Gifted? What is gifted? Who are the gifted? That are the questions that people have been asking for decades. Over the past century, giftedness has been defined as those who have a higher IQ. However, researchers are finding that giftedness is not limited to the intelligence quotient. Children of average intelligence can also be gifted. Giftedness can be summarized as those of having the potential mental abilities to quickly process information, develop highly creative solutions to problems, crave knowledge, question many aspects of life, develop curiosities of different contents, and have unique abilities mentally or physically.
“It is impossible to give a clear and uncontroversial definition of highly able children because the field itself has singularly failed to produce a definitive way of defining and explaining high ability” (Winstanley, 2009).
One of the questions that sparks the most controversy is the question: “Aren’t all children gifted?” No, not all children are gifted but all children possess gifts (Clark, 2013). Gifted children are children who need advanced or highly differentiated instruction and assessments. All children have unique talents and abilities, but gifted children often require deeper insight and knowledge that is above their age level.
Another controversial comment is “If a child is gifted, then they will do fine on their own.” Unfortunately, this is a false assumption. Gifted children cannot maintain the pace of a regular classroom. They become bored with the content because they can process the information at a rapid pace (Wessling, 2012). These are the children who have completed the homework before the teacher has explained it. Gifted children typically perform above grade level in one or more content areas. These children will stagnate if their minds are not challenged in content and thinking skills. Gifted children are more likely to drop out of high school due to frustration and boredom than non-gifted students (Clark, 2013.)