Ching-Chih Kuo, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Special Education at National Taiwan Normal University. She has been involved in special education for over 40 years. Her research areas are education policy, identification, multiple intelligence, guidance and counseling, overexcitabilities, twice exceptionality, brain study, as well as the cognitive, social, and emotional development of individuals with special needs. Her most recent work has focused on the talent development of twice-exceptional individuals, and she has been engaged in the development of policies and programs on twice exceptionality at national and local government levels. Dr. Kuo serves on many national and international advisory boards and committees dedicated to gifted education and special education. She was elected president of the Asia-Pacific Federation on Giftedness for 2006–2008 and 2014–2016 and now acts as vice-president.
Expanding the Conception of Giftedness to Talent Development
To determine if a person is gifted or not, the government sets the criteria of identification since giftedness is an abstract concept. However, the standard has always been decided and affected by the attitudes of the education authority and the allocation of resources. The opportunities for some potential learners to participate in gifted programs are often closed because of high identification criteria on standardized tests, especially intelligence tests. To bridge the achievement and the opportunity gaps between regular and gifted students with disabilities or different cultural backgrounds, educators are encouraged to apply the talent development model to develop hidden potential rather than focus on identification or labeling students as “gifted.” Every child is unique and has strengths and weakness. It is time to change the rigid concept of giftedness and expand the concept to discover multiple talents. The most important aspect is no longer defining intelligence merely as g or IQ.