What is intellectual endowment?

Research in the area of ​​the intellectually gifted has been rather scarce in the past.This phenomenon therefore remains today a field to be studied and understood at a necessarily deeper level.

The American contributions distinguish between the concepts “super-gift” (gifted in all subjects), “gifted (CI greater than 130)” and “talented” (high abilities in a particular subject). More specifically, the US Department of Education indicates at 6:00 a.m. the criteria to be met by the student to be considered intellectually gifted:

  1. Possess general academic excellence.
  2. Have specific skills.
  3. Have a productive type of thinking.
  4. Good leadership skills.
  5. Show talent in the visual and physical arts.
  6. Superior psychomotor capacity.

Thus, the exact definition of what a gifted student would be for this group would correspond to the ability of children with great precocity in general development or in the development of specific skills.

The facets of intellectual endowment

Among the characteristics that highlight this class of students are three different areas: behavior (they remain very active and show a great interest in what surrounds them, their understanding of the environment is very high and have a great ability to concentration and memory), physical characteristics (an attractive appearance and a greater likelihood of using lenses to correct vision is given) and social adaptation (showing greater maturity, more independence and their social relationships are generally satisfactory in cases up to a limit of 150 higher quotients, in addition, they generally have more emotional stability, empathy, are interested in leisure activities of an intellectual nature and have a good sense of humor. very ironic and twisted).

Discrimination against the gifted student

As the problems associated with intellectual giftedness can be differentiated between the so-called Internal or external dyssynchrony syndrome and the negative Pygmalion effect. The first refers to an altered synchronization in terms of intellectual, social, emotional and motor development. Within this particularity, it includes internal asynchrony (being able to be intellectual-motor, in relation to language, and the capacity for reasoning or in the affective-intellectual domain) and social asynchrony (as much in school environment as well as in the family).

On the other hand, the Pygmalion effect is generally associated with cases of unidentified gifted people in which the figures of the family and / or the school environment give low expectations to the student’s academic performance, which causes an attitude compliant and under effort on the part. of the child, combined with a feeling of guilt about his precocity which feeds the reduced school results.

Types of intellectual giftedness

Research has found great heterogeneity in the aspects that characterize gifted subjects, greater than the points they have in common. like that, a first way to categorize this group of individuals is linked to their level of creativity.

1. Creative gifted

On the one hand, people with creativity are distinguished by a highly developed sense of humor, strong nonconformity and differentiation from others. Its main characteristics are associated with a greater capacity in the fluidity of ideas, Originality, capacity for abstraction, taking unusual perspectives and capacity for imagination.

2. Gifted by IQ

On the other hand, gifted people can stand out for their CI level, and not so much for their creative ability. In this second group are found the subjects who present approximately a CI of 140, and can be distinguished between endowed with privileged means (characterized by a high critical spirit, nonconformism, impatience, although they also enjoy a high esteem. adequate self-esteem and positive self-confidence.), gifted middle class people (more conformist, intensely emotionally sensitive, generally preoccupied with failure and dependent on ethical and moral values) and gifted people of extreme precocity (linked to personality disorders and obsessive or psychotic psychopathology, for which maladjusted and socially misunderstood individuals are generally marginalized).

How to identify the gifted student

Several authors have drawn up different lists of the determining aspects of people with a high IQ, very applicable in the detection of gifted students.

For example, contributions from Joseph Renzulli of the Research Institute for the Education of Gifted Students indicate that there are three criteria to be taken into account to classify a subject as gifted:

  • Above-average intellectual capacity
  • A high degree of dedication to tasks
  • High levels of creativity.
  • It is also common to associate these young people with great leadership skills and high artistic and psychomotor skills. But these are not the only characteristics linked to giftedness.

The characteristics of the gifted

The idiosyncrasies that have been exposed as defining a gifted subject, such as creativity, dedication to the task at hand, or an IQ that truly reflects the intellectual capacity of the individual free from strange variables, are very difficult to assess.

However, consensus was reached to include certain aspects as indicators of intellectual endowment, The presence is found in a high proportion of the cases studied.

