Equity in Gifted/Talented (G/T) Education

Skip navigation and go to main content

Identification Principles

Principles to consider when selecting instruments and processes for identifying diverse gifted/talented populations:

  • Interviews work much better than parent inventories with parents from poverty or limited English speaking parents, though a home visit may be required. Parents from poverty may lack transportation and/or they may not trust the school.
  • Peer nominations that are specifically designed for students from poverty may be very helpful in identifying students who have talents that may not be reflected on traditional measures (Slocumb and Payne, 2000).
  • Student interviews may be used very effectively with students from poverty and limited English speakers. This is a time-consuming process, but should certainly be considered when other tests are inconclusive or do not seem to match other kinds of observed performance.
  • Rubrics are used to measure the performance of students, especially when looking at portfolios.
  • Assessors should avoid the use of cut-off scores. Look for patterns in the data collected when identifying students from poverty or students who are culturally different. Examine the patterns in the context of what giftedness looks like within those groups.
  • Teacher perceptions are solicited and include both open-ended questions and checklists.
  • Screening requires that at least one instrument is used to look at all students at each grade level for possible additional screening for placement in the G/T program. Screening only students who are “nominated” by teachers and parents for inclusion in the G/T program often overlooks students from poverty and students who are culturally different. Use multiple criteria to look at all students, and then seek the perceptions of teachers and parents where possible.
  • Identification procedures include the use of non-verbal instruments.
  • Placement procedures allow for students to be placed in the program based on observable behaviors and not solely on the basis of quantitative instruments.