Gifted and talented: conceptualisation of challenges

We greatly value talent in various areas such as sport, music and art and the resulting achievements in the various fields.

The Challenges concept focusses on pupils who demonstrate significantly above-average intellectual talent. The appropriate schooling of pupils with different intellectual abilities is firmly anchored in the school concept.

Definitions

We use the unidimensional concept of giftedness and the usual quantitative definition of giftedness. According to this, intellectual giftedness is the far above-average expression of general intelligence. A person is gifted if their intelligence is two standard deviations above the mean value of the population/comparison group. According to David Wechsler's scale (mean = 100, standard deviation = 15), a gifted person has an IQ ≤ 130.

Multidimensional, cross-domain concepts of giftedness, such as Renzulli's three-ring model, are not useful in the concept of challenge, as we can hardly measure non-cognitive personality traits objectively and some of these are also highly variable. In educational practice, defining giftedness as a function of motivation, for example, would also make the group of cognitively gifted underachievers "disappear". Challenge should enable pupils to discover and develop their talents and manifest them in the form of achievement. For this reason, we follow the argumentation of Rost (2006), an author of the Marburg Project for the Gifted.

A model such as the Munich Giftedness Model (Heller, 2000), which lists various giftedness factors and different areas of performance, fits in perfectly with our school's fundamental approach of recognising, supporting and challenging pupils with different talents in different areas. If we were to take this model as a basis, the promotion of giftedness would focus on the giftedness factor "Intellectual abilities". In order not to make it more complicated than it is, we therefore choose the unidimensional concept of giftedness for the work in the Challenging concept, following the arguments of Rost (2006).

We speak of a clearly above-average intellectual aptitude with an IQ ≤ 120, referring to the PULSS study (Schneider, 2014), which also defined this value as the threshold for its "gifted class". Furthermore, the Marburg study measured the IQ of the highest-achieving grammar school pupils at an average of 116 (other studies came to a result of 114). As in the PULSS study, with the IQ threshold value ≤ 120, we therefore include pupils in the gifted and talented support programme who are above this value. Our aim is to demonstrate the need for an educational programme above grammar school level in the German school system.

Testing: CFT 20-R

With the CFT 20-R, we use a test that is designed for the test age of our pupils. The CFT 20-R is also language- and culture-free, so that pupils with little knowledge of German are not disadvantaged. The CFT 20-R is suitable as a group test and can therefore be used in a way that saves time and resources. We are aware that the CFT 20-R has a limited measurement accuracy in the upper range. However, this is not a CFT-specific problem, but applies to standardised test procedures. As the areas of language comprehension and fluid reasoning correlate (Rost, 2006; Coleman, 1990), but we cannot meaningfully measure language comprehension in children with many different native languages, we use the value for fluid reasoning. Furthermore, it is not our aim to create a complete and exact giftedness profile. We only need the information as to whether a participant achieves a score of ≤ 120 in the area of "fluid intelligence", so that this limitation does not affect our work. We follow the argumentation of Kuhn (2008), according to which the CFT 20-R is suitable for an initial (high) giftedness screening.

Test characteristics CFT 20-R 2nd edition
Situation at the Neue Schule Dorsten
Requirements of the Neue Schule Dorsten
Please note!
Test age 8 ½ - 60 (N = 4300 pupils age: 8 ½ - 19, extrapolated values for adults)
Test age of our students: ~ 10-16
Test procedure that is suitable for the relevant age group
Language and culture free

- Pupils with and without a migration background
- Pupils with and without good knowledge of German

- Fluid intelligence via language and culture-free test
- No systematic recording of language comprehension possible - therefore no general selection criterion

Individual false positive results possible if only fluid intelligence is measured -> with CFT procedure, testing of language comprehension is possible for individual cases

Group test procedure
Good staffing and financial resources at the school make testing possible

- Individual tests for 120 children per year group not feasible (normal school routine, lessons etc. must be guaranteed) - group testing required!

- Standardised test times (mornings, 2nd-3rd hour)
- Standardised group sizes
- Same test line
- Recording extreme nervousness of individual children, disturbances etc.
Suitable for initial (giftedness) screening (Kuhn, 2008)

- Pupils with different academic achievements and school type recommendations - Pupils with different biographies, parental backgrounds, interests, etc.

