Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about giftedness


Is it possible to determine giftedness based on checklists?

There are numerous checklists available that specify characteristics considered to be typical of gifted children and are used to identify giftedness. Yet evidence from research has shown that such checklists are of little use for this purpose. Often the characteristics that are listed are not at all typical for gifted children and are vaguely formulated so that they can apply just as well to many children who are not gifted (e.g., “is very interested”). Furthermore, it is difficult to accurately and reliably observe most of the characteristics in daily life or at school. The descriptions of the characteristics also do not specify, for example, the level of proficiency at which memory or vocabulary can be regarded as adequately exceptional. In most cases, a scoring guide is not provided. Finally, many of the characteristics on the lists are shaped by the educational and support services that are available to a child. However, giftedness as a potential should initially be viewed in a separate context.

Thus, checklists for teachers or parents cannot be used as a diagnostic tool for giftedness. They can, however, draw attention to certain characteristics and needs of a child that might otherwise be overlooked.


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