Of Grit and Gumption, Sass and Verve: What Gifted Students Can Learn From Multicultural Picture Book Biographies

  • Rhoda Myra Garces-BacsalEmail author
Living reference work entry

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Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


The significant role picture book biographies (PBBs) play when it comes to providing readers with a deeper understanding of ‘global connections and cultural diversity’ is evident in the research (Morgan, Early Childhood Educ J 37:219, 2009). This becomes even more important among gifted and talented readers who can use multicultural PBBs to know more intimately the life narratives of men and women who have achieved expertise and prominence in their respective fields and domains. Multicultural titles, in particular, would allow readers to see themselves as part of humanity and provide a window to other societies and lifestyles that may be unfamiliar to them. The use of biographies that focus on diverse populations allows students to see everyone as having equally high potential and helps develop an appreciation of alternative pathways to talent development and expertise. Based on a research project that looks into building a database of multicultural picture books for social and emotional learning, text-sets of PBBs by award-winning authors and artists have been compiled, representing different types of giftedness including artistic, literary, musical, athletic, leadership and intellectual skills. This would be linked to cognitive traits of the gifted and talented, social and emotional issues experienced by the gifted and social and emotional traits of gifted learners and the highly creative. The PBBs of resilient individuals who demonstrate sass and verve and grit and gumption despite misfortune and adversity will likewise be shared and discussed. Through these inspired and well-crafted biographies, it is hoped that teachers can scaffold gifted readers’ understandings of, and identification with, diverse people from around the world and come to realise how the road to excellence can prove to be an arduous, but meaningful journey.


Gifted students High-ability learners Picture book biographies Multicultural children’s literature Social and emotional learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rhoda Myra Garces-Bacsal
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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