How-to Recognize Early Talent or Giftedness?

How-to Recognize Early Talent or Giftedness?

Tal­ented or gifted chil­dren have high lev­els of energy and enthu­si­asm, and spend hours play­ing or prac­tic­ing in a field of inter­est for the acqui­si­tion of knowl­edge and skills.

To repeat what oth­ers have said, requires edu­ca­tion; to chal­lenge it, requires brains.” ~ Mary Pet­ti­bone Poole

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Tal­ented or gifted chil­dren show some gen­eral traits. Olszeweski-Kubilius et al. sug­gest look­ing for signs of “rage to mas­ter” – intense inter­est and hours spent in play­ing or prac­tic­ing in a field of inter­est – acqui­si­tion of knowl­edge and skills and high lev­els of energy and enthu­si­asm. Draw­ing real­is­ti­cally or imi­tat­ing the style of other artists at an early age, for exam­ple, are early signs of artis­tic tal­ent. Be alert for above-average inter­est and abil­ity in your child.

Bates and Mun­day sug­gest look­ing for signs of extra­or­di­nary adult-like abil­ity in a cer­tain area – child prodi­gies can per­form in some cog­ni­tively demand­ing field at the level of a pro­fes­sional. Chess and music are areas, where a large num­ber of child prodi­gies have been found. Other areas include writ­ing, visual arts and mathematics.

Be obser­vant of your child’s curios­ity or inter­est about a topic or domain, abil­ity to focus and con­cen­trate on learn­ing in that domain, desire to play with tools in that domain, and higher abil­ity than other chil­dren of the same age.

Bates, J. & Mun­day, S. (2005). Able, Gifted and Tal­ented. Lon­don: Con­tin­uum Inter­na­tional Pub­lish­ing.
Mac­In­tyre, C. (2008). Gifted and Tal­ented Chil­dren 4–11. Oxford: Rout­ledge.
Olszeweski-Kubilius, P., Limburg-Weber, L. & Pfeif­fer, S. (2003). Early Gifts: Rec­og­niz­ing and Nur­tur­ing Children’s Tal­ents. Texas: Prufrock Press.