An introductory reading on giftedness in children: A report prepared as part of the NIAS Gifted Education Project

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R15, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, Number 978-81-87663-73-7, Bangalore (2013)



Giftedness, or the existence of remarkable natural talents, is believed to occur once in every hundred individuals, and exceptional giftedness once in every ten thousand as per current definitions. The phenomenon of giftedness has caught the attention of psychologists, pedagogists, educationists and neuroscientists from the from the mid-19th to the 20th centuries. Giftedness research is the basis of various specially developed tests and programmes the world over. These tests and programmes are intended to identify gifted children and to encourage them to develop their talents and realize their potential, as well as to handle the social and emotional issues that may arise from their differentness. Giftedness has been defined in many ways, pointing to the complexities associated with its identification. Inevitably, special programmes for the gifted draw as much criticism as applause, triggering debates on elitism vs. equity in education. The present review of literature of giftedness research attempts to outline the phenomenon of giftedness in children in its various manifestations, the methods of evaluation and tests in current use, the need for gifted programmes and their efficacy, the developmental trajectory of giftedness, the social and emotional issues accompanying giftedness, and the impact of the socio-cultural, educational internation options for gifted children are also discussed.


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