Using Renzulli and Gagne together

In an earlier post I discussed the way in which our school uses the trait’s of giftedness as identified by Renzulli – we focus heavily on ensuring that students who possess above average ability also develop high levels of task commitment and creativity.

The NSW DET, however, does not feature Renzulli’s traits of giftedness in their Gifted and Talented Policy.  Instead it uses Gagné’s (2003) Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT), which states that:

Gifted students are those whose potential is distinctly above average in one or more of the following domains of human ability: intellectual, creative, social and physical.

Talented students are those whose skills are distinctly above average in one or more areas of human performance.

What I like about Gagne’s model is that it explicitly recognises that students may be gifted in a range of domains; it is not limited to intellectual giftedness, but also recognises creative, social and physical giftedness.

I also think it is very useful to conceptualise ‘giftedness’ as being potential for excellence, while ‘talentedness’ is actual performance at an above average level.

But I still am unclear about how our school uses these two theories together.  Certainly they both bring something to the table, but are they supposed to work together in some way?  Anyone have any ideas?

I wonder if Renzulli would tell Gagne that combining task commitment and creativity with high ability is the key to moving gifted students beyond potential to performance!

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