BOOKNEWS AND REVIEWS
The Courage To Achieve: Why America's Brightest Women Struggle To Fulfill Their Promise by Betty A. Walker and Marilyn Mehr. Simon & Schuster, 1992.
This book is related to one of the primary concerns of gifted education -- identifying gifted girls. The authors (professors of counseling psychology) describe the lives, accomplishments and problems of female graduates of the Hunter College High School in New York City. The survey responses of 600 of these individuals and in-depth interviews with forty of them provided the basic sources of information for this study. Fifteen of these forty women, who graduated between 1914 and 1982, provided the primary descriptive sources for discussing issues of growing up, their education at Hunter College High School, counseling, work choices and struggles, love and marriage, balancing careers and family, and life in the older years. The story of the women's lives is sad in a way because it describes so many instances of unfulfilled potential resulting from poor career counseling and cultural barriers to achievement. But Walker and Mehr end on an upbeat note by presenting a model for enabling gifted girls and women (or all individuals for that matter) to fulfill their promise. They conclude by saying, "We wish similar success [compared to an esteemed group of Hunter College High School women graduates] for every woman -- success measured by the involvement of her whole being in the exploration of her diverse talents, success characterized by the flowering of her intelligence -- and most importantly -- the fulfillment of her dreams." All parents who are fortunate enough to have gifted daughters should read this study for the insights and excellent recommendations it provides.The Art of Science: A Practical Guide to Experiments, Observations, and Handling Data by Joseph J. Carr. HighText Publications, Inc., 1992. (Address: 7128 Miramar Road; Suite 15; San Diego, CA 92121; Telephone -- 619-693-5900).
This is the right book for gifted students interested in learning about the scientific method, and the ways scientists think and conduct research. Gifted students at the intermediate, high school and college levels will learn much about scientific thinking by reading it. The interesting and clearly written chapters cover such topics as: Theory, Hypothesis, and Law -- What's the Difference?; Some Mathematical Basics; What is "Average"?; Taking Measurements; and Probability -- A Scientific "Game of Chance"? Based on our many years of reading and using books on statistics, we believe that Mr. Carr has presented some of the most well-written chapters on this area of applied mathematics. In addition to providing the reader with outstanding discussions of scientific research and statistical methods, the author has written three excellent chapters not usually found in this type of book: Using and Abusing Graphs; Doing Science With Computers (how computers are used to encode and analyze data); and How to Win a Science Fair -- A Guide for Young Readers. The appendices contain rigorous discussions of logical fallacies in science, a BASIC statistical analysis program, and a computer simulation game (Ovenmaster II) designed to teach students about experimentation. Since Mr. Carr (a systems engineer working in radar engineering and avionics architecture) is a regular judge for science fairs in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, his chapter on preparing for these fairs would be particularly useful to many gifted students with a scientific bent. During our reading of The Art of Science, we were most impressed with the author's depth of knowledge and great ability to communicate this knowledge.
Steve Allen Narrates How To Think (audio cassette) and Meet The Classic Authors: Poe/Irving/Cooper (VHS video tape). Ordering Address: Educational Impressions; Department GEP; 210 Sixth Avenue; P.O. Box 77; Hawthorne, NJ 07507; Telephone -- 800-451-7450. The famous comedian, musical comedy and mystery writer, and all-around genius, Steve Allen, has made a wonderful audio tape for elementary and intermediate level children on how to think. The gifted would be particularly interested in his lively, funny and melodious description of the human brain and his nine rules for better thinking. A booklet containing the entire script accompanies the cassette. The Meet The Classic Authors video program is a wonderful and encompassing account of the lives and literary accomplishments of three of American's greatest writers. Study cards which include questions and project activities are included with the tape. Gifted students with interests in literature and biography will thoroughly enjoy this presentation.
CURRENT NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS RELATED TO EDUCATING THE GIFTED
ELLA MAE GOGEL, National Chair, Parent Committee, The Association for the Gifted (TAG) will respond to requests for information on all aspects of parenting the gifted, as well as requests for effective advocacy strategies for promoting gifted and talented programs. She can also provide the names of persons and associations in your state or region who work in the gifted area. Contact her at 2216 Main Street; Cedar Falls, IA 50613.
STEPHEN SCHROEDER-DAVIS, Coordinator of Gifted Services, Elk River, MN has written a detailed article for GIFTED EDUCATION PRESS QUARTERLY, WINTER 1993 Issue, on why and how gifted students are intimidated and discriminated against in many public schools and in our society. He calls this process "coercive egalitarianism." A one year subscription to this periodical, including the WINTER 1993 Issue, can be ordered from GIFTED EDUCATION PRESS at the special rate of $8.00 (or $15.00 for two years).
DEBORAH L. RUF is conducting one of the most important doctoral dissertation studies (University of Minnesota) in the history of gifted education. She needs your help in locating highly gifted adults to learn about their lives and accomplishment. Please contact Ms. Ruf at the following address for further information: Highly Gifted Study; P.O. Box 26275; 4335 Tyrol Crest South; Golden Valley, MN 55416.
BILL SMYTH, Supervisor of Social Studies, Charleston County, SC School District has developed a fine list of recommended books for teaching social studies to gifted middle and high school students. He has also published an intriguing travel book for teachers and students entitled, IF YOU TOOK THE GRAND TOUR (1989), and published by GIFTED EDUCATION PRESS. Write to us for a copy Mr. Smyth's social studies reading list and information about his excellent book.
******** Maurice D. Fisher, Publisher, © Gifted Education Press, December 1992-January 1993 ********