Gifted, Creative, and Talented (page 2)

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Intellectually Gifted

Intellectually gifted students are those who have scored very high on standardized tests and usually excel in school. They are frequently very highly skilled verbally and have outstanding memories and literacy abilities—especially in reading and writing—compared with their typical age peers. They also tend to have outstanding critical thinking and problem-solving abilities and insatiable curiosities (Bireley, 1995). Intellectually gifted youth acquire, retain, and manipulate large amounts of information and appear to learn in intuitive leaps (Davis & Rimm, 2004; Silverman, 1995).

Creative and Talented

The definitions of creative and talented are widely varied, but consensus usually converges on the identification of individuals with exceptional talents in particular areas (Clark, 2002). Creatively gifted and talented youth often excel in the visual or performing arts. These students typically show outstanding abilities at young ages in particular areas. Davis (1995) listed the following 12 categories as representative of creative individuals: original, independent, risk taking, aware of creativeness, energetic, curious, has a sense of humor, attracted to complexity, artistic, open-minded, needs time alone, and intuitive.

Hidden Gifted, Creative, and Talented

Many students who are gifted and talented remain unidentified or hidden. This may be due to a number of factors. First, they might be underachievers and consequently their scores fall below the cutoff scores for classifying gifted students. Second, intelligence tests and standardized tests may be biased against some students due to cultural or linguistic diversity (Davis & Rimm, 2004; Patton, 1997). Third, girls who may be gifted and talented are often underidentified (Hollinger, 1995). It is speculated this may be because of underachievement in science and math, as well as declining achievement in adolescent years, although precise reasons are unknown. Finally, some students may not be identified due to existing disabilities in other areas (learning or physical disabilities). Special attention during classification and screening efforts at identifying gifted and talented youth can help eliminate underidentification of these individuals. Gregory, Starnes, and Blaylock (1988), and Patton (1997) provide some specific suggestions for finding and nurturing potential giftedness among Hispanic and African American students (see also Castellano, 2003). Their suggestions include the following:

  • Develop a “belief system” in school that culturally and linguistically diverse students can be and are gifted and talented.
  • Develop an identification process that reflects appreciation of the culture, language, values, and world views of culturally and linguistically diverse students and their families.
  • Employ a multidimensional assessment process that includes qualitative as well as quantitative measures.
  • Develop programs to educate the public in ways giftedness may be manifested (and sometimes concealed) in different cultures. Collaborate with people knowledgeable in the particular culture for assistance and support.
  • Ensure that insights gained in the identification and assessment process are incorporated into the instructional program.
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