Department of Education

Process of identification

Classroom teachers may use the Identification flowchart to guide them through the identification process

How can gifted and talented students be identified?

Classroom environments which encourage creative, divergent and higher-level thinking and an open-ended approach to learning will foster the emergence of gifts and talents. There is no single technique by which teachers can be certain that the strengths and weaknesses of any student can be fully identified. However, by a combination of careful, sensitive observations in an atmosphere which encourages individual expression, together with some objective assessment, a teacher can build up a detailed picture of a student upon which confident judgement can be based.

Identification processes should be inclusive to ensure gifted and talented students are not disadvantaged on the basis of gender, racial, cultural or socioeconomic backgrounds, physical or sensory disability or geographic location.

Identification should be a flexible, continuous process to allow for the recognition of gifts and talents that may not be apparent at first.
Information which will help the teacher identify a student's strengths, talents and socio-emotional needs can be gleaned from:

  • Parents - particularly in early identification of gifted and talented students.
  • IQ tests (verbal and non-verbal).
  • Standardised tests.
  • School records, achievement tests (eg reading, mathematics).
  • Anecdotal records - Interviews (parent/child/community members/previous teacher/school psychologist).
  • Identification checklists.
  • Rating scales.
  • Interpreters, translators (for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds).

Teacher, parent, peer and self nomination, when used with care, can contribute to the identification process. However, standardised tests of ability and achievement can be of greater value in forming a basis for identification. They are objective and when used together with other data, (such as those listed) can aid identification significantly. Specific achievement tests, such as reading and comprehension, monitor performance in these areas. It is possible some students of high ability may not be achieving to their potential.

Gifted and talented students should not be viewed as a homogeneous group. They vary in the range of talents they exhibit and in their emotional, social and physical development. These students' behaviours vary within the classroom and they might not always be those who gain high marks, who are the most attentive nor the most docile and cooperative in terms of neatness and task completion.


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