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AGT Children

Characteristics of the Academically Gifted and Talented (AGT) Child

In order to identify high potential, educators and parents should be knowledgeable about the characteristics of gifted children.  Many of the characteristics are exhibited at an early age.  A gifted child may manifest many, but not all of the characteristics.  Some of the characteristics, such as task commitment and creativity, are characteristics that can be developed. Listed below are some of the characteristics of gifted children (including some of the problems that may be present).

Learning Characteristics

  • Learns rapidly and easily; may resist doing routine work or works in careless manner

  • Prefers complex and challenging tasks rather than basic work; may resist challenging work for fear his/her struggle will be seen by others

  • Knows about many things of which other children are unaware, retains knowledge

  • Verbally proficient, exhibits advanced vocabulary for age or grade level

  • Reads with comprehension at an early age

  • Skilled in problem solving

  • Recognizes relationships

  • Questions critically

  • Displays curiosity about many topics, keenly observant

  • Transfers learning to new situations

Motivational Characteristics

  • Has passionate interests, easily absorbed in activities and thoughts; may be unwilling to do other activities

  • Persistent in seeking task completion

  • Prefers to work independently, requires little direction; may dislike cooperative learning

  • Assumes and discharges responsibility; may dominate others

  • Strong beliefs, opinionated

Creative Characteristics

  • Displays intellectual playfulness; asks many "what if" questions; may be a nonconformist

  • Challenged by new ideas

  • Enjoys experimentation; invents new methods or solutions to tasks; may daydream, be absentminded, loose work

  • Displays a keen sense of humor or sees humor in subtle situations; may be the class clown, make jokes or comments at inappropriate times

  • Sensitive to the aesthetic characteristics and value of things

Social-Emotional Characteristics

  • Has strong sense of justice; may assertively oppose injustices

  • Self-confident; may believe he/she is valued for what he/she can do rather than who he/she is; may fear loss of regard from others if exceptional ability is lost

  • Prefers older companions

  • Tend to be perfectionists; may be self-critical and critical of others, may work slowly, procrastinate

  • Bases friendships on similarity of interest rather than age

  • Adjusts easily to new situations

  • Is conscientious and truthful

  • Friendly, helpful