What is Giftedness?

Students with gifts and talents perform—or have the capability to perform—at higher levels compared to others of the same age, experience, and environment in one or more domains. They require modification(s) to their educational experience(s) to learn and realize their potential. Student with gifts and talents:

  • Come from all racial, ethnic, and cultural populations, as well as all economic strata.
  • Require sufficient access to appropriate learning opportunities to realize their potential.
  • Can have learning and processing disorders that require specialized intervention and accommodation.
  • Need support and guidance to develop socially and emotionally as well as in their areas of talent.

Read NAGC's full definition. This definition was developed from a white paper prepared by the NAGC Definition Task Force, Key Considerations in Identifying and Supporting Gifted and Talented Learners.

It is difficult to estimate the absolute number of gifted children in the U.S. and the world because the calculation is dependent on the number of areas, or domains, being measured and the method used to identify gifted children. However, many consider children who are in the top 10 percent in relation to a national and/or local norm to be a good guide for identification and services.

It is important to note that not all gifted children look or act alike. Giftedness exists in every demographic group and personality type. It is important that adults look hard to discover potential and support gifted children as they reach for their personal best.

Additional Resources

Supporting Gifted Children

Prominent Theoretical Frameworks for Giftedness

Giftedness Knows No Boundaries