- Guidance for a gifted group
- No extensive IQ diagnostics necessary
- Limited measurement accuracy of subtests for the gifted (Preckel, 2013) - not a CFT-specific problem, generally for norm-referenced tests
- In individual cases, consultation with external experts, e.g. school psychological counselling centre

Basic terms in the concept Challenge

In the literature on giftedness research, authors use different terms at different times, often without a concrete, standardised definition. Examples of this are the terms "gift", "talent", "ability", "favourable nature" and "giftedness". In some cases, these terms are used synonymously; in others, researchers distinguish between talent and giftedness, for example. Other researchers use the term giftedness even more broadly and refer not only to cognitive aptitude, but also to various other areas (Csikzentmihalyi, 1986; Haensly, 1986; Feldmann, 1986; Tannenbaum, 1986; Terman, 1925). The Munich model of giftedness contains seven giftedness factors: Intellectual Ability, Creative Ability, Social Competence, Musicality, Psychomotor Ability, Artistic Ability and Practical Ability (Heller, 2000).

It is essential to clearly define the terms we use.

Talent: The (possibly latent) performance potential that enables a person to achieve a certain level of performance in a particular area of talent.

Performance: Competent application of one's own abilities that has already become visible (in the school context) and thus the manifestation of talent.

Intelligence: Intellectual performance

Intellectual giftedness: We explicitly use the unidimensional concept of giftedness and the usual quantitative definition of giftedness. Accordingly, intellectual giftedness is the far above-average expression of general intelligence. A person is gifted if their intelligence is two standard deviations above the mean value of the population/comparison group. According to David Wechsler's scale (mean = 100, standard deviation = 15), a gifted person has an IQ ≤ 130.

Above-average intellectual talent is present with an IQ ≤ 115. We speak of significantly above-average intellectual ability with an IQ ≤ 120.

Literature

Coleman (1990). Aspects of intelligence. In: Roth (Ed), Introduction to psychology (Vol. 1). Hove/Multon Keynes: Lawrence Erlbaum/ The Open University Press.

Csikszentmihalyi and Robinson (1986). Culture, time and the development of Talent. In: Sternberg, Davidson (eds.): Conceptions of Giftedness. Cambridge University Press, London, pp. 285-306.

Haensly, Reynolds, Nash (1986). Giftedness: coalescence, context, conflict, and commitment. In: Sternberg, Davidson (eds.): Conceptions of Giftedness. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 128-148.

Heller (2000). Defining giftedness, recognising giftedness and promoting giftedness at school age. In: Wagner (ed.): Begabung und Leistung in der Schule (pp.39-70), Bad Honnef: Bock.

Feldmann, Goldsmith (1986). Nature's gambit: Child prodigies and the development of human potential. Basic Books, New York.

Kuhn , Holling , Freund (2008). Giftedness diagnostics with the basic intelligence test (CFT 20-R), psychometric properties and measurement equivalence, Diagnostica, 54, pp. 184-192.

Preckel and Vock (2013), Hochbegabung, Ein Lehrbuch zur Grundlagen und Diagnostik und Fördermöglichkeiten, Hogrefe Verlag, p. 105ff.

Renzulli (1986). The three ring conception of giftedness: A developmental model for creative productivity. In: Sternberg, Davidson (Eds.): Conceptions of Giftedness. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 53-92.

Rost (2006). Necessary clarifications. On the discussion about giftedness and the gifted. In: Ziegler, Fitzner, Stöger & Müller (eds.): Beyond Standards. Supporting gifted children worldwide - early intervention and school. Bad Boll: Protestant Academy, Bad Boll.

Schneider, Preckel and Stumpf (eds.) (2014). Supporting gifted children at secondary level, results of the PULSS study, Karg booklet no. 7, Karg Foundation.

Tannenbaum (1986). Giftedness: A psychosocial approach. In: Sternberg, Davidson (ed.): Conceptions of Giftedness. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 21-52.

Terman (1925). Genetic studies of genius. Stanford University Press, Stanford.

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