Department of Education

Characteristics of Gifted & Talented Students


The Gifted and Talented Guidelines outlines the following definitions:

Giftedness designates the possession and use of outstanding natural abilities, called aptitudes in at least one ability domain.

Talent designates the outstanding mastery of systematically developed abilities, called competencies (knowledge and skills), in at least one field of human activity.  Talent emerges from ability as a consequence of the student's learning experience.

(Gagné, F.  2005)

These definitions reflect the distinction between ability and performance and recognise other factors in the development of a person's giftedness into talents.

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Target group

It has traditionally been accepted that a small proportion (typically less than 5%) of the population should have access to gifted and talented programs. However, a broader view of the characteristics of gifted and talented students needs to be considered. As schools focus on outstanding performances in a range of fields, a higher proportion of the population (approximately 10%) will be identified for gifted and talented provision.

(See Gagnés Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent)

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Gagné's Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent

Characteristics of Gifted & Talented Students

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