Hothouse Kids

Hothouse Kids

The Dilemma of the Gifted Child

Book - 2006
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Penguin Putnam
Critically acclaimed author Alissa Quart breaks the news about an issue that will be of urgent concern to parents and educators as well as adult readers with "gifted" pasts: the dilemma of the gifted child. While studies show that children who are superior learners do benefit from enriched early education, the intensely competitive lives of America's gifted and talented kids do have risks. The pressure can have long-term effects in adult life, from debilitating perfectionism to performance anxiety and lifelong feelings of failure.

Quart traveled the country to research the many ways in which the current craze to "produce" gifted kids and prodigies has gone too far. Exploring the overhyped world of baby edutainment and "better baby" early education programs, she takes a hard look at the claims about educational toys and baby sign language. Taking readers inside the ever-more elite world of IQ testing, she reveals the proliferation of new categories of giftedness, including "terrifyingly" and "severely" gifted and examines the true value of such testing. Profiling the explosion of kid competitions-from Scrabble(tm) and chess to child preaching-she uncovers the dangers of such heated pressure to excel so early in life and exposes the prodigy hunters who search science and math fairs for teens to hire for Wall Street investment firms. Critiquing the professionalization of play, she visits with kids who've been identified as prodigies-from a four-year-old painter whose works sell for $300,000, to an eight-year-old professional skateboarder who is backed by nine corporate sponsors. Surveying expert assessments of the necessary role of unstructured play in child development, she warns about the disappearance of recess and the pitfalls of children's overstuffed schedules today. She also profiles the growing divide in opportunities for wealthy kids versus those from middle and lower income families who are losing out as gifted programs at public schools are gutted in the wake of the No Child Left Behind Act.

How should parents and educators draw the line? How much enrichment is too much, and how much is too little? What are we doing to our gifted kids? Alissa Quart's penetrating in-depth examination provides a much-needed wake-up call that will spark a national debate about this urgent issue.

Baker & Taylor
An investigation into the pressures placed on gifted children evaluates the long-term consequences of high demands and competitiveness, revealing the truth about current practices in IQ testing and the downside of the trend to over-schedule.

Blackwell North Amer
In Hothouse Kids, we traverse the country to meet gifted kids, prodigies, and "former" gifted kids, clarifying what early enrichment worked for them and what went too far, in stories both droll and tragic. Exploring the overhyped world of baby edutainment and "better baby" early education programs, Alissa Quart takes a hard look at the claims about educational toys and baby sign language. Taking readers inside the ever more elite world of IQ testing, she reveals the proliferation of new categories of giftedness, including "terrifyingly" and "severely" gifted, and examines the true value of such testing. Quart observes the pressure to excel so early in life, profiling the explosion of kid competitions - from Scrabble and chess to child preaching - as well as the prodigy hunters who search science and math fairs for teens to hire for Wall Street investment firms: the encounters are sometimes sparkling and sometimes gloomy. Looking at the professionalization of play, Hothouse Kids visits with kids who've been identified as prodigies, including a four-year-old painter whose works sell for $300,000 and an eight-year-old professional skateboarder who is backed by nine corporate sponsors. Surveying expert assessments of the necessary role of unstructured play in child development, Hothouse Kids delves into the disappearance of recess and the pitfalls of children's overstuffed schedules. Finally, Quart confronts the growing divide in opportunities for wealthy kids versus those from middle- and lower-income families, who are losing out as gifted programs at public schools are gutted.

Baker
& Taylor

An investigation into the pressures placed on today's gifted children evaluates the long-term consequences of high demands and competitiveness, revealing the truth about current practices in IQ testing, the pitfalls of the No Child Left Behind Act, and the downside of popular practices in over-scheduling. By the author of Branded. 30,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2006
ISBN: 9781594200953
1594200955
Characteristics: 260 p. ; 25 cm

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