As the focus of this website is Gifted Children, Gifted Adults, Future Leaders resources have been chosen to reflect giftedness throughout the lifespan.  While these resources have been provided for educators, they are valuable for anyone interesting in deepening their understanding of giftedness.

Resources coverThree Girls Reading

  • identification and profiling of gifted and talented students
  • models of giftedness
  • testing and assessment
  • identification and support for minority groups such as indigenous Australians
  • the social and emotional needs of gifted children and adults.

Gifted students are a heterogeneous group therefore it is essential our understanding of giftedness encompass many different perspectives (Parliament of Victoria, 2012). Our exploration is like completing a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, such is the complexity of giftedness.

Overview of Resources

References have been listed in alphabetical order in four categories – scholarly journal articles, conference papers, books and websites.

  • Betts and Neihart’s (2010) Profiles of the gifted and talented provide a practical framework for educators to identify and cater for giftedness.
  • Gagne’s (2004) Differentiated model of gifted and talented allows for identification across broad domains, emphasizing the importance of the developmental process.
  • Gavis (2006) discusses support and identification of aboriginal students
  • Gross (2000) provides understanding of the the needs of profoundly gifted students
  • Renzulli (2002) provides scope to expand our understanding of giftedness to promote the development of social capital.
  • Sternberg (2005) builds on this idea exploring the attributes of gifted leaders.
  • Munro (2013) discusses how we can identify, develop and assess gifted knowing and thinking in our classrooms.
  • Daniels and Piechowski (2009) explore intensity and sensitivity in gifted children, adolescents and adults.
  • Thanks to organizations such as Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) and the Australian Association of the Education of the Gifted and Talented (AAEGT) we can continue to understand giftedness throughout the lifespan.

At the conclusion of this annotated bibliography suggestions for further reading have been given with citations for additional resources included.

Scholarly Journals

Betts, G.T., & Neihart, M. (1988). Profiles of the gifted and talented. Gifted child quarterly, 32(2), 248-253. Retrieved from 

Betts, G.T., & Neihart, M. (2010). Revised profiles of the gifted and talented. Retrieved from.

Betts and Neihart’s (1988) profiles of the gifted and talented were revised in 2010. They provide identification support across six distinct types of giftedness – successful, creative, underground, at-risk, twice/multi exceptional and autonomous. Rather than a diagnostic model, it is a theoretical framework for understanding the feelings, behaviours and needs of gifted students (Betts & Neihart, 1988). Support suggestions are given for each profile, providing opportunities for all students to become autonomous learners. These students grow into adults who are self-confident, creative, independent life-long learners. The majority of students identified as gifted in schools fall into the successful category – type one. While these students do well at school they may avoid risk and don’t reach their leadership potential. Profoundly gifted students, who have disengaged from school may fall into creative, at-risk and underground profiles (Neihart, 1988). This highly practical, well-structured model views giftedness through a new lens, allowing individual needs of students to be recognised.

Gagne, F. (2004) Transforming gifts into talents: The DMGT as a developmental theory. High Ability Studies, 15(2), 119-147

Gagne’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT) distinguishes between giftedness and talented. Giftedness is defined as outstanding natural abilities across six domains – intellectual, creative, social, perceptual, muscular and motor control. Talent is defined as demonstrated performance in a wide range of fields. Giftedness must go through a complex developmental process to transform into talent. Environmental and interpersonal factors, plus chance either help or hinder the transformation of gifts into talents (Gagne, 2004). As the preferred model of giftedness in Australian policy documentation (NSW Government 2004; Parliament of Victoria, 2012; Catholic Education Office, 2013) this model has importance for educators. It highlights the responsibility of schools, families and society to support the talent development process. This model provides scope to identify students gifted in academic areas as well as leadership, social justice, the arts and sport. It highlights the reality that many gifted students, especially those in minority and social economically disadvantaged communities, underachieve or are missed when selecting students for gifted education programs (Gagne, 2004; Parliament of Victoria, 2012).

