Letter to the Editor.To the Editor:
It is with some concern and disappointment that I write to question the recent book review done on Excellence in Educating Gifted Learners in the last issue of Roeper Review. As the reviewer duly noted, compiling a comprehensive text for a field is a daunting daunt
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.
[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin task, and one that is approached carefully and over a long period of time. In the case of this text, now in its third edition, it has had 13 years of work by primarily five authors working together as a team to bring out each edition. Unlike the two other texts cited by the reviewer as excellent, authors of this text read and commented on each other's chapters, met and discussed central ideas and jointly considered the conceptual organization employed. In the case of the 1998 edition, we felt that a major expansion had been accomplished with more new material than is typical for a new edition. (Usually the rule of thumb is 20% new material with updated references for all chapters.) In this case seven chapters were all new, constituting 25% of the text being totally new and all older chapters underwent at least a 20% change in addition to updated references. Earlier reviews of the text from 1985 and 1989 had been favorable. Therefore, I was very surprised and more than a little disturbed to find the review in Roeper as negative as it was as well as trivial and inaccurate.
Let me be specific about my concerns. To suggest that a book does not meet a reviewer's standard of excellence calls for a reviewer to be explicit about a book's deficits. To decry de·cry
tr.v. de·cried, de·cry·ing, de·cries
1. To condemn openly.
2. To depreciate (currency, for example) by official proclamation or by rumor. only in general terms that it may be too broad as opposed to deep and that it has overlapping chapters does not suffice. Given the collective as well as individual expertise of the authors and the length of and documentation or examples provided for most chapters, the "depth" criticism seems highly questionable especially when the book is compared to one (i.e., Handbook of Gifted Education Gifted education is a broad term for special practices, procedures and theories used in the education of children who have been identified as gifted or talented. Programs providing such education are sometimes called Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) or ) that has much shorter self-standing author chapters with no collaboration or discussion of ideas as a backdrop. The criticism of "overlapping" is not substantiated in the review nor in my mind could it be, given the process for manuscript development. A deliberate attempt was made by authors to reference each other's ideas as they were related to a given chapter, not to overlap but rather to provide coherence. Thus, I find the negative generalizations made about the book to be unwarranted based on the review provided.
Secondly, I find the review to be extremely trivial in what was focused on versus what was not. To critique two items from a table on one page in one chapter when the table's purpose was to provide several curriculum ideas related to a given characteristic of gifted students strikes me as extremely picky pick·y
adj. pick·i·er, pick·i·est Informal
Excessively meticulous; fussy.
[pickier, pickiest] Brit, Austral & NZ . Moreover, the criticisms leveled are debatable. A study of Puritans may indeed teach students much about altruism as the underlying religious beliefs fostered community in early America such that people came to rely on each other for support for survival as well as other necessities of life, yet like many well-intentioned religions these beliefs became dogmatic and led to extremism. This view of "twisted" altruism may be important for gifted students to grasp. Studies have suggested that no concept can be learned well without supplying students with counter examples (Ehrenberg, 1981). Puritanism reinforces the concept of altruism better than only positive examples because in one movement you have both the spirit of altruism as well as an underpinning to the evolving misanthropy Misanthropy
Misbehavior (See MISCHIEVOUSNESS.)
consumed by hate, pursues whale that ripped off his leg. [Am. Lit.: Moby Dick]
antisocial hero. [Fr. Lit. practiced because of interpreting Puritanism at a literal level.
The second example that was challenged in the review related to creative outlets being seen as a way to sublimate sublimate /sub·li·mate/ (sub´li-mat)
1. a substance obtained by sublimation.
2. to accomplish sublimation.
1. energy. I would suggest that a whole literature on creativity, referenced ironically enough in the creativity chapter, addresses the term sublimation sublimation, in chemistry
sublimation (sŭblĭmā`shən), change of a solid substance directly to a vapor without first passing through the liquid state. used in this context. Thus, it is not an alien idea but rather one well-understood in the study of creativity. To pick out the common connotation and association of words like "Puritan" and "sublimation" as the reviewer has done without being aware of deeper applications of such words as key concepts in serious study is superficially judgmental judg·men·tal
1. Of, relating to, or dependent on judgment: a judgmental error.
2. Inclined to make judgments, especially moral or personal ones: . If one must be "picky" to the degree demonstrated in the review, then one should be on firmer conceptual and academic ground to do so.
