Monday, December 28, 2020

Gifted Challenges' picks for the Top 10 thought-provoking articles of 2020

As this difficult, stressful, upside-down year draws to a close, I wanted to share my Top 10 list of interesting, thought-provoking, and controversial articles. Some of them relate specifically to gifted education; others focus on education in general or psychological well-being. Listed in no particular order, they don't include the many wonderful blog posts published this year in the gifted field, or the many interesting research papers sometimes difficult to access due to a paywall. If you have thoughts about these articles, let us know in the comments section below.

Do programs for advanced learners work?

"Advanced learning programs are effective, and we have reams of research to support that conclusion."

The science of nerdiness

"People who score high in the general tendency toward exploration are not only driven to engage in behavioral forms of exploration, but also tend to get energized through the possibility of discovering new information and extracting meaning and growth from their experiences."

Do you really see your child?

"Seeing our kids also means being willing to look beyond our initial assumptions and interpretations." 

Want more Dr. Faucis? Ensure that smart kids get educated, too 

"If America’s fate thirty years from now ends up relying on the small population of mostly-privileged smart kids whose parents can get them into elite public and private schools and supply auxiliary programs and opportunities that challenge and fulfill them intellectually, we won’t have nearly enough of the experts that we’ll need—and those we have won’t much  'look like America.'” 

The gifted brain revealed: Unraveling the neuroscience of the bright experience

"Many molecular studies show associations of high IQ and giftedness with genetics, specifically genes involved in neurotransmission, neural plasticity, and development.  Both genetics and brain size contribute to the constitution of gifted individuals, but even more important is investigating the intensity of processing in gifted individuals related to the brain and physiological response.  Gifted individuals report experiencing the world differently, more intensely, which is a neurodiverse experience."

The case for critical thinking: The COVID-19 Pandemic and an urgent need to close the critical thinking gap in education

"...critical thinking is still a luxury good. This crucial set of skills and dispositions, including reasoning, analyzing multiple perspectives, and displaying the healthy sense of skepticism needed to seek evidence to support or refute claims is notoriously hard to teach... The critical thinking gap is one of the most significant, yet overlooked equity challenges in education today."

In defense of the psychologically rich life

"The psychologically rich life is full of complex mental engagement, a wide range of intense and deep emotions, and diverse, novel, surprising and interesting experiences."

The racial-justice war on merit-based schools is an injustice against excellence, critics say

", particularly in urban districts we are seeing a backlash, where the ideology is turning against excellence. We are institutionalizing anti-intellectualism, and that has long-term implications for us.”

The spatially gifted - our future architects and engineers - are being overlooked

"Our findings show that spatially talented students with relative math and verbal reasoning weaknesses are falling through the cracks in the educational system due to a lack of attention and education tailored to their needs,”

Academic achievement is influenced by how pupils "do" gender at school

"...efforts to close the  in attainment need to focus less on 'girls versus boys' and more on these nuanced profiles. However, the researchers also suggest that schools could support pupils by encouraging them to think beyond traditional gender stereotypes."

Wishing all of you a happy and healthy New Year!

- Gail


  1. Happy New Year, Gail. Thanks for your thought-provoking posts year-round!

    1. Jen, Thanks so much. Wishing you a happy new year also!