Classification of Gifted and Talented Students
Many people have varying views on what classifies a student as gifted and talented.
According to the Office of Gifted and Talented, six qualities determine giftedness.
These qualities are intellectual ability as well as talent, scoring in the 97th percentile and above on aptitude tests, creative thinking, leadership ability, talents in the fine arts, and psychomotor abilities. Using the definition supplied by Bruce User, “a school system could expect to identify 10% to 15% or more of its student population as gifted and talented” (2000, p. 1). In A Dictionary of Education, a gifted child is defined as, “usually taken to be a child of exceptional performance in academic studies or creative arts like music, painting, or acting. Sometimes the label is awarded on the basis of high IQ, even in the absence of exceptional performance- perhaps even in the presence of apathetic or disruptive attitudes, suggesting to some observers that the child is bored and not being sufficiently challenged” (Rowntree, 1981, p. 105).
In The Gifted and Talented Children’s Act of 1978 gifted children are defined as, “Children and, wherever applicable, youth, who are identified at the pre-school, elementary, or secondary level as possessing or demonstrating potential abilities that give evidence of high performance capabilities in areas such as intellectual, creative, specific academic, or leadership ability, or in the performing arts, and who by reason thereof, require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school” (Shafritz, Koeppe, & Super 1998, p.213-214).
Another view of the qualities of gifted and talented students suggests that there are both typical and atypical gifted students and the gifted and talented label should be the result of observing behaviors. Typical gifted and talented students will exhibit behaviors such as independence, power of observation, love of the truth, eagerness, willingness to question, and ability to conceptualize. Atypical gifted and talented students are usually those who are culturally different who live in a non-supportive environment. These students may or may not exhibit the same characteristics of a typical gifted and talented students, but often display the abilities once they are challenged (Maker, 1986).
According to “The Washington Post” a new quality should be added as a behavior of a gifted and talented student. The characteristic of wisdom is suggested as an important aspect in a student that is often overlooked. Wisdom, the ability to use your current knowledge, goes beyond general intelligence to practicality. Many students have knowledge, but relatively few can apply that knowledge to the world they live in. Wisdom is so often overlooked, but it is a characteristic equally if not more important than intelligence. (Strauss, 2002).
There are various different methods schools employ when selecting students to...