Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about giftedness
What methods are used to identify giftedness?
Identifying giftedness involves focusing on the whole person; specifically, it means determining the person’s achievement-related developmental potential, understanding whether and how it manifests itself in behaviors and performance, and taking into account the person’s developmental history and environment. There are many possible methods and approaches for this purpose:
Achievement-related development potential can be assessed most objectively, reliably, and validly using instruments for psychological assessment. Assessment tests provide information on intelligence, creativity, or specific skills such as concentration and attention. Questionnaires provide information about personality or motivational characteristics such as the need for cognition, interests, or how one perceives one’s own abilities. This can be supplemented by a nomination to receive support either by the students themselves or by others, such as friends, parents, or teachers. Using screening checklists can increase awareness of specific giftedness traits.
At the same time, achievements can be documented directly, for example, in the form of student grades on report cards, performance on standardized learning assessments (e.g., VERA or KERMIT), participation in competitions, or through the intense pursuit of hobbies.
Educational diagnostic methods such as classroom observation and questioning or interviews with teachers provide important information on the learning behavior and achievement of students.
Furthermore, candid conversations, interviews, or questionnaires provide information about the development and learning and home environment of a child or adolescent, and particularly about the family, Kita, or school and the resources, support options, or conflicts experienced in these settings.
It is often useful or even necessary to combine several methods and sources of information and to use them not only once, but repeatedly at different points in time.