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Myth: All Children Are Gifted

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Myth: All Children are Gifted 

The label “gifted” for a child is a comparative term indicating that the child has different educational needs and services than those presented to other students his or her age.The term “gifted” is an adjective, and should be used as such. For example, when we say that someone is tall, it is comparing their height to someone else’s height. When we say that someone is gifted it compares their capacity to learn and apply what they learn to that of their same-aged-peers. When a student’s academic abilities vary widely from the norm, the student most likely requires modified educational instruction. Failure to provide this may inhibit his/her learning. Educating each person at a certain age in the same way is like giving everyone the same size shoe: While a size 7 shoe may be wearable for a short time by people who need a size 6 or 8, at some point the shoe just doesn’t fit. Similarly, at some point, a standard education just doesn’t fit certain children. In those cases, a label is often required so that these students can receive an appropriate education. Following are webpages that discuss the notion that all children are gifted.        

• An article at provides a discussion of why all children are not gifted.

• An article written by Michael C. Thompson rebutting the notion that all children are gifted can be found

Assumptions Underlying the Identification of Gifted and Talented Students by Scott W. Brown, Joseph S. Renzulli, E. Jean Gubbins, Del Siegle, Wanli Zhang, & Ching-Hui Chen

 •The Identification of Students Who are Gifted by Mary Ruth Coleman


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