Defining Giftedness

A gifted person is someone who shows, or has the potential for showing, an exceptional level of performance in one or more of the following areas:

  • General intellectual ability
  • Specific academic aptitude
  • Creative thinking
  • Leadership ability
  • Visual or performing arts

Giftedness is typically treated as though it were synonmous with intelligence test scores, academic achievements, perhaps because other areas do not have easily scored standardized tests or paper-and-pencil measures to indicate giftedness in those areas.

In preschool children, giftedness can often be seen by their eagerness to earn, quick mastery of tasks, intensity of concentration, and the early age at which they reach developmental milestones.

There’s always the age of debate if gifted children were simply born with unusual potential, or if the child’s abilities were a result of their parenting. (inherited, or influenced by one’s environment) While there is no certain answer, environment does indeed play an important role. All children thrive in supportive environments.

Giftedness is often viewed as an emerging experience. In other words, not something one is born with and demonstrates, rather abilities that which are cultivated, developed, or revealed through exposure, practice, and opportunity. Therefore, giftedness in some individuals might become more apparent as a person matures.

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