Definitions of Giftedness

Varying Definitions of Giftedness

From Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language (1989)
gifted- (gif'tid) adj. 1. having great special talents or ability: the debut of a gifted artist. 2. having exceptionally high intelligence: gifted children.

Terman (1926): conservative in restrictiveness

... the top 1% level in general intellectual ability as measured by the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale or a comparable instrument.

Witty (1958): liberal in restrictiveness

There are children whose outstanding potentialities in art, in writing, or in social leadership can be recognized largely by their performance. Hence, we have recommended that the definition of giftedness be expanded and that we consider any child gifted whose performance, in a potentially valuable line of human activity, is consistently remarkable.

U.S. Office of Education Definition (Marland, 1972) (This is used by many states and school districts)

Gifted and talented children are those identified by professionally qualified persons who by virtue of outstanding abilities are capable of high performance. These are children who require differentiated educational programs and/or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their contribution to self and society.

Children capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement and/or potential ability in any of the following areas, singly or in combination:

1. General intellectual ability
2. Specific academic aptitude
3. Creative or productive thinking
4. Leadership ability
5. Visual and performing arts

Three Ring Definition of Giftedness by Renzulli (1985 in The Schoolwide Enrichment Model book)

Gifted behavior consists of behaviors that reflect an interaction among three basic clusters of human traits.. these clusters being above average general and/or specific abilities, high levels of task commitment, and high levels of creativity. Individuals capable of developing gifted behavior are those possessing or capable of developing this composite set of traits and applying them to any potentially valuable area of human performance. Persons who manifest or are capable of developing an interaction among the three clusters require a wide variety of educational opportunities and services that are not ordinarily provided through regular instructional programs.