It can be assumed that utilization of these criteria for identification of the gifted and talented will encompass a minimum of 3 to 5 percent of the school population.

Evidence of gifted and talented abilities may be determined by a multiplicity of ways. These procedures should include objective measures and professional eraluation measures which are essential components of identification.

Professionally qualified persons include such individuals as teachers, administrators, school psychologists, counselors, curriculum specialists, artists, musicians, and others with special training who are also qualified to appraise pupils' special competencies.

According to the advisory panel, a differentiated educational program has three characteristics :

1. A differentiated curriculum which denotes higher cognitive concepts and processes.

2. Instructional strategies which accommodate the learning styles of the gifted and talented and curriculum content.

3. Special grouping arrangements which include a variety of administrative procedures appropriate to particular children, i.e., special classes, honor classes, seminars, resource rooms, and the

like. This definition was subsequently tested through the Advocate Survey and in the research review; the question of definition is discussed in chapters II and III.

Early in the development of the study plan, it was determined that inclusion in the Elementary and Secondary Amendments would delimit the study population to the elementary and secondary school age (5-17 years), although recommendations within the report have implications for the early education of gifted and talented children (before age 5) and post-secondary education.

The study was additionally limited to education programs administered by USOE for two reasons:

(1) The Commissioner of Education is mandated to "prepare and make available in such form as he deems appropriate a catalog of all Federal education assistance programs whether or not such programs are administered by him ..." (Public Law 91-230, title IV, sec. 413). The

mandated catalog for FY 1970 was taken from the OEO Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance and submitted to Congress with the Commissioner's annual report. Federal educational programs conducted by other agencies cannot be retrieved through use of descriptors synonymous with "gifted and talented,” indicating that programs are not so classified at present. The data base is yet in an initial stage of development, with available data of questionable reliability and validity.

(2) An unpublished Federal task force study of gifted and talented education, completed in 1968, indicated problems in defining and obtaining usable data from educational programs of other Federal agencies which benefit the gifted and talented. Such an analysis would clearly be beyond the scope of the present study.

Maintenance of the catalog of Federal educational assistance programs on a current basis will provide the universe which can enable I'SOE to evaluate the impact of other Federal programs on the education of gifted and talented children and youth; the Office of Education recommends such an analysis.

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Statistical data were collected an analyzed for the present study from four major sources: -The Advocate Survey was designed to determine the current

thinking of the leaders in special education for the gifted and talented, on the need and the responsiveness of education. A 26

page questionnaire was sent to 239 experts in the field. -The School Staffing Surrey, a pilot survey in 1969–1970 followed

by a full-scale review in 1970–71, includes school data acquired from elementary and secondary school principals concerning staffing and the services to the children and youth in their schools. The survey tapped a representative sample of U.S. schools and pupils. - Project TALENT is a longitudinal study of 400,000 students who were in high school (grades 9-12) in 1960. Data are available from one questionnaire administered in 1960 and two followup studies conducted 1 year and 5 years after graduation. A large number of mentally gifted participated. A broad range of data has been collected on achievement, social influences and development, intellectual ability, and other factors. (See appendix E.) -The State Survey (OE Form 115) was prepared in the Office of

Education and sent by the Regional Assistant Commissioners of Education to each of the 50 State Departments of Education, as part of the regional hearing procedures, to elicit information

about current support for education of the gifted. One major source of data for this report has been the research on the gifted and talented, which is summarized in appendix A. Chapter IIProfile of the Gifted and Talented Population--and chapter IVWhat is a Good Program for the Gifted ?-lean heavily on this research.

Another important source of data proved to be the regional hearings, which were designed to reach a broadly representative group of professionals and lay persons concerned with education for the gifted and talented. USOE's Office of Regional Office Coordination (OROC) directed each of the 10 Regional Assistant Commissioners of Education to hold hearings on the subject and provided them with appropriate background materials and survey instruments.

The hearings, though not required by the congressional amendments, were a viable way to gather information and demonstrated the role of the regional offices in the assessment of educational needs throughout the country. Both oral and written testimony far exceeded expectations; over 500 persons testified and over 100 parents wrote to state their broad support for some positive action in this area. A summary of the regional hearings, which includes many of these statements, forms appendix C. Together with material gleaned from the Advocate Survey (appendix B) and the research evidence (appendix A), the testimony at the regional hearings forms the basis for chapter III, which outlines the need for special programs for the gifted.

Among the issues covered by the State Survey were the availability of staff for gifted programs at the State level, enabling legislation for the gifted, action planning or study groups, special training provi. sions, major deterrents to State action, and State use of Federal funds for gifted education programs. Chapter V is based on this survey.

To complement this general data on activity at the State level, this report includes the developmental history of four strong statewide programs for the gifted-in Connecticut, California, Georgia, and Illinois. These programs are summarized in chapter VI and detailed in appendix F.

The special study made of the USOE delivery system to the gifted and talented addresses itself to the requirement in section 806 concerning the Federal role in gifted education and to recommendations for new programs or arrangements to meet the needs of the gifted and talented. This assessment, summarized in chapter VII, confirms the findings and opinions delineated throughout the Commissioner's study and proposes alternatives for action.

Chapters II through IV present the problems and needs. Chapters V through VII describe the status of State and Federal efforts. To help bridge the gap between where we are and where we should be, the final chapter of this report (VIII) summarizes the recommendations from the study and outlines action steps to be taken in 1972.

Because this whole effort is about human beings, and rather special ones, this report begins with a description of these young people.



The gifted and talented: Who are they? Are they really sufficiently different from the norm to warrant special planning and attention?

One ready source of information regarding these questions—and others can be found in the research on the gifted and talented over the past 50 years. Appendix A provides details and sources for the generalizations which follow.

From the research findings a profile emerges of a group that is distinctive in performance or potential; it is a group by no means insignificant in numbers nor limited in scope throughout our society. Here are some of the characteristics of the gifted and talented, as seen by those who have studied or worked with them over the years.

Probably the area in which the gifted and talented are recognized most frequently is achievement. Large-scale studies over the past 50 years have uniformly agreed that these individuals function at levels far in advance of their agemates. Beginning at the early primary grades and even at the time of school entry, the gifted and talented present challenging educational problems because of their deviation from the norm.

Typically, half of the gifted have taught themselves to read before school entry. Some of them learn to read as early as 2 years and appreciable numbers are reading at 4. In comparison with their classmates, these children depart increasingly from the average as they progress through the grades, if their educational program permits.

In one statewide study of more than 1,000 gifted children at all grade levels, the kindergarten group on the average performed at a level comparable to that of second-grade children in reading and mathematies; the average for fourth and fifth-grade gifted children in all curriculum areas was beyond that of seventh grade pupils. In another study a representative sample of gifted high school seniors took the Graduate Record Examinations in social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences-examinations normally used for admission to graduate study.

In all of the tests, the high school seniors made an average group score which surpassed the average for college seniors; in the social sciences, they surpassed the average of college seniors with majors in that field. These findings on the attainments of gifted students are typical.


Early studies by Yoder in 1894, by Terman beginning in 1904, and by Katherine Dolbear in 1912 initiated our current understandings of the gifted and their behavior. These studies refuted earlier beliefs about the “mad genius" syndrome, although there are recent writings which show that giftedness may produce severe problems for certain

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