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SCREENING AND IDENTIFYING GIFTED/TALENTED - page 4 / 18

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echoing the Marland Report categories) were created across the country (Zettel 1979). This raised inevitable questions about who are creative, leadership, or performing and visual arts talented students and how might they be identified? Most programs had already stipulated definitions for intellectual and academic giftedness but these were local and idiosyncratic; there clearly has been no agreed upon definition or definitions at either state or national levels even for these traditional categories of students with high abilities (Zettel 1979; Feldhusen, Asher & Hoover 1984). To this day, the question of definition remains unresolved as IQ-based definitions have been called into question and the new Marland Report categories of gifted or talented students are clearly there to be served.

An attendant problem in education in the arts is gross confusion about use of the words talent or talented either globally (as in gifted/talented) or specifically (as in the gifted and the talented). Those of us who work in arts education have been disturbed to see the words talent and talented altered in meaning in the literature and nomenclature of gifted/talented education.  Almost every use of the word talented, for instance, in the highly influential NSSE Yearbook, The Gifted and the Talented: Their Education and Development (Passow, 1979), was in reference to students whose superiorities were in specific academic fields such as chemistry, mathematics, biology, or language arts.  In contrast, the words talent and talented are defined in most popular dictionaries by reference to special natural abilities or aptitudes and give as examples superiority in music or the visual arts (ie.  Barnhart 1959; Mish 1984). Arts educators consistently have used this more popular meaning related to superior performance in the arts and now find themselves unfortunately at odds with educators whose work is in education of ‘talented’ students.

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