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Gifted, Creative, and Talented (page 3)

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

Issues in Identification and Assessment of Gifted, Creative, and Talented

Several approaches exist for identifying gifted and talented children and youth. Common approaches include nomination methods, standardized test scores, talent pool searches, and a multiple measures–multiple criteria approach. Nomination approaches consist of distributing nomination forms to teachers and parents. Schools often implement an approach by which parents, teachers, peers, and students are provided nomination forms in which they detail reasons for nominating a student (or self) for the gifted and talented program.

Standardized test score approaches include the use of intelligence and achievement test scores. These tests may be individually or group-administered. Cutoff scores to qualify students as gifted and talented are often designated to identify which students score in the top 8% (Renzulli & Reiss, 1991). This approach is usually combined with some other approach, in that standardized test scores are seldom the only criteria considered.

A multiple measures–multiple criteria approach is implemented in many schools (Davis & Rimm, 2004). This approach combines many of the pieces of evidence collected in the approaches discussed previously, but may also include detailed family histories, student work samples and inventories of interests, and discussion of all evidence by a gifted-and-talented screening committee.

General Classroom Accommodations for Students Who Are Gifted, Creative, and Talented

Several educational approaches exist for programming curriculum and classes for gifted and talented youth. These include acceleration and enrichment, and are provided in regular classes, resource classes, self-contained classes, university classes, and through mentoring programs (Davis & Rimm, 2004). Careful pretesting identifies skills and information that gifted students have and can be used to place them in more appropriate curriculum.

Acceleration

Acceleration refers to moving students through the curriculum at a faster pace than general education students (Davis & Rimm, 2004). Acceleration can mean admitting a child to school early, skipping grades, providing level-appropriate curriculum, or testing out of classes. Advancing students places them in grades that match their achievement levels. For example, a fourth-grader who is working at a sixth-grade level academically might be advanced to the sixth-grade class. Another example is maintaining students in the age-appropriate class, but providing them with the appropriate-level curriculum (sixth-grade level, in this example). It might also mean advancing students several grade levels only in specific academic classes. For example, if seventh-grade students were gifted mathematically, they might be placed with juniors in the Algebra II class, but remain with their age peers for other subjects. Universities also may allow students who are gifted or talented to enroll in college-level courses when prerequisite criteria are met. Students who are gifted or talented frequently take advanced placement tests for college, which enables them to skip college-level courses. Finally, many students are admitted early to colleges and universities.

Acceleration is controversial, with proponents arguing strenuously for and opponents arguing strenuously against acceleration programs. Proponents claim students need acceleration to maintain interest in school and to be challenged adequately. Opponents claim that acceleration harms the social-emotional development of gifted students. Unfortunately, research results are ambiguous and yield no clear definitive answers (Davis & Rimm, 2004).

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