Mind Path Consulting Services

Stretching Beyond Limits


Understanding Giftedness

What is giftedness?

There is no single definition on giftedness.  However, understanding “giftedness” is a very important issue in any selection of gifted children, as there is a strong link between definition and identification.  In fact, there are many terms that are used interchangeably and synonymously with the term gifted, such as superior, able, creative, talented, academically talented, to the extent of using words such as, highly competent, highly gifted or even profoundly or severely gifted, for the purpose of indicating the levels of giftedness. These are all fluid concepts and may appear to be a little different across cultures and contexts.

As parents and teachers, what is crucial is to be able to identify children who demonstrate greater capacity in terms of performance or who appear to have the potential do to so. This would enable us to cater for their educational needs to maximise their potential, which may otherwise lie dormant.

Definition by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC): Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains.  Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports).

Briefly, giftedness is broader and more varied than just a definition in terms of scores from an intelligence test (intelligence quotient – IQ, derived from intelligence tests), but in general terms, focuses on performance as the key attribute in defining giftedness.  Since intelligence is seen to be a fundamental aspect in the definition of giftedness, it does, to a certain extent, influence the abilities, talents, and personalities demonstrated by gifted individuals.