Access keys | Skip to primary navigation | Skip to secondary navigation | Skip to content | Skip to footer |
Problems viewing this site

Recognising gifted and talented students

How do you define the difference between gifted and talented?

Michele Juratowitch
Clearing Skies

The difference between gifted and talented, I think, has been explained very well by Françoys Gagné, the Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Quebec in Montreal. And he talks about giftedness as being the natural abilities that occur within the top 10% of the population. Whereas talent he identifies as systematically developed skills, again occurring within the top 10% of the population.

What evidence might schools and teachers gather to help recognise giftedness?

Michele Juratowitch

I think that teachers and schools are able to gather information about gifted students when they use a variety of instruments. So one test doesn’t fit all, and essentially it’s about gathering data from a variety of settings and opportunities. It’s about gathering group test information, but it might also be gathering information from parents and looking at how the student is going in the classroom.

How are students who are gifted identified at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School?

Louise Burgman
Learning Enhancement Coordinator
St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School

The most important thing in identifying gifted students is making sure that you get information and data from a variety of sources. The more information you gather, the better the picture you’re going to get of the student and their needs. The most obvious place to start would be with an external report from a psychologist. Often, schools — this may be the first thing they’re presented with when they start talking about gifted education.

What sort of school-based data is helpful for identifying students who are gifted?

Louise Burgman

Within a school, we gather data on students all the time. So we can use a lot of that in terms of identifying. You may have somebody within the school community who is able to do an intelligence test like a WISC [Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children] or a WIAT [Wechsler Individual Achievement Test]. Those are a great place to start. We can also use the data that we gather from standardised testing, so the PAT [Progressive Achievement Test] testing. NAPLAN’s [National Assessment Program] not always something that should be used standalone, but can be used within a body of evidence.

Classroom observation, academic results — all of these things can indicate a child who is gifted or has high potential.

How does Corinda State High School identify students who are gifted in non-academic areas?

Jenny Catanzariti
Deputy Principal
Corinda State High School

At Corinda, the way that we identify students who are gifted in non-academic areas has two parts. So firstly, we have students that apply to be part of our excellence programs in non-academic areas. They provide portfolios of their work, or they trial or audition for our non-academic, more sporting areas. The other side of it is that we have a referral process. So our staff identify talent in their elective areas, and then refer them on to myself or one of our teaching and learning team. And then we go and observe the student to identify if it is something we can support and [they can] excel in.

Why is professional development for teachers important?

Louise Burgman

There’s a lot of different ways that you can access professional development for teachers in the area of gifted education. The importance of professional development is making sure that everybody has a good understanding and awareness of the needs of gifted students and all of the challenges around that — why they need to be supported both at school and in the world generally.

Back to top