Giftedness and talent
Giftedness and talent

There are various definitions of the notion of “giftedness” and diverse scientific opinions as to which are the capabilities that characterise a person as gifted.
The founder and director of the “National Research Centre for the Gifted and Talented” at the University of Connecticut, J. Renzulli, after many years of research on gifted children, proposed a definition for giftedness according to which:
“Giftedness is the interaction between three basic groups of human qualities: i) above average general abilities ii) high levels of task commitment and iii) high levels of creativity. Gifted children are those possessing or capable of developing this complex group of qualities and of applying them to any potentially valuable field of human performance. The manifestation of giftedness is influenced by factors related to the personality and environment.
There are many scientific approaches on giftedness and talent, coming from diverse scientific fields. The modern theory on intelligence derives from the adoption of multi-dimensional theoretical models, such as that of H.Gardner (multiple intelligence), K.Heller, Fr.Gagné, J.Renzulli, Stenberg Tannenbaum and others. These theories are based on the interaction and integration of a number of factors and not on an one-dimensional approach. The prominent factor according to Daniel Goleman is emotional intelligence.
The term “gifted and talented” pupils has become widely acceptable within the international scientific community in recent years, albeit not being fully satisfactory. Within the Greek legislation this category of pupils is referred to as “pupils with particular mental abilities and talents”.
Gifted children have exceptional capabilities in two or more scientific or artistic fields, as opposed to talented ones, who have a special capability in only one field.
Gifted / talented children are a segment of the population, having special capabilities and educational – social needs. They require the appropriate environment (family and school) in order to discover, cultivate and develop their maximum potential.
Giftedness in children is associated with high intelligence, abstract thinking, fast processing and absorption of information, high creativity, determined focus on goals, curiosity for topics beyond the typical for their age, unusual and unique answers, self-confidence, adaptation to changes and new conditions, high levels of self-awareness, emotional stability, awareness on right and wrong, good and bad, leadership skills in activities they take part in etc.
In the classroom, the range of these characteristics is widened, including a larger number of pupils (pupils that are near the definition of giftedness and talent).