Who are "gifted and talented" students?



Most lay people associate "giftedness" with high IQ scores (usually 125 and above). For most people, this seems to be the easiest, most defensible definition. They imagine a gifted child to be a "mini-Einstein" or a "little professor." He (usually a boy) has glasses, a pocket-protector, and sits quietly soaking up facts about dinosaurs or the solar system. He's a breeze to teach because he always listens and is well-behaved.


Little Professor

This stereotypical definition not only hurts the children labeled in this way, but it also leaves out many other children who do not fit into the "G/T box."



As time has moved on, this narrow, monolithic definition of giftedness has been broadened to include many more students. In 1972, the US Department of Education published the Marland Report. This "newer" definition of giftedness has led to a more inclusive view of giftedness.



Gifted and talented children are those identified by professionally qualified persons who by virtue of outstanding abilities are capable of high performance. These are children who require differentiated educational programs and services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their contribution to self and society.

Children capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement and/or potential ability in any of the following areas:

1. General intellectual ability

2. Specific academic ability

3. Creative or productive thinking

4. Leadership ability

5. Visual and performing arts

6. Psychomotor ability


Many current theorists desire to move beyond the Marland Report in order to include even more children. Especially popular is Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligence which includes seven types of intelligence. They view these more multi-dimensional, fluid definitions as better able to recognize those students outside of the "G/T Box."


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