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Gifted Education Overview

What is Giftedness?

"Giftedness, intelligence, and talent are fluid concepts and may look different in different contexts and cultures. Even within schools you will find a range of beliefs about the word "gifted," which has become a term with multiple meanings and much nuance.  

Gifted children may develop asynchronously: their minds are often ahead of their physical growth, and specific cognitive and social-emotional functions can develop unevenly.  Some gifted children with exceptional aptitude may not demonstrate outstanding levels of achievement due to environmental circumstances such as limited opportunities to learn as a result of poverty, discrimination, or cultural barriers; due to physical or learning disabilities; or due to motivational or emotional problems.  This dichotomy between potential for and demonstrated achievement has implications for schools as they design programs and services for gifted students." - NAGC website

What is the definition of Giftedness?

There is no universally accepted definition of "giftedness". 

National Definition (NAGC)
‚Äč“Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains. Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports).” Read NAGC’s position paper, Redefining Giftedness for a New Century: Shifting the Paradigm.

Pennsylvania's Definition (PAGE)
"Gifted Student----
          (i) A student who is exceptional under section 1371 of the School Code (24 P.S.§ 13-1371) because the student meets the definition of "mentally gifted" in this section, and needs specially designed instruction beyond that required in Chapter 4 (relating to academic standards and assessments).
         (ii) The term applies only to students who are of "school age" as defined under § 11.12 (relating to school age)."

"Mentally Gifted -- Outstanding intellectual and creative ability the development of which requires specially designed programs or support services, or both, not ordinarily provided in the regular education program."