@reiver

Different Definitions Of Intellectual Giftedness

Educational and psychological literature offered a wide variety of definitions of giftedness. The criteria varied from study to study, from IQ score to creative products to teacher recommendations (Clinkenbaerd, 1991). Definitions accentuated performance or the potential to perform. Traditionally, researchers have defined giftedness in a one-dimensional way, as high general intelligence estimated upon a high global IQ score (Winner, 1997). In the last three decades [as of 2009], the focus of theories of giftedness became multidimensional, thus explaining that identification of giftedness, along with success or failure in education and life did not exclusively result from an individual’s general intelligence. In 1978, Renzulli identified three factors important for the development of gifted behaviour: above-average ability, creativity, and task commitment (Mönks, 1985). Mönks (1985) expanded this three-ring model with three environmental conditions: school, peers and family. Subsequently, multi-factor models were developed in which interactions between various environmental conditions and personality characteristics were emphasised to be crucial to the way in which various talents or gifts develop into talented performances (Gagné, 2004; Heller, 2004). Sternberg (2000) perceived an analytical, creative and practical component in his theory of successful intelligence. According to Reis and Renzulli (2004), current research suggested that gifted and talented students were a very diverse group of individuals who had ability in one or more domains, that was sufficiently advanced and that required changes in the school environment, such as the instructional curriculum and teacher behaviour. These domains were, for example, academic, creative and artistic areas, or leadership capacities. In Gardner’s (1983) theory of Multiple Intelligences, initially seven (later expanded to eight) domains were identified. Gardner’s ideas are today widely applied in educational settings and useful in gifted education (Bianco, Carothers, & Smiley, 2009). They were not, however, specifically constructed to conceptualise giftedness. According to Mönks and Mason (2000), it was next to impossible to define giftedness in a concise manner, because it depended on the specific research goal or educational context in which it was used. Moreover, definitions seemed more related to practical considerations than to developmental theories.

In this article, the concept of giftedness is embedded in the context of child and youth education and mental health, and in the domain of academic intelligence and/or performance. We will not focus on other domains of giftedness, such as arts or leadership, because our rationale stems from practical experiences with intellectually gifted and academically talented children, and second, unlike creative or leadership qualities, intellectual talents can be measured rather validly, given that intelligence tests have the highest known levels of reliability in talent assessment (Ziegler & Ziegler, 2009).

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Bianco, M., Carothers, D. E., & Smiley, L. R. (2009). Gifted students with Asperger syndrome: Strategies for strength-based programming. Intervention in School and Clinic, 44(4), 206–215.

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Clinkenbaerd, P. R. (1991). Beyond summary: Constructing a review of the literature. In N. K. Buchanan, & J. F. Feldhusen (Eds.), Conducting research and evaluation in gifted education: A handbook of methods and applications (pp. 32–50). New York: Teachers College Press.

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Gagné, F. (2004). Transforming gifts into talents: The DMGT as a developmental theory. High Ability Studies, 15(2), 119–147.

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Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind. The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Bantam Books.

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Heller, K. A. (2004). Identification of gifted and talented students. Psychology Science, 46(3), 302–323.

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Mönks, F. J. (1985). Hoogbegaafden: een situatieschets [Gifted individuals: A sketch of the situation]. In F. J. Mönks, & Q. Span (Eds.), Hoogbegaafden in de samenleving. Nijmegen, The Netherlands: Dekker & van de Vegt.

Mönks, F. J., & Mason, E. J. (2000). Developmental psychology and giftedness: Theories and research. In K. A. Heller, F. J. Mönks, R. J. Sternberg, & R. F. Subotnik (Eds.), International handbook of giftedness and talent (2nd ed., pp. 141–155). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

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Reis, S. M., & Renzulli, J. S. (2004). Current research on the social and emotional development of gifted and talented students: Good news and future possibilities. Psychology in the Schools, 41(1), 119–130.

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Sternberg, R. J. (2000). Successful intelligence: A unified view of giftedness. In C. F. M. van Lieshout, & P. G. Heymans (Eds.), Developing talent across the life span (pp. 43–65). Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press/Taylor and Francis.

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Winner, E. (1997). Exceptionally high intelligence and schooling. American Psychologist, 52(10), 1070–1081.

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Ziegler, A., & Ziegler, A. (2009). The paradoxical attenuation effect in tests based on classical test theory: Mathematical background and practical implications for the measurement of high abilities. High Ability Studies, 20(1), 5–14.

-- Agnes E.J. Burger-Veltmeijer , Alexander E.M.G. Minnaert , Els J. Van Houten-Van den Bosch

from "The co-occurrence of intellectual giftedness and Autism Spectrum Disorders: A literature review"

Quoted on Thu Jul 5th, 2012