Spring, 2010 PDF, via email:
I would like to discuss a book which helps to inform educators and parents about gifted education in other countries from developmental, family and international perspectives. It is an excellent example of the increasing worldwide interest in studying and educating the most advanced students. By using the case study research method, Hanna David, Ph.D. and Echo Wu, Ph.D. have written fascinating accounts of Israeli and Chinese students who have demonstrated giftedness in public school classrooms and at the university level. David is a professor of education at Ben Gurion University in Eliat, Israel and Echo Wu is now teaching at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Their book, Understanding Giftedness: A Chinese-Israeli Casebook (Pearson, 2010, ISBN 981-06-8300-6), contains such research topics as a study of five gifted boys in one classroom, parental influences of three Chinese-American families on talent development, case study of a visually disabled young boy (seven years), conversation with a Chinese Nobel Laureate (chemistry), and case study of a gifted family emigrating from Russia to Israel. All of these studies are a clear demonstration of the forcefulness of gifted characteristics and behavior under sometimes severe pressures from cultural influences and learning disabilities. The book also serves as an inspiration to researchers who use the case study method for studying giftedness. In this sense, David and Wu follow the traditions of Piaget and other masters of child development who grounded their work in making systematic observations and carefully recording the individual child’s intellectual development. I highly recommend that Understanding Giftedness be used as a model for further studies of the gifted mind.