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Different views about and conceptions of intellectual giftedness are discussed in this chapter, including the work of Sternberg, Gardner, Renzulli, Reis, and other new and emerging theorists. Four case studies of diverse students with intellectual gifts and talents are used to summarize the challenges in defining, identifying, and providing programs for these students, particularly those from culturally diverse backgrounds and with both gifts and disabilities, called twice exceptional (2E) students. Characteristics of various students with intellectual giftedness are summarized, as are interventions in the areas of acceleration and enrichment, both widely used in the field of gifted education. The chapter concludes with a call for educators to challenge and engage academically talented and high-potential learners, and the importance of the development of a continuum of services in schools, with services focusing both on students’ academic needs and social and emotional needs.
Despite broad diversity several common themes about intellectual giftedness and the conditions for its development exist. This chapter provides a review of the research related to intellectual giftedness with a discussion of different themes, summarizing about research on intellectual giftedness in the United States, including the seminal work of Lewis Terman, and presenting an overview of some interesting and potentially important American theories to date. It outlines some interesting research-based trends related to new ideas in defining and developing academic gifts and talents. There is no agreed-upon consensus about who are gifted and no final answers about evolving understandings of how intellectual giftedness develops and the characteristics that help to identify and nurture intellectual gifts and talents. To introduce the challenge associated with both defining and identifying giftedness in students, four brief case studies are discussed in the chapter.
“Tremendous amounts of talent are being lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt.”
The stories of talented and eminent women are too seldom told. Little research has been conducted and less is known about the ways women's talents emerge and are developed, how they differ from the talents of men, and the choices some women make to construct and use their gifts and talents. The social and political movement focusing on women during the past five decades has provided an emerging understanding of their talents as well as the roles that some gifted women have played in our society and the forces that shaped those roles. Over the last two decades, I have studied talented girls and women from all domains across their life spans and have answered some questions, but introduced even more (Reis, 1987, 1995, 1998, 2001). The decision to identify this diverse group as talented or eminent rather than gifted stems from their collective preferences for these descriptors. Through these collective research experiences, a definition of talent in women has emerged that is summarized as follows. Feminine talent development occurs when women with high intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership ability or potential achieve in an area they choose and when they make contributions that they consider meaningful to society. These contributions are enhanced when women develop personally satisfying relationships and pursue what they believe to be important work that helps to make the world a healthier, more beautiful and peaceful place in which diverse expressions of art and humanity are celebrated.