” favored by gifted female students. Additionally, the study revealed statistically significant differences at the 0.05 level in 10 “habits of mind.” Those differences were favored by gifted students. As a result, the study recommends that Jordan’s curricula be revised to include the most recent available information and reflect contemporary educational psychology research habits of mind to prepare Jordanian students for living in the new millennium.
The Cognitive Wealth of Nations: A Cross-Country Analysis of Entrepreneurship Abilities, Innovation in STEM, and Competitiveness in Education by María Elena Labastida Tovar, Andrew Alexi Almazán Anaya, & Nik Ahmad Sufian Burhan
Some economists argue that governments and firms must become more competitive vis-ŕ-vis their trade partners in the world economy to boost their economic growth. Yet, to boost competitiveness, it must be addressed the issue of how to foster cognitive ability in the overall population. A large body of literature has shown that it is the cognitive elite, those individuals at the far right side of the Bell Curve that most contribute to the positive relationship between cognitive ability and economic wealth. Despite this vast evidence, gifted and talented children are still lost in the standardized public education system path. They are not identified, diagnosed appropriately, or provided with the special education programs they require so their intellectual potential can flourish. The purpose of this empirical study is to test the association between high cognitive ability and economic wealth when mediated with three other variables: entrepreneurial abilities, competitiveness in education, and innovation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The empirical method employed is structural equation modeling. Findings suggest that among the three mediating variables, it is the entrepreneurship variable that plays a major role in explaining the relationship analyzed. Countries with a greater proportion of children scoring at or beyond 115 IQ points, explain more of the variance in the two models tested. Governments and firms that are interested in becoming more competitive in the world economy should act promptly by investing in special education programs for gifted and talented children.