Characteristics of Gifted
Characteristics of Gifted and Talented Students
In preschool years giftedness can be demonstrated by early physical development, early language development, and/or exceptional powers of observation and curiosity. While it is rare for a gifted child to exhibit all of the following characteristics, it is common for a gifted child to manifest many of them.
- learns rapidly
- extensive vocabulary
- longer attention span
- high degree of energy
- interest in experimenting and doing things differently
- unusual sense of humor
- problem solving ability
- insatiable curiosity and persistence
- intense concentration and perseverance in areas of interest
- may question authority
- advanced sense of conscience and compassion for others
- perceives abstract ideas, understands complex concepts
- sees relationships
- may demonstrate intense emotional and/or physical sensitivity
- exhibits creativity
Bright or Gifted?
|Bright Child||Gifted Learner|
|Knows the answers||Asks the questions|
|Is interested||Is highly curious|
|Is attentive||Is mentally and physically involved|
|Has good ideas||Has wild, silly ideas|
|Works hard||Plays around, yet tests well|
|Answers the questions||Discusses in detail, elaborates|
|Top group||Beyond the group|
|Listens with interest||Shows strong feeling and opinions|
|Learns with ease||Already knows|
|6-8 repetitions for mastery||1-2 repetitions for mastery|
|Understands ideas||Constructs abstractions|
|Enjoys peers||Prefers adults|
|Grasps the meaning||Draws inferences|
|Completes assignments||Initiates projects|
|Is receptive||Is intense|
|Copies accurately||Creates a new design|
|Enjoys school||Enjoys learning|
|Absorbs information||Manipulates information|
|Good memorizer||Good guesser|
|Enjoys straightforward, sequential presentation||Thrives on complexity|
|Is alert||Is keenly observant|
|Is pleased with own learning||Is highly self-critical|
Gifted Students from Diverse Populations
SJ BOCES continues to work toward ensuring that gifted and talented programming serves the needs of all gifted and talented students, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or socio-economic status.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students
Children of color, representing different ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds, have been under-represented in gifted and talented programs for a variety of reasons. In addition to the use of culturally biased identification tools and practices, cultural factors such as degree of risk-taking or questioning, the established practice of working to address the needs of the group and not the individual may stand as a barrier to student nomination. Students may be required to spend time in the home, assuming roles of responsibility or may mask their intellectual abilities at school to not be noticed. Interests of these students may include culturally related, not school-based activities.
Students Economically Under-Resourced
Mobility rates may make it difficult to sustain identification procedures and services. Parents and students may not trust “special labels” of being identified with special services at school. Behavior may be inconsistent with school perceptions of gifted characteristics.
Student behavior or performance may suggest gifted traits, yet the focus remains on remediation of deficits without a referral for programming for gifted and talented education. Often gifted students with disabilities do not appear either gifted or challenged as they are using a great deal of energy compensating. “Street-wise” behavior may be misinterpreted as problematic behavior instead of a characteristic of leadership.
Underachieving Gifted Students
Students who demonstrate through standardized measures a discrepancy between intellectual and/or creative ability or potential and academic achievement and/or creative productivity are considered to be underachievers. If giftedness is not nurtured, students may become bored, frustrated, and depressed with school activities. Often focus is on what students cannot do, instead of what a child can do, serves as a deterrent to engagement.