Young, Gifted and Bored

By: Dr David George


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Size: 246 x 189mm

Pages : 184

ISBN : 9781845906801

Format: Paperback

Published: March 2011

Many gifted and talented children are bored and frustrated in the classroom. Many are not achieving their potential and talents are going unrecognised. Written by an experienced and world renowned author with a wealth of experience, this practical guide will challenge, excite and inspire teachers and show them how they can identify and provide for the needs of these children.

Picture for author Dr David George

Dr David George

Dr David George was formerly Associate Director of Nene College (now the University of Northampton) and before that Dean of The Faculty of Science. He was Founder President of the National Association For Able Children and was a member of the Executive Committee of The World Council of Gifted and Talented Children. He is a consultant to the British Council and UNESCO. He has lectured both nationally and internationally on the education of the gifted and talented. He is the author of Young, Gifted and Bored; The Challenge of The Able Child; Gifted Education; Enrichment Activities for Able Children; and Making The Most of Your Abilities.

He claims to be a teacher first and foremost having taught in three schools and has a wide experience of teacher education in Liverpool and Northampton. His enthusiasm and devotion to teaching is reflected in all his courses.

David is also a keen sportsman and ran for his county and the RAF. He was Chairman of Managers at St Andrews Hospital for five years and continues as a manager. He was President of His Rotary Club and was made an Honorary Commander at RAF Croughton (USAF) in recognition of his service to the community.


  1. Many gifted and talented children are bored and frustrated in the classroom. They simply are not achieving their potential and their talents are going unrecognised. This is a practical guide, written by an experienced and world renowned educationalist with a wealth of experience. It will challenge, excite and inspire teachers, and it shows them how they can identify more clearly gifted and talented children, and provide for the needs of these children in their classroom. 

    Dr David George was formerly Associate Director of Nene College, the University of Northampton, and before that Dean of the Faculty of Science. He now pursues his special interest in the education of gifted and talented children. He is Founder President of the National Association for Able Children in Education and was a member of the Executive Committee of The World Council of Gifted and Talented Children, and a consultant to the British Council and UNESCO. He has lectured both nationally and internationally on the education of gifted and talented children. He is the author of The Challenge of the Able Child, Gifted Education: Identification and Provision, Making the Most of Your Abilities, and Enrichment Activities for More Able Pupils. 

    The practical way in which this topic is approached can be seen in the chapter headings: Gifted Underachievers, Identification Strategies, Provision, Self Esteem, and Very Young-Already-Gifted-Potentially Bored. 

    The last chapter is devoted to Parenting the Young, Gifted and Bored. First of all, however, you must read the introduction, rather than diving straightaway into the five chapters because within this lies the key to the book. This gives the raison d'etre for the need to look at gifted children in a variety of ways, it gives a strategic outline for teachers, and discusses all the detail that teachers at some stage in their careers, preferably very early on, so that recognition of these very able children will enhance the whole classroom experience. 

    George talks of the problems associated with gifted children, challenging situations, alternative learning styles, modern resources, varied teaching styles, and most of all, the education of the whole person. There is emphasis also on the many-faceted face of a child's learning, together with the influence of the home and of the child's peers. There is nothing about league tables! 

    The format of this book is encouraging for the reader, providing diagrams, tables, prompters, questions and exercises. It uses theoretical material well-known to teachers, such as De Bono, Maslow, Gardner, Bloom, and Renzulli, but the text is light and very readable. 

    I am prejudiced, but I think that copies of this books should be freely available in every staffroom and also be handy for governors. From my school, pupils and teachers became influenced by David George and his team in Northampton - bringing untold benefits not only to the pupils on the programme, but to many other areas of the curriculum.
  2. 3 out of 5

    David George's new book, Young Gifted and Bored, is predicated on the view that too many young people who are gifted and talented are not catered for by current teaching practice. They end up avoiding using their talents or, worse, they use them to create disruption and mayhem in the classroom.

    The solution, he suggests, lies in seeking to understand better the nature and needs of these young people. We need to adapt the way we work with them in our schools and homes, help them exploit their own strengths and challenge them to be better than they are. George believes they need to be rescued from their boredom and frustration and from a school system that is failing them because it is too easy.

    The book encourages teachers and school leaders to go beyond the narrow idea of providing a -˜gifted and talented' programme. There is a phrase George uses, which can be traced back to John F Kennedy, if not further, and is relevant for all teachers who perhaps struggle with the very concept of gifted and talented: -˜a rising tide lifts all ships'. In other words, teachers need to challenge and stretch themselves in order to stretch the young, gifted and bored in their care. In so doing, all learners will benefit and learn to discover the pleasure of successfully blowing whatever trumpet they have.

