Authors Name: 
Sarah Martin
McGill University
Award winner

What is Giftedness?

Educators hold implicit theories about what it means for a student to be “gifted”. Most commonly, educators believe that gifted students have a unique ability to learn quickly and effectively. Most people believe that gifted students are different from other students in some fundamental way. This paper draws from empirical research and case studies in order to explore another possible definition of giftedness: that it is a descriptive term for those who have done many hours of deliberate practice. The paper suggests that every student has the ability to be gifted, and that our current conception of the "more able" student is not only inaccurate, but also inherently harmful for several reasons.