The U.S. Department of Education defines gifted students as those who demonstrate extraordinary performance or have the potential to demonstrate outstanding performance in the areas of general intellectual ability, specific academic areas, the fine and performing arts, creativity, and leadership. The definition also stipulates that these are students who require services beyond what is offered in the regular school program and curriculum. This definition is the most widely adopted definition at the state and local school division levels. However, in most cases, identification procedures and program implementation limit the scope of the definition to exceptional intellectual ability and/or achievement in the specific discipline areas (e.g., mathematics).

Renzulli and colleagues (1981) offered what has become a very popular alternative definition, which is based on the three characteristics ...

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