Garvis, S. (2006). Optimising the learning of gifted aboriginal students. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 2(3), 42-51.

Aboriginal students are underrepresented in Australian programs for gifted and talented students (Parliament of Victoria, 2012). This article compares provisions for aboriginal students in New South Wales and Queensland. New South Wales has adopted Gagne’s (2004) DMGT as their model for giftedness and employ dynamic testing to identify gifted and talented students (Garvis, 2006). Dynamic testing takes into consideration the challenges aboriginal students face in revealing their talents within their community, working with students to increase competency. It has successfully identified students with high academic potential who are currently underachieving (Caffey, Bailey & Vine, 2003). The underrepresentation of aboriginal students in Queensland gifted and talented programs suggests that identification and assessment strategies are inadequate (Garvis, 2006). This article provides valuable suggestions for identification, programming and advocacy. It includes discussion of existing specialized programming for aboriginal students. Marginalized students, such as the indigenous are highlighted in Betts and Neihart’s (2010) ‘underground profile’. It is imperative that educators receive professional development to assist with identification and programming for all students.

Gross, M. U. (2000). Exceptionally and profoundly gifted students: An underserved population. Understanding Our Gifted, 12(2), 3-9.  Retrieved from:

This article highlights the profound differences between moderately and exceptionally gifted students. While IQ scores are a simplistic view of intellectual giftedness they are useful in understanding the discrepancy between mental and chronological age. Moderately gifted students, with IQ scores around 130 do well at school, are often selected for gifted and talented programs and get along with their peers. Exceptionally gifted students with IQ greater than 160 quickly learn school has little to offer them, experiencing boredom and disengagement, which can lead to underachievement and social isolation (Gross, 2000). This article provides useful indications of intellectual precocity including advanced language, reading ability and motor skills from an early age. For educators this highlights the complexity of giftedness, including factors that contribute to underachievement. Radical acceleration has been found to have a positive effect on intellectual and socio-emotional needs (Gross, 2000). Betts and Neihart’s (1988) Profiles of the Gifted and Talented is a useful tool to help educators identify exceptionally gifted students who have disengaged from school.

Renzulli, J. S. (2002). Expanding the conception of giftedness to include co-cognitive traits and to promote social capital. Phi Delta Kappan, 84(1), 33-58.

From an early age many gifted individuals exhibit qualities of moral sensitivity and desire to address injustice in society (Silverman, 1994). Renzulli’s Three Ring Conception of Giftedness defines giftedness as the intersection of three clusters of traits – above average ability, creativity and task commitment (Renzulli, 1984). This article discusses development of the original model to encompass this innate desire to make a difference (Renzulli, 2002). Through understanding of positive human qualities we can identify and provide for individuals who have the potential to contribute to society. These qualities fall within the social, perceptual and creative domains of Gagne’s DMGT (Gagne, 2004). Operation Houndstooth develops optimism, courage, romance with a topic or discipline, sensitivity to human concerns, physical and mental energy and vision/sense of destiny (Renzulli, 2004). As educators it is important to look to experts such as Silverman, Gagne and Renzulli and go beyond IQ measures to appreciate the breadth of giftedness. This allows educational experiences to maximise the development of talent.

Sternberg, R.J. (2005). WICS: A model of giftedness in leadership. Roeper Review, 28(1), 37-44.

This article builds on the ideas presented in Renzulli (2004) by addressing the qualities that define giftedness in leadership. WICS is an acronym for wisdom, intelligence and creativity synthesised. “Gifted leaders seek out the information they need and process it creatively, intelligently and wisely” (Sternberg, 2005, p. 37). In this model attitude and the development of attributes is as important as innate ability (Sternberg, 2005). This is reflected in the interpersonal factors of Gagne’s developmental process from giftedness to talent (Gagne, 2004). Giftedness is more than test scores or the ability to learn rapidly, it’s the capacity to contribute to a chosen field. While this model appears to address adult giftedness, Sternberg (2005) suggests we broaden our view of childhood giftedness providing opportunities for children to develop leadership qualities needed by society. As suggested by Renzulli (2002) this model allows educators to provide curriculum that in engages students in becoming contributing global citizens.

