Gifted and Talented Students: Everything You Need to Know

Gifted students are those who perform exceptionally in specific academic and non-academic areas. These include areas such as writing, music, academics, or some other creative activity. Gifted students don’t just perform exceptionally; they show enough potential that they justify the need for special services to help them pursue the field they are gifted at to the best possible level. 

When determining who is eligible to be classified as ‘gifted,’ some specific factors or qualities are considered. These include:

  • Teacher recommendations
  • Test results
  • Learning speed etc.

There is no general definition of what giftedness is; however, the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) suggests that gifted individuals show immense promise or potential to excel in one or more areas of giftedness. They usually differ from their peers in a few ways, which include:

  • They are much faster at assimilating information
  • They have a great memory and retain lessons easily, making it unnecessary for them to review material severally
  • They are very complex thinkers and are able to perform critical and abstract thinking far superior to what they should be able to do for their age
  •  They find certain topics to be quite interesting and spend a lot of time focusing on them
  • They are able to use their senses more effectively than their peers and are very good at monitoring their environment, even while working

When these qualities are used as a standard, only about 6% of the student population in the U.S. qualify as gifted. That being said, there is no law that enforces the need for special education services to be provided to gifted students. They simply have to be challenged enough to make learning fun and meaningful for them.

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