TI Logo long
Home of the Ruf Estimates
of Gifted Online Assessment
September 2011
In This Issue
Innovation, Creativity and the Workplace
School Is Not Real Life
Protecting the Brain
Not Every Child a Genius
Open Culture
Young Adult Literature: Too Dark?
Gifted Children Become Gifted Adults
Keeping Up With Dr. Ruf

Besides her years of expertise as an educational consultant, Dr. Ruf also is well established as a national and international speaker on all issues of giftedness.  

* * * *

Dr. Ruf will be presenting at the 58th Annual Convention of the National Assn. for Gifted Children (NAGC) in New Orleans November 3-6.


Dr. Ruf will speak to Parents of Bright and Gifted Children in the Tipp City area of Ohio (near Dayton) Thursday evening, November 10.


Dr. Ruf will conduct all day workshops for educators in the Beavercreek City Schools, Ohio, on Friday, November 11.  


Dr. Ruf will present a breakout session on Levels of Giftedness at the MCGT Fall Conference on Saturday, November 12.   


TalentIgniter is now on the verge of launching our next product, the Self Esteem Test for Children.  


Based on the Harter Scales by Susan Harter at the University of Denver, Colorado, this online test will help you determine how your child feels about areas in his or her life - academics, social acceptance, physical appearance, behavior, and overall sense of self-worth. Designed to help parents, schools, and mental health professionals, results can lead to improved support for a struggling child.  


The Self Esteem Test for Children is the first in a series of tests, to be followed soon with self esteem tests for teens and for adults.  


Watch for more information in next month's newsletter!





Kathy Hara, Editor


* * * * * * * * 




Most literature on creativity and innovation in the workplace targets an audience of managers and business leaders and focuses on methods to foster organizational climates conducive to innovation. A recurring message is that companies have historically approached the creative climate in different ways and "there is no recipe for systemic creativity," (Mauzy & Harriman, p. 35). One essential element, however, is that top management holds the power to set the tone and thus plays a key role in whether a company will be innovative or not. Management "must ask for technical innovation, demand it, encourage it, stimulate it, fund it, and reward it," (Hastie, p. 156). Management must truly want and be committed to creativity and be willing to sacrifice short term results for innovation.


From Sources of Innovation and Creativity: A Summary of the Research, by Karlyn Adams.  


 Innovation, Creativity and the Workplace 


What is it about the nature of our culture, our society and our economy that makes our country more creative and innovative than others? And what actions should the US education system take to promote innovation and creativity among students?


These are just a few of the questions addressed in a paper that was commissioned by the National Center on Education and the Economy for the Federal Commission on New Skills for the Workplace. Karlyn Adams, of the University of Pennsylvania, has written Sources of Innovation and Creativity: A Summary of the Research. Although this is not new - it was published in September 2005 but just recently brought to our attention - it is still an interesting look at techniques that can help develop innovation and creativity, which in turn will lead to entrepreneurship.


This summary is a PDF report that is posted on the website of Future Problem Solving Program International, Inc. (see page 54 of the report).



School Is Not Real Life


September seemed like the perfect time to bring back Dr. Ruf's article series, School is Not Real Life. In this series, she discusses how "one-size-fits-all" educational practices affect the gifted child.


Parts 1 and 2 were recently posted on the TalentIgniter blog, and the remaining two will be posted on September 26 and October 3, respectively.


Stem Cells Protecting the Brain



Because we're always interested in the brain, we wanted to share a recent press release that contains encouraging news in the field of medicine. After 10 years of development in the lab, clinical trials will now begin in Boston and Jerusalem for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and Lou Gehrig's disease. The technology involves taking stem cells from a patient's own bone marrow and causing them to differentiate into astrocyte-like cells, which are responsible for the well-being of the brain's neurons.


The research has appeared in the Journal of Stem Cells Reviews and Reports and a number of other publications.



Not Every Child a Genius


Christopher Ferguson's article, Not Every Child Is Secretly a Genius, was first published in 2009, but it has been making the social media rounds lately. So if you missed it the first or second time, I'm including the link here.

