Education of the Intellectually Gifted

By Milton J. Gold | Go to book overview

Chapter 4
Identification of Exceptional Ability

Speed is born with the foal -- sometimes.

Always some dark horse never heard of before is coming under the wire a winner.

-- Carl Sandburg

If ability could be developed simply by exposing the able to opportunity in a rich environment, there would be little need to fret about identifying high potential. Ability being present could seize upon opportunity and flower accordingly in time. In such a situation schools would have only to offer a wealth of challenge and a variety of stimulating learning experiences. The able youngsters would do the rest.

Unfortunately, this automatic development of talent is mere wishful thinking. We are concerned about potential that is not realized, about high level ability wasted in low level pursuits, about drab lives spreading out before people who might live more richly, and about unfilled needs in a society demanding more top level competences than are apparently at hand. One of the keys to the problem lies in early identification of young people with talents so that they may move ahead with the arduous preparation required in high level careers. Early identification may provide the motivation necessary for strenuous effort. Perhaps it can be used to level obstacles of a cultural, educational, or financial nature as well.

The efforts to identify and deal differently with gifted individuals in school runs counter to the American folklore of equality and brotherhood, at least on the surface. In our assertions that all men are equal, we often overlook the fact that all men are also different. Failure to identify young people with bidden but genuine potential may result in denying

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Education of the Intellectually Gifted
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • 1 - The Release of Human Potential 1
  • 2 - Characteristics of Gifted Children 25
  • 3 - Intelligence and Intelligence Testing 50
  • 4 - Identification of Exceptional Ability 76
  • 5 - Creativity as an Aspect of Giftedness 101
  • 6 - Planning Programs for Gifted Students 135
  • 7 - Patterns in Education of the Gifted 151
  • 8 - Thinking 184
  • 9 - Language Arts for the Gifted Student 207
  • 10 - Social Studies and Social Education 237
  • 11 - Science and Mathematics for the Gifted 254
  • 12 - The Fine Arts 284
  • 13 - Ability Grouping 299
  • 14 - Acceleration 328
  • 15 - Guidance 352
  • 16 - Motivation and Underachievement 381
  • 17 - Teachers for Gifted Children 412
  • 18 - Research: Endeavors and Opportunities 428
  • Bibliography 446
  • Index 466
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