I read a new book written by my friend Linda Kreger Silverman. She’s contributed to over 300 publications, and her latest book is The Psych 101 Series: Giftedness 101. This is an invaluable resource for anyone who is in need of a solid, straight-forward foundation for understanding giftedness. Silverman skillfully honors and explains the diversity of giftedness, examines the origins of giftedness, explores various beliefs and theories surrounding giftedness, itemizes characteristics of giftedness, highlights the dilemma of twice exceptionality, draws a connection to the psychology of giftedness, explains the assessment of the gifted, and contributes suggestions for the optimal development of the gifted.
Giftedness 101 is written in a friendly, palatable manner. And, every chapter is packed with a great deal of practical, useful information. Giftedness 101 provides a very comprehensive overview that begs to be read by anyone working with, or living with, gifted individuals. Teachers in college certification programs and mental health professionals desperately need this foundation as they prepare to educate and provide support to gifted youth because, as Silverman notes, “Giftedness is not addressed in the training programs of counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists and is rarely covered in the field of education.” With increased awareness, teachers and other professionals will know what to look for, and will be much more confident, educated and effective when working with the gifted population.
This book offers information necessary to bring awareness and understanding to the fact that there are psychological differences among the gifted that require essential modifications in educating, counseling, and parenting the gifted. Historically, the study of giftedness was founded in a psychological perspective. But, over the years, this discipline has become imbedded in the field of education as a curricular and instructional issue. It has since become an educational and political matter that is surrounded by myths and misunderstanding. The gifted are individuals with special needs that are neither embraced nor understood in the field of psychology, or in the field of education.
Giftedness 101 provides clarity into the complex inner-workings of gifted people. The gifted are a group with special needs. Early identification and optimal development of the gifted is at least as valuable as optimal development of any other special-needs group. (p.114) They require understanding and acceptance just like any other special-needs group. The diversity among the gifted population is great. That is why special training and education is required in order to provide individualized support to gifted individuals as they develop.
This is a highly informative, useful book! It should be required reading in teacher certification programs and similar programs in counseling, social work, psychology, special education, pediatric medicine, and intervention work. Whether the reader wants to learn more about giftedness through multiple historical perspectives, learn in-depth about a variety of available assessments, or envision what gifted individuals need in order to move forward, it’s all here.
Silverman is one of the most respected authors, counseling psychologists, and clinicians in the field of gifted education. Her decades of dedicated work and research in the field are unsurpassed. See her bio. Giftedness 101 is a necessary resource that is essential reading by all whose lives are touched by gifted individuals.
The Psych 101 Series: Giftedness 101 by Linda Kreger Silverman, 2013, 292 pages, paperback, Springer Publishing Company, ISBN 978 0826 107978.