Department of Education



Traditionally less than 5% of the population has had access to gifted and talented programs. Current trends in international thinking involve a broader view of the characteristics of gifted and talented students and a higher proportion of the population, possibly as much as 15%, will be identified for gifted and talented provision.

For every 100 students, we can expect 15 students to have superior ability in one or more areas.

It has been commonly accepted that even if gifted students are bored or frustrated at school they will still learn. Research evidence refutes this notion and indicates that up to 20% of gifted students underachieve.

In a group of 15 gifted students, 3 will probably be underachieving. One fifth of our most able students do not achieve to their full potential!

Take time NOW to access Stephanie Tolan's website and follow the links to her brilliant "Is it a Cheetah?" article. This provides an excellent introduction to some of the difficulties experienced by gifted children in our society and within educational systems in general.

There are many theoretical and ethical considerations pertinent to any discussion of underachievement. The following links will direct you to pages concerned specifically with the field of underachievement in gifted education. This web site also provides a comprehensive range of gifted and talented links.

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