Thus, from the family and school environment, the figures of the child’s environment can observe the following qualitative and quantitative parameters: the use of language (large vocabulary and great complexity of sentences), the type of questions that he raises (unusual, original), the elaborate way of communicating his own ideas, the ability to devise strategies to solve tasks, the innovative use of common materials, the breadth and depth of their knowledge, the trend marked at the collar · Teaching and having many hobbies (especially intellectuals), and a constant and very critical attitude.

Psychopedagogical intervention in gifted students

While there are widespread beliefs about the most appropriate type of intervention for this group of students, this appears to be the most effective measure to deliver an inclusive deal of these subjects in the usual school environment shared by other pupils.

It is therefore necessary to avoid segregation and complete modification of the academic course or the need to be supervised by a teacher with a specific professional profile. More specifically, the following psycho-educational strategies are proposed in the intervention with gifted children:

Application of the academic program

It must be established individually for each gifted subject (according to their particularities), Indicate what kind of help you will need both quantitatively and qualitatively and whether it will be informal or require formal changes in the educational program. The facilitation of stimulating activities at the level of self-knowledge and the heteroconocimiento of pupils and of opportunities for parents to better understand the characteristics of their children should be sought.


This intervention refers to the replacement of an academic course to be carried out by the student by a more advanced course. This resource has the advantage that allows a more stimulating environment to be adapted to the student While it is true that the maturity and ability of the gifted student is not equitable in all areas, he may therefore feel inferior to his peers in the advanced course and thus increase the encouragement of competitive attitudes in children .

The support class

In this case, there is a specialized teaching team specially responsible for determining the type support that this type of student needs. Gifted children are educated separately from their regular peers, establishing a new group of high abilities in which the development of abilities and interest in the various areas of learning. The main disadvantage is that it can facilitate the appearance of rejection by peers who do not have high intellectual abilities.

The usual classroom

This strategy is based on the development of learning within the student’s home class, which shares the same treatment as the rest of the class. The advantage of this methodology is that the students do not perceive any discrimination or preferencesThey also learn to adapt and normalize the fact that the learning process naturally unfolds in a heterogeneous way. The main disadvantage is the decreased motivation that gifted students can suffer if they do not receive sufficient stimulation.

Curriculum extension projects

To implement this strategy he must pay attention and analyze the type of specific abilities exhibited by the student, The areas of interest, the style of their learning, the condensation (individualized adaptation of the curriculum), the evaluation of the product or the activity carried out, the proportion of stimulating complementary activities (conferences, exhibitions, fairs, etc. ).

Family support

Family collaboration is essential because it can facilitate the teaching task and the emotional stability of the student by avoiding demotivation or rejection by his peers. Parents better understand their child’s needs and can supplement the need for academic stimulation at home. for that, Communication between the two parties is essentialBecause it will allow the teaching staff to provide them with certain appropriate educational guidelines concerning the treatment offered to the child at home relating to avoiding comparisons, excessive solicitations, acceptance of their peculiarities, etc.

Teaching and training of specific intellectual skills

For greater enrichment of acquired content, training in the following skills can make learning easier and motivate them.

You can work on the information and data received in aspects such as sequencing, comparison, classification, cause-and-effect relationship, creation of attribute lists, development of logical reasoning, planning and the execution of projects, the evaluation of ideas and perspectives., The detection and correction of errors, mainly.

Bibliographical references:

  • Acereda, A. and Sastre, S. (1998). Giftedness. Madrid: Synthesis.
  • Alonso, JA, Renzulli, JS, Benito, I. (2003). International Handbook of the Gifted. Madrid: EOS.
  • Álvarez González, B. (2000): high potential students. Identification and educational intervention. Madrid: Bruño.
  • Coriat, AR (1990): Gifted children. Barcelona: Herder.
  • Renzulli, J. (1994): “Talent development in schools. Practical program for the enrichment of total school performance”, at school BENITO, I. Through (coor.): The model of intervention and psychoeducational research in gifted students. Salamanca: Amaru Edicions.

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