Because their abilities differ from the norm, gifted students do not derive full benefit from the regular school program. If gifted students are to realize their potential, there must be adjustments both in the in-school and in the out-of-school learning program. If this is not done, their abilities and talents may be lost. The irony is that it probably is easier for teachers to offer special, challenging homework assignments for these students than it is to modify the curriculum that is offered in the classroom. In order to discuss appropriate learning situations for gifted students, in and out of school, it is necessary first to define what is meant by gifted.
This chapter is divided into four sections. The first section focuses on the danger of talent loss in gifted and talented learners. The second section defines giftedness and the need for a multidimensional formulation of the phenomenon. The third section reports research findings on the in-school and out-of-school learning styles of gifted students. The final section offers some implications of the views and research findings presented in the chapter.
Talent loss is one of society’s major problems because it is the waste of a precious natural resource. Talent loss is the failure of an adult to realize the potential abilities that he or she demonstrated as a youth. To realize ability means to actualize it by generating real-world products. It