12 Facts about Gifted Education

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Appropriate learning environments, motivation, encouragement, and even luck can all play a role in helping students develop and succeed.


Tests, including IQ tests, are good at predicting later life performance. IQ scores are highly predictive of performance in school, occupation, income, and even with physical and mental health. IQ scores from childhood can even predict mortality: smarter people generally live longer, even after controlling for social class.


Higher scores are related with higher outcomes throughout the full range of ability. Even within just the top 1 percent of students, higher test scores are associated with higher adulthood accomplishments and achievements.


All people have different abilities that are typically positively related that form an overall general ability. This means that people who tend to be good at one thing also tend to be good at other things, but they can have strengths and weaknesses in specific areas.


Early high performance in a domain predicts later educational, occupational, and creative accomplishments in that domain. People strong in math or verbal domains at an early age tend to achieve extraordinary accomplishments in their domain of strength.


Nonverbal tests alone will not tell us if students will succeed in classes, especially when success in those classes relies on verbal skills. Nonverbal tests are also not necessarily “a more fair assessment” of academic potential.


Fewer students will be identified as gifted when participation in a gifted program requires students to have high ratings on all criteria (for example: high test scores + high teacher rating scale scores + a parent nomination) compared to when a single criterion is used.


Classes grouped by age have huge variations in student learning needs. This supports the need for differentiated instruction based on student learning needs, not student age.


The claim that being taught using a student’s preferred learning style leads to greater achievement is not supported by evidence. However, there is substantial strong evidence that good teaching is effective for all students.


We lack the measurement skills to differentiate reliably between achievement and ability even though we have the verbal skills to create unique definitions for each.


There is no consistent relationship between acceleration and social-emotional problems. But the research does show that acceleration can have huge academic benefits for students.


In general, more education is better, especially if matched with student interests and passions.

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