Research Supporting the Identification of Gifted Learners

Edited on October 11, 2018

Throughout history, the discussion of those who are considered ‘gifted’ has at times, been heated and divisive. Since the time of Plato and the early Chinese and Japanese dynasties, the education and training of those who might bring improvements and advantages to a culture was considered of utmost importance and an acceptable need to be addressed. In the Renaissance period, the apprenticeship and mentoring of youth who demonstrated ‘promise’ in intellectual and creative pursuits was often sponsored by the crown or noblemen as an appropriate way of developing their promise to talent. However since the early 1900s, what is meant by the terms ‘gifted and talented’, and the subsequent identification of students who are described by these terms has been the subject of ongoing discussion and debate, with researchers often divided by the political and social arguments related to issues of equity and difference. In the new Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2014), the discussion about gifted and talented students includes a focus on current definitions and the research recognised cognitive and affective characteristics, which identify these students.