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The term ‘gifted child’ generally refers to a child whose intelligence is evaluated as far superior to the norm. However, how far superior to it exactly, how ‘the norm’ is calculated, and what (if anything) should be done about children who display that superiority are hotly debated variables, subject to large geographic and cultural differences. Since its inception, the concept of giftedness and the associated science have been controversial. This entry first offers a historical perspective on research on gifted children. This entry further examines critical discourses on the notion of child giftedness and the contemporary evolution of these discourses.

The History of Giftedness

‘Giftedness’ was not a common word in academic or scientific writing, or indeed in common parlance, until the turn of the 20th century. ...

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