Department of Education

Exceptional potential


Students with Exceptional Potential

Gifted students should not be regarded as one homogeneous group. Just as differences between gifted and average students are recognised, differences also exist in students at each end of the gifted group. Many educational researchers and psychologists recognise different levels of giftedness. Gross (1993) traces longitudinal studies of gifted students by eminent researchers such as Hollingworth, Terman, Janos and Feldman.

The studies conclude that:

  • Children of "exceptional" potential are both understudied and underserved.
  • The majority of educators and psychologists are not aware of the great differences in intellectual and social development between the extremely gifted and the moderately gifted.

The academic and social needs of the extremely gifted are not always met by placing them in programs designed for the moderately gifted students.

Very often the experiences of these students result in demotivation, rebelliousness or poor behaviour. The consequences of selecting students only on the basis of task commitment or performance results in choosing those who already succeed to receive special services.

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Exceptional potential
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