Entries by Dona Matthews

A Call to Action in Support of Giftedness and Talent Development

An editorial in the New York Times on December 15, 2013, discusses the most recent (2012) findings of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), in which the US is once again in the middle of the pack in math and science–34th out of 65 countries. In order to address the declining economy, the author […]

Canadian Aboriginal Students: What They Can Teach Us All about Gifted Education

‘We are gifted and very talented. But you’re not going to find out the way you are asking us your questions.’ Alanis Obomsawin, award-winning filmmaker of Abenaki descent.[i] Although I haven’t been able to find solid numbers on the participation of Canadian students from Aboriginal backgrounds in gifted education programs, there are many indications that […]

Love, Play, Reflect; Passion, Gratitude, and Grit: Parenting for Success and Happiness across the Lifespan

Childhood giftedness is a great start, but it doesn’t predict happiness, success, or fulfillment across the life span. What does the research say about parents’ roles in helping their kids become happily productive adults? 1.       Love: The single most important ingredient in the early days, weeks, and months of life is the security of a […]

Giving All Kids a Head Start in Life: Tackling the Parenting Gap

Parents spend a lot of time worrying about their kids’ schools. Yes, school matters, but what happens at home matters more. According to Parenting, Politics, and Social Mobility, a new report by the Brookings Institute (a Washington think tank), we’re not paying enough attention to the ‘the parenting gap.’ The parenting gap is even more […]

Seven Ideas for Encouraging Your Child’s Productive Creativity

Creativity is more accessible (and more effortful) than most people realize.  Most parents want their kids to experience the joy and fulfillment that come from productive creativity–the kind of creativity that makes a difference. Here are seven ideas for parents who want to support their children’s productive creativity: 1. Curiosity. All kids are born curious. […]

Parenting and Multi-Tasking in the Digital Age

Tracy Dennis is both a mother and an eminent developmental psychologist who is interested in the impact of digital media on human development across the life span. She’s written several posts on this topic on her Psyche’s Circuitry blog. One of my personal favourites is the one where she writes about two ideas for parents […]

Does Media Violence Lead to the Real Thing?

Media violence has been a controversial topic for decades. There are contradictory findings from a variety of studies, some showing no effect on people’s real-world aggression, and some showing a significant connection. On balance, it makes sense to me that what we consume and are exposed to–whether it’s unhealthy food, environmental contaminants, poisoned relationships, or […]

The Best and Worst Learning Strategies

If you want to remember what you’re learning, highlighting (or underlining) and re-reading are 2 of the worst strategies to use. Two strategies that are far more effective are spreading out your learning periods–aiming for the study equivalent of short, regular exercise periods, rather than monthly marathons–and engaging in practice testing. These were the two […]

The Challenge of Giftedness/LD: Frustration, Creativity, and Resilience

The most frustrated kids I know fit the giftedness/LD profile. They have exceptionally advanced abilities in some areas (aka, ‘giftedness’) and problems in other areas (aka, ‘learning disabled,’ or ‘LD’). It can take a long time before parents and teachers figure out the giftedness/LD situation, if they ever do. By then, too often, the child […]