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Historical Perspective
Giftedness Defined
Equal Educational Opportunity
Purpose of Gifted Services in Kansas
Characteristics of Giftedness

Bright Child/Gifted Learner
General Education Interventions  
Differentiated Curriculum
Differentiated Classroom
Individualizing the Curriculum
Modifying Content, Process and Product
Types of Products
Multiple Intelligences Products
Curriculum Assessment
Using Rubrics to Guide Evaluation
Rubric Examples

Teacher Resources
Internet Gifted Resources

Characteristics of Giftedness
characteristics chart

Giftedness is a cultural definition.  Each society defines "giftedness" to suit their own needs. In early cultures, the talents of the hunter, the warrior, or the healer were important to the survival and progress of early civilizations. In ancient Greece, the orator and artist were honored.   In the ancient Roman cultures, characteristics shown in the most talented soldier or leader were considered "gifts".

How is "giftedness" defined in the 21st century? Any why should society care about the future of gifted children? The answer to these questions have far reaching implications.  How these children manage in our society and in our educational system will strongly influence the quality of our future as a society. 

Today's society has a more complex view of talent.  Those who demonstrate strengths in intellectual ability, academic aptitude, creative or productive thinking, leadership ability, psychomotor skills or artistic talent are viewed as "gifted".  These key leaders, creators or problem solvers of our time earn recognition through the productive use of their "gifts" toward the good of our society.  We must nurture those talents.  In Kansas, the definition of gifted has been limited to educational needs and does not include "talents" in a broader sense.  However, affective and creative talents can often be addressed through the general curriculum, (i.e. music and math are compatible, as are drama and reading, art and music and history). 

Gifted children may exhibit many, but not necessarily all, of these characteristics:
  • Has outstanding memory; possesses a broader base of knowledge than peers
  • May be an early reader
  • Has advance vocabulary for chronological age
  • Learns rapidly, easily and efficiently
  • Enjoys learning
  • Thrives on complexity
  • Has the ability to concentrate for long periods of time
  • May be impatient and intolerant
  • Self-initiates learning
  • Asks thoughtful or penetrating questions
  • Is curious about about many and different things
  • Has diverse interests
  • Is intense; gets totally absorbed in activities and thoughts
  • Is comfortable with abstract thinking
  • Is an analytical thinker; perceives subtle cause-effect relationships
  • May be able to attend to two or more things simultaneously
  • Is able to elaborate on ideas
  • Has strong feelings and opinions; advance sense of justice and fairplay
  • Cares about ethical or humanitarian issues at an early age
  • Set high standards for him/herself as well as others
  • Is persistent and highly motivated
  • Has a sophisticated sense of humor; loves to play with words
  • Transfers concepts and learning to new situations
  • See connections between apparently unconnected activities and ideas
  • May prefer the company of older children or adults
  • Works well independently
  • Exhibits leadership ability in peer group
  • Displays original ideas; flexibility in problem solving situations
  • Sees endless possibilities for various situations or uses for objects
  • Is passionately interested in some topic of field of endeavor

All italicized text  and charts are from  "Effective Practices for Gifted Education in Kansas" manual.  You will be able to access the document in its entirety at the Kansas State Department of Education (Handbook is out of date and is no longer available online)

Permission granted for use by Bruce Passman, State Director, Kansas State Department of Education 120 S.E. 10th Avenue, Topeka, Kansas 66612

Please e-mail me with your feedback and let me know how you have used this site. You may also suggest activities that you have found to add to A Different Place. Thanks for visiting.

Nancy Bosch


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E-mail Nancy Bosch
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Last update 09/19/08 01:39 PM
Copyright 1997-2008 Nancy Bosch
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