The Gifted and Talented

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The Gifted and Talented

The term “gifted” can mean many things. Up until recently it was the word used to describe people with profoundly high intelligence. Now, adding the words “creative” and “talented”, the category of giftedness has been extended to include not only exceptionally intelligent people, but also people with extraordinary ability in other areas, not just with IQ tests (Drew, Egan, & Hardman, 2002).

The identification and definition of giftedness have been controversial for many, many decades. Originally, IQ test scores were the only way of determining giftedness. An IQ test would be given and some number score, such as 12-, would be the point of cut-off (Cook, Elliott, Kratochwill, & Travers, 2000). More recently, intellectual giftedness is usually identified and defined by the specific school systems’ ideas and perspectives. There is no generally accepted definition of giftedness, but the Javits Gifted and Talented Education Act defines it as:

“Children and youth with outstanding talent perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment.

These children and youth exhibit high performance capability in intellectual, creative, and/or artistic areas, possess an unusual leadership capacity, or excel in specific academic fields. They require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the schools.

Outstanding talents are present in children and youth from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor” (Drew et al., 2002).

It is obvious there is practically no limit on who can be gifted. The problems lie in the wide range of definitions and the acce...

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