Open Culture logo Open Culture



In the September issue of the Educational Options Newsletter, I was excited to include an article about entire online courses available for free through Yale University. So when I saw that the Open Culture website was offering The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, it certainly caught my attention.


But then I discovered everything else that was available through Open Culture, most of which is downloadable at no charge. There are 400 online courses from top universities, audio books, movies (including silent films!), textbooks, language lessons, and more. They even offer a free daily email to keep you updated.  


There is so much information available on the Internet, say the founders of Open Culture. "It's all free. It's all enriching. But it's also scattered across the web, and not easy to find. Our whole mission is to centralize this content, curate it, and give you access to this high quality content whenever and wherever you want it."


Young Adult Literature: Too Dark?


An article in the Wall Street Journal by Meghan Cox Gurdon, Darkness Too Visible, garnered a lot of discussion about the subject matter of books for young people between the ages of 12 and 18. If books available for teens and young adults nowadays are all "vampires and suicide and self-mutilation," the question becomes whether these themes are harmful or helpful. 


In a rebuttal to Gurdon's viewpoint, YA author Ashley Perez has written the blog Why Gurdon (Still) Doesn't Get It: Parent-Vision, Teen-Vision, and What It means for Books to Reach Their Audience, which includes several links to other writings on the subject.


Besides the article and the blog, many readers also posted opinions, and I found the entire dialog fascinating. So . . . find out what you think.



Thinking Ahead logo Gifted Children Become Gifted Adults


Many gifted adults only recognize their own giftedness when they start trying to understand their children. A friend of ours in Western Australia, Derrin Cramer, has added a Gifted Adults section to her website, Thinking Ahead, where she has begun posting articles and resources. Because Cramer started this website in order to provide opportunities for her daughters, there are also many resources here for parents, including a blog.


EO Logo cube
Newsletters from Educational Options

If you like this newsletter, you may wish to subscribe to our Educational Options Newsletter, as well. Issued once a month, this newsletter contains completely different content from the TalentIgniter Newsletter. To subscribe, simply send an email to Kathy@EducationalOptions.com, and write "Subscribe to Newsletter" in the subject line.
To see the Educational Options Newsletter archives, visit our website at http://www.educationaloptions.com/newsletters/newsletters.php.

TI Logo square


TalentIgniter invites you to browse the many features offered on its website, including the following:
  • Dr. Ruf's Talent Igniter Blog 
  • The Parents' Picks section (with recommendations for parents of eager little learners, starting at infancy with more age groups added weekly!)
  • Book Recommendations for people wanting to learn more about gifts, talents, and how to develop both!
  • Detailed insider information about the Ruf Estimates of Levels of Gifted Online Assessment, the inventory parents fill out to know how to help their own young children thrive. It's so much more than just a kid's IQ test! 
Keys ebook cover
Keys to Successfully Raising the Gifted Child

You know your child is gifted. But how does that impact day-to-day life and your role as a parent?

Written by Deborah L. Ruf, Ph.D., and Larry A. Kuusisto, Ph.D., this ebook is for parents who are new to the idea that their children might be intellectually advanced or gifted. The book addresses important parenting issues, including what to actually tell your child about his or her giftedness, how schools approach learning differences, best ways to provide emotional support, sibling rivalry, and more.

The book delivers lots of provocative information that will lead to hours of good discussion, debate, and further investigation and research by group or class participants studying the gifted and talented.

The book is available for purchase at www.TalentIgniter.com/products.

5 Levels of Gifted

5 Levels cover5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options (2005) (formerly titled Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind). 5 Levels of Gifted, published by Great Potential Press, combines four years of data gathering from 50 families with nearly 30 years of research and experience in the field of giftedness, individual differences, and high intelligence. The book is aimed primarily at parents and vividly describes the upper 10 to 15 percent of the intellectual continuum in human beings from birth to adulthood as manifested in their behaviors, thoughts, accomplishments, and test scores. She introduces the concept of Levels of Giftedness and makes it very clear how many factors contribute to a person's intellectual levels and achievement.