Department of Education

Multiple-Talent Model

Taylor's Multiple-Talent Model

Unlike many other researchers, Calvin Taylor interpreted gifted students as those at the very top of any talent area, and talented students as those who are above average. As a result of this interpretation, he has suggested that nearly all students are talented in at least one way and that if a program was developed to cater for a wide range of talent areas, greater numbers of students would benefit. Taylor argued for a complete reformation of the education system to allow for the development of this diversity of talents displayed by students.

Although Taylor's model aimed to identify strengths in all children, the model does adapt well to a curriculum for the gifted.

Taylor listed multiple abilities in which students could display talent, and suggested that these abilities spilt over into the "real world":

Taylor's Multiple-Talent Model

Academic Being able to develop a knowledge/skills base about a topic Acquire information about...
Research the concept of...
Creativity Being able to create original meanings, see new relationships and ideas Create another day of the week.
Generate ideas.
Add details .
Decision Making Being able to look at alternatives, evaluate and justify decisions Decide what you think are the characteristics of an ideal pet.
Examine all possibilities.
Make a choice and justify your selection.
Planning Being able to organise ways of arriving at specific objectives or answers Plan a friend's birthday party.
Develop a plan for...
Prepare a budget for...
Forecasting Being able to predict and examine cause and effect Predict what would happen if it snowed in Perth.
Tell what you think.
What would happen if...
Communication Being able to communicate both verbally and non-verbally Demonstrate how you would feel if you were stranded on the moon.
Tell about sports days from the viewpoint of the teacher.
Paint a picture to express joy.
Show how.
Describe your feelings about.
Implementing Being able to implement a plan Implement the plan for...
Human Relations Being able to obtain and keep a job Apply for a position on...
Discerning Opportunities Being able to identify new opportunities and make progress Identify a need and initiate a program for...

According to Taylor, IQ tests alone are insufficient to identify giftedness as they are related to academic talent only and assess this one talent to the exclusion of the others. Through Taylor's model a teacher would be able to expose students to a much wider range of talent areas.

Taylor's model encourages the following:

  • development of open-ended activities that will allow the development of talents
  • focus on talent development rather than only the acquisition of knowledge
  • knowledge being seen more as a by-product or a means to an end
  • different and varied approaches to learning
  • a greater emphasis on contact work within the classroom
  • a smooth transition to the "real world" through decision-making and planning
  • improvements in students' self-confidence and self-esteem

Maker CJ (1982) Teaching models in the education of the gifted Austin: Pro-Ed
Davis GA and Rimm SB (1985). Education of the gifted and talented. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall

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Multiple-Talent Model

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