Who Is Gifted or Talented?
Identifying giftedness can be a challenge, especially in children. New York State defines gifted students as those who show evidence of high performance capability and exceptional potential in areas such as general intellectual ability, special academic aptitude, and/or outstanding ability in special areas such as the visual and performing arts.
The federal Javits Gifted and Talented Education Act defines talented children as children and youth with outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience or environment. These children and youth exhibit high performance capability in intellectual, creative, and/or artistic areas, possess an unusual leadership capacity or excel in specific academic fields.
Outstanding talents are present in children and youth from all racial, ethnic, and cultural populations, as well as all economic strata. Students representing the diversity of our school population are included in our programs and services, including gifted and talented students with disabilities.
Criteria for identification vary, depending on the nature of the program or service and the age of the child. Teachers and parents may see evidence of advanced problem-solving abilities, extensive vocabulary, mature sense of humor, insatiable curiosity, rapid learning ability, good memory, sensitivity, and/or vivid imagination. In all cases, however, multiple criteria are used. Students are not identified on the basis of a single assessment.
Below is a commonly used tool with traits, attributes, and behaviors (TABs) identified by Dr. Mary Frasier. These TABs are demonstrated across cultural, social, and economic groups as representations of giftedness. The TABs are paired with Costa and Kallick's Habits of Mind, which are the thinking dispositions people use to solve problems that do not have simple solutions.