Conference/Seminar Papers

Munro, J. (2013). Teaching gifted students: A knowing and thinking-based framework for differentiation. Centre for Strategic Education Seminar Paper 227: Melbourne, Victoria.

John Munro of Melbourne University defines gifted knowing and thinking as the capacity to “form intuitive theories about the topic by spontaneously extending and refining the teaching ideas” (Munro, 2013, p. 3). This differs from the way regular students engage with their learning. Gifted students develop expert understanding that leads to innovative outcomes (Munro, 2013). Protocol for the identification and assessment of gifted students needs to take into account past performance and current capacity to demonstrate above average thinking and knowing. Using a combination of closed and open-ended tasks provides scope to identify students who are ‘possibly’ gifted, their talents hidden by underachievement or cultural diversity (Munro, 2013). Teachers can use this information to effectively differentiate curriculum for gifted students providing opportunities to apply higher order thinking and learning that builds on existing understanding (Munro, 2013). This is a valuable resource as many identification, differentiation and assessment strategies are offered. It discusses the importance of pretesting, formative and summative testing that addresses the learning needs of gifted students. It provides concrete ways to implement Sternberg’s (2005) WICS model encouraging leadership in a chosen field.


Daniels, S., & Piechowski, M. M. (2009). Living with intensity. Tucson, Arizona: Great Potential Press.

The subtitle of this book, understanding the sensitivity, excitability and emotional development of gifted children, adolescents and adults, highlights the value of this book. It  takes a holistic approach to giftedness going beyond IQ tests to deeply understand the nature of the gifted individual. The book consists of essays from leaders in the field including Annemarie Roeper, Michael Piechowski and Linda Silverman covering topics such as perfectionism, Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration and spirituality. Porter (2006) states that evidence for the presence of Dabrowski’s overexciteablities in all gifted individuals is flawed. That said there is great support for this model with many researchers highlighting the links between sensitivity, intensity and giftedness (Piechowski, 1997; Silverman, 1994; Teso, 2007). Individuals with a high sense of social justice have been found to exhibit high levels of overexciteabilities in particular emotional overexciteablity (Silverman, 1994). We need to keep in mind that gifted students are not a homogenous group. It is essential to include many different perspectives and approach understanding of giftedness on a case-by-case basis (Parliament of Victoria, 2012).


Australia Association for the Education of Gifted and Talented (AAEGT)

The Australian Association for the Education of Gifted and Talented (AAEGT) was established in 1985 as the national body supporting the education of gifted and talented students in Australia. Objectives include advocacy for government support and research, ensuring equitable, socially just provisions for gifted and talented students and providing space to share experiences in gifted education. The website provides links to state associations, universities, government departments and special programs for gifted students. Resources are provided for parents, teachers and students. The AAEGT provides support for the identification and assessment of gifted students including those with special needs such as indigenous and twice exceptional students. They offer advice to parents when advocating for educational support for their gifted child. The AAEGT publishes a twice-yearly journal with membership available through state and territory associations. Organisations like AAEGT ensure that the needs of gifted and talented students are addressed at all levels of government, in our schools, in society and at home.

Supporting the Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)

SENG was established in 1981 to bring attention to the often misunderstood social and emotional needs of gifted children. Since its inception the organisation has evolved to support gifted adults. SENG’s holistic approach supports gifted, talented and creative individuals to reach their intellectual, physical, social and emotional goals and contribute to the well-being of others. SENG provides education, research, staff development programs and access to online parent support groups. As a not-for-profit organisation SENG exists through membership, donations, seminars and product sales. Of note is the range of recorded webinars on diversity in giftedness, assessment tools and adult giftedness. James Webb, the founder of SENG highlights the potential for misdiagnosis of gifted children with similarities between qualities of giftedness and disorders such as ADHD (SENG, 2012). Access to information from specialists including psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors builds understanding of the nature of giftedness. For gifted individuals greater self-awareness is invaluable.

