Methods and Materials for Teaching the Gifted: Author Q&A
Methods and Materials for Teaching the Gifted: Author Q&A
PUBLISHED: Wednesday, June 10, 2020 by Andilynn Feddeler

The completely revised and updated fifth edition of Methods and Materials for Teaching the Gifted provides a comprehensive examination of the most current research and best practices in the field of gifted education. Learn more about this complete resource curated for a wide range of K–12 educators in this interview with the editors, Jennifer H. Robins, Ph.D., and Jennifer L. Jolly, Ph.D.

Q: How has the field of gifted education changed since the last edition?

A: Since 2015, when the fourth edition of Methods and Materials was published, the field of gifted education has come to understand identification in a much more granular way; there has been a shift to a greater focus on talent development, and there is a more consistent focus on issues of equity and diversity.  

Q: How did you decide which topics to include in this new edition?

A: Frances A. Karnes, Ph.D., and Suzanne M. Bean, Ph.D., who coedited the first four editions, had their own vision of what they thought the textbook should be. Many of us in the field have used previous editions in our graduate programs as we were studying to be teachers of the gifted and talented. However, the first edition was published nearly 20 years ago. They held to the same core gifted education topics over the first four editions. We wanted to add our own perspective to this edition and update the book so it reflects the field as it stands currently. We decided to focus on new topics that had not been included in previous editions and invited authors who could best speak to both the research and practice in these areas. Changes in the field over the past 2 decades also influenced what we included and who we invited to write chapters. 

Q: What are some topics that did not make it into the new edition? Why? (Or, is there anything you wish you had space to include?)

A: We spent a lot of time brainstorming the various topics that we felt should be addressed in a textbook. We feel the book is comprehensive in nature and current in the research and best practices shared. We hope we did not miss a huge topic!

Q: What features does the book include to benefit readers?

A: First, the content included needed to be supported by the research literature, as practitioners and administrators should be able to understand and implement best practices in the field—and these are based on what the research says. We asked authors to capture the chapter’s big ideas and develop discussion questions in order to guide the reader and support reflection about each chapter’s topic. 

Q: What do you hope readers take away from this new edition?

A: We see this as being a go-to resource for university professionals and practitioners. We hope readers find the material applicable to the current landscape of gifted education and come away with concrete understandings about each topic addressed in the book. We feel the book focuses on both the methods and materials for teaching gifted and talented learners in a practical, easy-to understand manner.

Jennifer H. Robins, Ph.D., is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Director of the Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at Baylor University. Jennifer L. Jolly, Ph.D., is a professor of gifted education in the Department of Special Education and Multiple Abilities at the University of Alabama. Frances A. Karnes, Ph.D., is a retired professor of education from The University of Southern Mississippi and founder of the Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies. Suzanne M. Bean, Ph.D., is a Project Manager at the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State University.