Does Changing the ‘Gifted’ Label Change Anything?

gtchat 03082016 Gifted Label


“We need the word until we, as a culture, can see the distinct and varied permutations of human intellectual difference without feeling fear, threat, or envy for those whom the word “gifted” fits.” ~ Pamela Price


In education, labels are used as the basis for requesting appropriate programs, challenges, enrichment, and accommodations. Without labels, services may not be offered. According to Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources in Australia, “Labels help to determine the educational, counselling and parenting provisions that are needed.” Alex Clough, a school counselor, added, “Labels are protective, allowing school staff to plan appropriately for students.” Gail Post, a clinical psychologist, explained, “A label, term, diagnosis, etc. can be tested, validated, or disproven.” Kathleen Eveleigh, a K-5 gifted specialist in Chapel Hill, N.C., also told us ” Gifted students have special social and emotional needs that regular education teachers may not know about. The label helps us advocate.”


gtchat Notion Better Than


Unfortunately, the ‘gifted’ label has become divisive. Sarah Smith, a gifted education teacher said, “I struggle with the label because some think it to be a synonym for perfectly behaved or high achieving or motivated,etc.” Gifted advocates need to do a better job at educating the general public about the true nature of giftedness. Different areas of the U.S. and other countries use terms such as high ability, AIG (Academically and Intellectually), or high potential. Alternatives exist to make the idea of ‘ability’ more palatable to the general public.


gtchat Gifted Feel Different

In the end, will it make any difference if we change the label? Leslie Graves, President of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, made an important point, “Once you’ve stopped labeling something, it’s easy to pretend it doesn’t exist.” Carolyn of Hoagies Gifted added, “changing label will change little, but confuse many. Not worthwhile.” A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

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Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at  2 PM (14.00) NZDT/Noon (12.00) AEDT/1 AM (1.00) UK. to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found atStorify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:



Why We Need the Gifted Label

Giftedness as a Social Construct Does Giftedness Really Exist?

Giftedness: The Word That Dare Not Speak Its Name?

Again With the “All Children Are Gifted” Talk

Time to Ditch ‘Gifted’ Label? Every Child Should Be Challenged in School

Sprite’s Site ~ GT Chat: Labels: Good, Bad, or Simply Wrong

Why Do We Need To Define Giftedness?

Let Me Tell You about…Why Gifted Identification Matters

Why the Word “Gifted” Still Matters

Why Having a “Gifted” Label Matters to Me

Why Identifying High Intelligence Might Change Everything

Sprite’s Site ~ Giftedness: Why Does It Matter?

Giftedness: Why does it Matter?

Giftedness: Why it Matters

My Kid is Gifted (YES, I’m that Mom)

Hoagies’ Blog Hop May 2014: The “G” Word “Gifted”

The Gift of Giftedness? A Closer Look at How Labeling Influences Social and Academic Self-Concept in Highly Capable Learners (pdf)

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop – Giftedness: Why It Matters

Sprite’s Site: The G Word

Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Posted on March 15, 2016, in Advocacy, Bullying, Education, enrichment, gifted, gifted and talented, gifted education, Identification, labels and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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