In the words of Hillingworth, “By a gifted child we mean one who is far more educable than the generality of children are. The greater educability may lie along the lines of one of the arts, as in music or drawing, it may lie in the sphere of mechanical aptitude, or it may consist in surpassing power to achieve literacy and abstract knowledge.
” Paul Witty Ruth String, Havighurst and many other think that the term ‘gifted children’ should include all those children who give promise of creativity of a high order in a worthwhile line of human endeavor.
They have superior ability that can make them contribute to the quality of living in society. Therefore, we include not only the intellectually gifted but also those who show promise in music, the graphic arts, creative writing, dramatics, mechanical skills and social leadership.
School children with superior learning aptitudes are frequently referred to gifted children. It is exceedingly important to develop all the capacities of members of this group in view of the fact that this group provides us with leaders for different walks of life.
Three Categories of Gifted Children
According to Terman, the students of higher intelligence may be divided into three categories:
1. Superior having Intelligence Quotient between 100 and 120.
2. Very superior having Intelligence Quotient between 120 and 140.
3. Near genius having Intelligence Quotient 140 or more.
Intelligence Quotient 120 may be regarded as the lower limit of the gifted.
Special Need for the Education of the Gifted
With the world locked in conflict between two ideologies, there is special need to conserve and utilize all available human resources. The gifted child is both an asset and a responsibility. He is an asset of incalculable value to society.
His potentialities for good are difficult to overestimate. Our socio-economic structure, both national and international, demands leadership of the highest quality and keenest intelligence where else may we look for this type of leadership except among those of intellectual superiority?
Society is injudicious in the extreme to neglect those children who possess the potentialities of high-quality leadership. It is the part of wisdom to prepare these boys and girls for the important social responsibility which will be theirs.
Today we face problems of world magnitude which threaten the existence of society itself. Education is challenged to develop leadership for tremendous tasks which lie ahead. Under such conditions, special education of the gifted is not only justified but is demanded by the lessons of history.