Educators in the field of gifted education have as a primary goal serving academically talented students. Early research in the field by Lewis Terman, Leta Hollingworth, Virgil Ward, and Howard Gardner first drew attention to the specific characteristics and needs of academically talented students. Research in the field today continues to focus on academically talented students.

Academic talent can best be described using Joseph Renzulli's three ring conception of giftedness (see Figure 1). The terms schoolhouse giftedness and creative-productive giftedness are used to differentiate two types within the gifted population. According to Renzulli, schoolhouse giftedness manifests itself in students' test-taking abilities, products, and general academic performance in school. Academic talent is most valued in the traditional school setting; students who perform well in all coursework, exhibit ...

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