What is the definition of "gifted"?

The current federal definition of gifted students was originally developed in the 1972 Marland Report to Congress, and has been modified several times since then. The current definition, which is located in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is “Students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities” (Information from NAGC)

What are characteristics of gifted children?

Gifted children and youth exhibit high performance capability in intellectual, creative, and/or artistic areas, possess an unusual leadership capacity, or excel in specific fields. Some gifted children tend to be highly creative in the arts though scholastically “average”, and display clever or innovative thinking strategies.

Where Howard Gardner originally cited mathematical intelligence, spatial or musical ability, and social intelligence, being a few of the original 8 intelligences, there are now over 20.

Described to have a few of the following characteristics, gifted students:

  • Process complex information quickly
  • Display clever or innovative thinking strategies
  • Have a passion to explore specific interests in great depth and breadth
  • Possess an insatiable curiosity that generates a plethora of questions and investigations
  • See the spectrum of grays rather than just the polar opposites of an issue
  • Get frustrated or bored easily with mundane or repetitive tasks that are not intellectually stimulating