Reexamining the Role of Gifted Education and Talent Development for the 21st Century: A Four-Part Theoretical Approach
Why and how should a society devote special resources to the development of giftedness in young people for the twenty-first century? If we agree that the goals of gifted education and talent development are to maximize young people’s opportunities for self-fulfillment and increase society’s reservoir of creative problem solvers and producers of knowledge, then it would seem wise that programming and services enhance students’ capacity for creative productivity, not just content acquisition. This general theory for the development of human potential is discussed through an exploration of four research-based subtheories: the Three-Ring Conception of Giftedness, the Enrichment Triad Model, Operation Houndstooth, and Executive Functions. In this article, a reexamination of current gifted and talented programming is intended to generate future research, extend dialogue among scholars, and inspire continued support for programming based on theory and related research.