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  October 15, 2009


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National Association for Gifted Children Annual Convention - November 5-8, 2009
St. Louis, MO


Teacher Preparation

Marshall University

Program requirements

West Virginia University

Program requirements

From the West Virginia Department of Education
Innate Ability vs. Effort

     "“Great accomplishment, and even what we call genius, is typically the result of years of passion and dedication and not something that flows naturally from a gift.” (Dweck, 2007). Carol S. Dweck's studies show that focusing on effort rather than on intelligence or talent encourages a "growth mind-set" in children.

     In her article, "The Secrets to Raising Smart Kids," Dr. Dweck states that children who coast through the early grades because they already know the material, get the notion that learning does not take effort. They don't realize that they learned those skills earlier in their life and begin to believe that intelligence is innate. Later, when they encounter more challenging experiences in learning, they see them as threats to their intelligence, rather than learning opportunities which may take effort on their part. “And it causes them to lose confidence and motivation when the work is no longer easy for them.” (Dweck, 2007)

From The Secret to Raising Smart Kids, Scientific American Mind, Dec 2007.

    To read more about Dr. Dweck's studies, click on this link:

     David Dobbs, in "How to be a Genius," has a formula for genius "1 percent inspiration, 29 per cent good instruction and encouragement, and 70 percent perspiration." Successful people will tell you that they made an incredible investment of effort.

     Sustained, focused effort is critical to achieve prominence, but successful people will tell you that they also had a supportive environment and almost always had a mentor. No matter how hard one works to succeed, if a person does not have the proper instruction, it probably will not happen. The importance of good instruction from teachers and parents cannot be overstated.

     So, although ability and a nurturing environment are important, effort appears to be the most important factor in success.

Instructional Site

The instructional site featured in this issue is Oil Refining - A Closer Look

Content Connections

NAGC has collected and categorized some of their favorite online teaching resources at .

Additional Resources

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

National Research Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development

West Virginia Department of Education
Office of Special Programs, Extended and Early Learning
Building 6, Room 304
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E.
Charleston, WV 25305
Gifted education teachers in West Virginia receive this newsletter periodically from the West Virginia Department of Education. To change your e-mail address or update your information, please email Vickie Mohnacky at or call (304) 558-2696.