    It would be wrong to portray this book as merely a treatise on why teachers, schools and parents need to cater for the needs of the gifted and talented. It is a book that helps teachers - particularly anyone co- ordinating a gifted and talented programme - identify and provide for gifted and talented young people. Teachers will be attracted to the practical examples offered, the possible classroom strategies, useful worksheets and various tips and tactics. Sadly these are all contained within the book itself, so teachers will have to create the worksheets, questionnaires, and other collateral for themselves. Perhaps the next edition could provide a CD-ROM with templates.

    I found the chapter on self-esteem and the gifted underachiever particularly helpful. George argues, correctly in my view, that being a gifted and talented learner does not necessarily mean being a motivated learner. He references evidence that gifted and talented pupils often have low self-esteem because they are -˜put down' by their peers. Worse, they sometimes feel they cannot do enough for their parents, who have such high expectations of them. George provides some useful and focused activities for use in whole-class settings to help raise pupils' self-esteem.

    The final chapter is directed at the parents of the young, gifted and bored. It is full of helpful strategies and tactics for them to deploy - either with their children or with the school. As a parent, I read this chapter with great interest. Am I an authoritarian or authoritative parent? Indulgent or uninvolved? The advice is applicable to all parents and written in a practical and supportive style.

    This insight into the mind of the gifted and talented young person will provide teachers and parents with helpful tools to identify, assess and nurture the abilities of those with high learning potential.

  3. Our brightest children deserve the best chances' declares the headline in the Daily Mail. But who are our brightest children? How bright are they? In what ways does their brightness show itself? How do we ascertain their different levels of brightness? What can we do to ensure that their brightness does not evaporate in the face of current linear and modular approaches to schooling?

    In Young, Gifted and Bored David George tackles these issues with intellectual directness, practical effectiveness and a thoughtful passion for the plight of our many under-achieving bright children in contemporary education. The success of David's approach is based on reflection about his broad experience over many years in thinking about, observing and speaking with bright children and their teachers. This expertise can only come from an educationist steeped in the daily realities of being an able child in the conventional, 21st century, classroom.

    Through many examples, anecdotes, practical check-lists and quotations David manages to capture the essence of his highly successful courses that have had such a profound influence on so many teachers and able child-co-ordinators. His analytical approach under-pinned by humour and practicality set down in ways that exemplify how able children should be taught quick, lively and challenging ideas expressed succinctly through stimulating ideas, cartoons, bullet points, quick-fire lists and the unexpected and unusual. Who would know, for example, that some of our most influential high-achievers were described by their schools as -˜indolent and illiterate' or -˜lacking in staying power' if David did not tell them? How would teachers encounter Goethe's notion that education is about helping able children -˜become what there are capable of being' if advocates like David did not draw it to their attention.

    As well as being a powerful advocate of bright minds committed to boredom through current instructional practices that are largely out of phase with the ways able and highly able children learn, David is equally strong in his presentation of well- tried and tested techniques that really work in schools and classroom. He includes some of his course classics Bright child/Gifted Learner and What is achievement? together with new ideas about the relationship between ability, attainment and achievement and the importance of self-esteem in high-level learning

    David is a champion of our most able children, many of whom are trapped in conventions of schooling rather than a system that liberates their thinking through education. Young, Gifted and Bored makes an important contribution to discussion, reflection and practice about making the most of ability no matter where in if found or through which dimensions of file and it expresses itself. Young, Gifted and Bored has quickly established itself as and important contribution to the -˜able child movement' and will much to motivate debate and improve the educational lives of some of the nation's brightest children.
    • Excellent balance between theory and practical ideas for application
    • Lovely illustrations, quotes and examples
    • I like the use of lists and bullet points
    • Written with humour, enthusiasm and passion
    • Very useful diagrams and tables
    • It is great to see such a book written with such a clear focus on emotional and spiritual intelligence
    • Emphasis on developing creativity
    • Very honest and realistic expectations of teachers - empowering and inspiring
    • Challenges stereotypes of Able and Gifted children
    • Section on gifted underachievers was particularly relevant to my position - many students who come to, or pass through pupil referral units have hidden talents that are not identified, or recognised or celebrated because of behavioural difficulties and exclusion from school
  4. David creates a clear and readable context for the education of gifted and talented young people. We are educating our children for an unknown and uncertain future and David`s short book allows us to explore and extend a range of approaches that will stretch those most able children and improve the provision for all. David`s warm and open approach underpins much of this work and is blended with a sharp focus of how teacher`s can change their classroom practice. Parents, decision makers and teachers will find practical strategies and instruments to review their provision and ensure their children remain fully engaged!
  5. The ability to think is without doubt the most important skill for schools of the twenty-first century to develop and nurture in our pupils. Who knows what the world will expect and require of our current pupils when they complete their compulsory education. What is certain is that they will need to be able to think for themselves and to think creatively. This is David George`s philosophy and spur for this book; another, which will be welcomed by teachers, parents and carers alike. David George, as always, writes with conviction and offers both theory and practice.