This issue of triviality leads me to the final correction I would like to make in the commentary of the review. Much is made of the so-called mistake surrounding the number of subjects in Terman's sample. The Excellence text records 1528 as the appropriate number while the reviewer insists that this is inaccurate and a "common error" made presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. by those not knowledgeable of the Terman work. While the sample size does fluctuate from early volumes to later ones, I chose to include the sample size reported in both Volume III (Burks, Jenson, & Terman, 1930) and the longitudinal study longitudinal study
a chronological study in epidemiology which attempts to establish a relationship between an antecedent cause and a subsequent effect. See also cohort study. report written by the custodian of the data base, Robert Sears (1984). The first two books mentioned the number of subjects in Terman's study as 1444 (p. 39 in Vol. 1 and p 15 in Vol 3.). The fourth volume of Genetic studies of genius listed the number as 1528 (on page 7 of that volume) with the footnote stating that "The discrepancies are partly accounted for by later additions of siblings who were too young to test in 1921-22, partly by the fact that some of the IQ's in the Outside Binet group had not originally been `corrected' to compensate for lack of top in the Stanford-Binet test Stan·ford-Binet test
A standardized intelligence test adapted from the Binet-Simon scale for use in the United States, especially in the assessment of children. Also called Stanford-Binet intelligence scale. , and to a minor degree by the elimination of a few subjects whose test scores for other reasons were deemed questionable." The Sears article in 1984 had the same number of the subjects. In regard to the issue of analyses not containing all subjects, this is a common occurrence in several types of research studies.
After reviewing all volumes once more before writing this response, I can see where one might select another figure from an earlier volume, but it is unfathomable to me why a "book reviewer" would choose to attack a text based Also called "character based," it refers to handling text and not graphics. Simple charts and illustrations may be drawn, but they are limited to a set of special characters that are strung together to make up lines and shades (see OEM font). on one page of the introduction at this level of debatable factual detail and then be in error regarding the point.
As a book review editor of two journals and an editor of a journal myself in the field, I found the review wanting in several ways. The reviewer did not provide a balanced look at the text, picking out specific chapters for extensive comment while relegating whole sections of the book to a cursory paragraph. Such unevenness of treatment of a comprehensive text is inappropriate. Moreover, there was no mention of the intended audience of the book nor its overall organizational structure This article has no lead section.
To comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines, one should be written. . It was as if the reviewer could not see the book as a whole, only as individual pieces at a very discrete level. Such reviews are clearly not a credit to the publication that decides to publish them and reveals at best a naivete na·ive·té or na·ïve·té
1. The state or quality of being inexperienced or unsophisticated, especially in being artless, credulous, or uncritical.
2. An artless, credulous, or uncritical statement or act. and at worst an irresponsibility toward the scholarly enterprise.
Ehrenberg, S. D. (1981) Concept learning: How to make it happen in the classroom, Educational Leadership, 39, (1), 36-43.
Terman, L. M. (1925). Genetic studies of genius, Vol 1. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Stanford University, at Stanford, Calif.; coeducational; chartered 1885, opened 1891 as Leland Stanford Junior Univ. (still the legal name). The original campus was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. David Starr Jordan was its first president. Press.
Burks, B. S., Jensen, D. W., & Terman, L. M. (1930). Genetic studies of genius, Vol. 3. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Sears, R. R. (1984). The Terman gilled children study (TGC TGC The Golf Channel
TGC The Game Creators (forum)
TGC Trading Card Game
TGC Time-Gain Compensation
TGC The Gungan Council
TGC The Golden Compass (Phillip Pullman book)
TGC Take Good Care ). In S. A. Medick, M. Harway, & K. M. Finello (Eds.), Handbook of longitudinal research, (pp. 398-414). New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : Praeger.
Submitted by: Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Ed. D. Jody and Layton Smith Professor in Education Director, Center for Gifted Education The Center for Gifted Education is a program at the College of William and Mary created in 1988, under the direction of Joyce VanTassel-Baska, with a specific mission statement and goals, based on an understanding of the needs of gifted and talented individuals across the lifespan.