Top 20 Principles from Psychology for Pre-K-12 Gifted, Creative, and Talented Students

Rena Subotnik

Center for Psychology in Schools and Education; the American Psychological Association, USA

The question of whether gifted students learn differently from other students has long plagued the psychology and education communities. On the one hand, the field of gifted education has promoted special programs that capitalize on gifted children’s individual abilities and needs. At the same time, evidence from rigorous studies has supported the notion that gifted children, like their age peers, learn optimally in classrooms that apply proven psychological principles. Are gifted students unique, or not? In this session the case is made that gifted students may be simultaneously unique from—and the same as—typical students. Gifted students are the same as other students in that their learning hinges on general psychological learning principles. However, to be effective, the application of those principles may be different for gifted students than for their classmates. We will explore examples of the varied ways in which psychology promotes the application of principles based on the needs of special groups of learners.