    Honing the skills of thinking does not just happen, not even amongst the most gifted and talented children in our schools, who, if not challenged will become bored and often challenging. George argues cogently that best practice and provision for the gifted and talented enhances the education of all children, and that it is the responsibility of schools to have identification strategies. He makes it clear that there is no quick fix for best provision for the young, gifted and bored, but offers a variety of multidimensional approaches to identification and many ideas for enriching, extending and differentiating the curriculum for pupils of all ages. The latter point is worth emphasising as teachers, and indeed parents and carers, of children of all ages will find this a must read if they are committed to nurturing their charge`s thinking abilities and win back the hearts, minds and brains of able, but underachieving, pupils.

    In essence, a readable book, written with clarity and deploying evidence that demonstrates George`s real enthusiasm for developing pupils` thinking and that his insights and understanding of pupils remain firmly rooted in his regular engagement with pupils in schools across the country.
  6. This brings together much of the material that David has collected over his long career in gifted education. The anecdotes, examples of children`s work and humorous touches that make his presentations so popular, are all here. His warm and patriarchal voice comes through strongly and as the reader, you know that this author is someone who cares very much about G&T children getting a fair deal. To be gifted and bored is indeed, a travesty.

    The components one would expect of any useful book about teaching able children are all here: identifying gifts and talents and looking out for underachievers; making good provision; paying attention to self-esteem; nurturing gifts and talents in the early years; and `a few words on parenting`. All is presented in a very concise and accessible format; and easy to dip into.

    G&T coordinators and leading teachers will find much to support their work in school, especially in terms of providing CPD for colleagues. The examples of `celebrity` individuals who were late developers: `Albert Einstein was four years old before he could speak and seven before he could read-¦` and those castigated by their teachers as `indolent and illiterate` (Roald Dahl) can bring an extra (enjoyable) dimension to any training you are planning, helping to get colleagues `on side`. More than this, there are practical resources that will help teachers in their identification of, and provision for, able learners.

    Higher order thinking skills, problem solving and creativity are at the heart of good G&T provision, and teachers are exhorted to plan for their inclusion in all lessons. `Eight great strategies`, sections on practical approaches to differentiation and a consideration of questioning skills are all designed to help them in that quest.
  7. I found this short book revelatory. It sets out very clearly how a large number of children have potential for higher achievement and creativity, but often react with inattention and even antisocial behaviour in contemporary school environments. I suddenly understood why my son gets average marks in class, but occasionally top marks in exams! In well written chapters it sets out how to identify these gifted and talented children, and how to understand, teach, support and parent them. This is referenced to current government educational policy and school practice. I believe schools that enthusiastically pursue a special policy for these children, and work creatively with them, will see spectacular and rewarding results. In this way we can equip a generation with the capabilities needed in the twenty-first century.
  8. `Young, Gifted and Bored` by David George is a practical insight into the mind of the gifted and talented child or young person. It gives both teaching staff and parents alike practical tools to help identify, assess and nurture the young minds of those with high learning potential. The book`s emphasis is on the importance of parents and teachers working together to ensure that the young and gifted are definitely not bored but are effectively challenged in the classroom and beyond. It is an easy read for anyone working with children and young people, particularly those who are looking to explore other reasons for underachievement.`
  9. In the world of education, David George is one of a handful of people who truly understands what it means to be gifted and talented. Much has been written and even more spoken about the subject. Yet, our inability to identify gifted children and what to do with them once we have done so is startling.

    At last, a book which champions young people of exceptional creativity and talent, who possess the ability to answer old questions and tackle old problems in new ways. That is precisely what David George achieves in his new book. It is long overdue.
  10. `Anyone who has experienced David George`s training courses has come to expect an inspirational tour de force in working with the most able: His new book `Young Gifted and Bored` does no less in print. It is a world away from dry pedagogical theory and deeply embedded in sparkling realism which every teacher will relate to and can learn from. He manages to combine instruction with entertainment and amusement. No teacher will read this book and not feel enlivened and emboldened in their teaching: Mr George ought to be available on prescription. A lifetime of real chalkface experience and expert knowledge of our most amazing young people, and how to respond to their needs, are woven into this remarkable and highly readable book.`
  11. Dr David George has written another excellent book which stands out from similar books on the market. The emphasis is on the crucial early years, the importance of parenting and raising self-esteem. The book is very readable with many practical ideas, charts and tables for busy teachers.
    As usual David`s book is written with humour and great humanity. He is passionate about education and has a genuine love of children.

    Now that `gifted education` has been cut by the government we must not let the issue be sidelined. This supportive book helps the reader to focus on this issue. The future of each child, and the country, is at stake.

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