What Is Giftedness?
For over a century, researchers, scientists, and educators have been trying to define the term gifted. Historically, giftedness has been closely linked with the concept of genius.
This association began around the turn of the 20th century when psychologists developed tests that were designed to measure intelligence; people who scored low on the tests were considered handicapped and those who scored high were geniuses. It is important to note that the original intelligence tests were developed to identify mentally handicapped students, not the gifted.
The use of intelligence tests as the single measure of giftedness has been greatly criticized in recent years primarily because the tests are often biased. Also, many researchers and educators have come to believe that giftedness is more than high intellectual ability; it may also include, among other things, creativity, memory, motivation, physical dexterity, leadership, and sensitivity to the arts.
A Self-Directed Learner
Conducts ongoing evaluation of own progress and products. Seeks appropriate academic rigor. Allows self and others to be productive. Establishes realistic goals and determine appropriate courses of action. Thinks with foresight.
A Contributing, Collaborative Worker
Monitors own behavior and interpersonal needs and skills. Displays coping skills, interpersonal skills, and communication skills. Exhibits effective leadership. Demonstrates sophistication in attitude, appreciation, and intuition.
A Complex Thinker
Uses inductive and deductive logical reasoning skills in content areas. Utilizes critical thinking skills for factor analysis in diverse situations. Selects creative or logical reasoning as appropriate for task completion. Incorporated complex thinking skills to develop the understanding that all learning is related.
A Problem Solver
Problem finder, identifies, and hypothesizes. Selects and applies alternative strategies appropriate to problem solution. Evaluates strategies and solutions with accuracy and thoroughness. Demonstrates the ability to transfer knowledge gained to solve relevant problems in simulated and real situations. Develops a tolerance for ambiguity.
A Quality Producer
Seeks efficient resources and technology appropriate to task. Communicates effectively and efficiently. Develops creative products that meet intended purpose and are appropriate to the audience. Designs and makes products that show effort and creativity.
A Community Contributor
Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of a variety of cultures within communities. Develops effective leadership and team-building skills to be a productive contributor. Takes action by transferring problem-solving processes to address real-life community issues.