Further Reading 

Gifted education in Australia

The wealth of available information makes it difficult to know where to begin. The Parliament of Victoria’s (2012) Inquiry into the education of gifted and talented students provides an excellent starting point. The New South Wales Government (2004) and Catholic Education Office (2013) have produced resource guides that provide an overview of identification and assessment tools, plus suggestions for the programming for gifted students including acceleration and differentiation of curriculum. These documents have extensive reference lists providing additional information.

The social and emotional needs of gifted students

Linda Silverman (1994) discusses moral sensitivity in gifted students and the evolution of society. Due to the age of this article it was not included for discussion. It provides excellent information about Dabrowski’s work and the links between sensitivity and the desire to contribute to society. This is one of many articles found on the SENG website.

Testing and assessment

The Davidson Institute, the support organization for profoundly gifted students provides an extensive database of articles. The article Is my child gifted? discusses testing options for parents of profoundly gifted students. It highlights the necessity for above level testing for profoundly gifted students who exceed the upper limits of available tests (Davidson Institute, 2004).  An extensive lists of available tests, their advantages and disadvantages can be found at

Diversity in giftedness

As gifted and talented students can be found in all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds it is important that educators have an understanding of special needs. Chaffey, Bailey and Vine’s (2003) study into dynamic testing for gifted indigenous students provides insight into best practice for the identification of students from culturally diverse backgrounds. Nicopon, Allmon, Sieck and Sinson (2010) highlight the challenges for twice-exceptional students advocating for an individual approach to identification and opportunities for students to build on their strengths, while supporting their areas of weakness.


The focus of this annotated bibliography has been on understanding the complexity of giftedness throughout the lifespan. Supporting gifted individuals to live happy, meaningful lives that contribute to society is paramount.

Additional references

Catholic Education Office (2013). Gifted and talented students – A resource guide for teachers in Australian Catholic Schools. Catholic Education Office Melbourne: Retrieved from

Chaffey, G. W., Bailey, S. B., & Vine, K. W. (2003). Identifying high academic potential in Australian Aboriginal children using dynamic testing. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 12 (1), 42-55.

Nicpon, M. F., Allmon, A., Sieck, B. & Stinson, R. D. (2011). Empirical Investigation of Twice-Exceptionality: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going? Gifted Child Quarterly, 55(1), 3-17

NSW Department of Education, Science and Training (2004). Gifted and talented education professional development package for teachers – Identification, Sydney: Retrieved from:

Renzulli, (1984) J.S. The Three-Ring Conception of Giftedness: A Developmental Model for Promoting Creative Productivity. Retrieved from

Renzulli, J. S., Koehler, J., & Fogarty, E. (2006). Operation Houndstooth intervention theory: Social capital in today’s schools. Gifted Child Today, 29 (1), 14-24.

Parliament of Victoria, Education and Training Committee (2012). The inquiry into the education of gifted and talented Students. Retrieved from   Link to document 

Piechowski, M.M. (1997). Emotional giftedness: The measure of intrapersonal intelligence. In N. Colangelo & G. A Davis (Eds.) Handbook of gifted education (2nd ed., pp. 366-381). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Retrieved from

Porter, L. (2006). Twelve myths of gifted education. Retrieved from

Silverman, L. K. (1994). The moral sensitivity of gifted children and the evolution of society. Roeper Review, 17(2), 110-116.

Tieso, C. L. (2007). Overexcitabilities: A new way to think about talent? Roeper review, 29(4), 232-239. doi:10.1080/02783190709554417

Webb, J. T. (2000). Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children: Gifted and LD, ADHD, OCD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder. In M. Neihart, Chair, Cutting Edge Minds–What it Means to be Exceptional Paper presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington, D.C. August 7.