Despite many decades of discussion both within and outside of the scientific community, there is still no global consensus on a definition of giftedness. The views on how it should be specified, vary greatly. Quite simply, science has not yet advanced far enough on this subject, though there does seem to have been some convergence over the last few years.

I personally choose to see giftedness from several different perspectives and in doing so, I place no importance on IQ scores. So what do I see as important?

  • Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talents (Gagné, following on from Heller)
  • Three-Ring Conception of Giftedness (Renzulli) and environmental influences (Mönks)
  • The Columbus Group definition of Giftedness
  • Types of Gifted Learners (Betts & Neihardt)
  • Mindset (Dweck)
  • Theory of Positive Disintegration (Dabrowski)
  • Overexcitabilities (Dabrowski)
  • “Characteristics of Being” of the gifted (Kieboom, Webb, Houkema)
  • Talent in Ontwikkeling (Talent in Development) (Houkema & Kaput)

This means that my views are consistent with the current position held by those in the ECHA (European Council for High Ability) network. This is a position that also serves as the basis for the ECHA-accredited study programme at the Center for the Study of Giftedness (part of the Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands). Although I have not taken this master’s specialisation course myself, I did receive on-the-job training from Albert Kaput, one of the first ECHA-trained specialists in giftedness in the country, while I was at the Centrum voor Creatief Leren (Centre for Creative Learning). This has enabled me to recognise and support gifted individuals on the same basis and from the same perspectives. I am very grateful for the various contacts established within the ECHA network that I now maintain.

Sometimes I also find sharing the perspective taken by the Instituut Hoogbegaafde Volwassenen (IHBV) (Institute for Gifted Adults in Delft, Netherlands) to be useful:

  • Prestatie Controverse (Performance Paradox) (Kooijman-Van Thiel)
  • Delphi Model (Kooijman-Van Thiel et al.)

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