Explaining the Variations of Definitions in Gifted Education


  • Jørgen Smedsrud NIFU Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education
DOI: https://doi.org/10.23865/nse.v40.2129


Whether we need to agree on a definition of giftedness and whether a general definition is even necessary for the field to move forward has been debated across several paradigms. This article explores variation in definitions and discusses why we encounter so many different views on giftedness. I evaluate definitions of giftedness through the interdisciplinary lens of the philosophy of language and definition theory, arguing that our field can benefit from an interdisciplinary approach. I contend that intelligence-based definitions, which have received much criticism within the field of gifted education, are actually broader in their conceptual range than multidimensional definitions of giftedness. Further, I discuss whether the concept of giftedness is too vague to be defined through a single or few definitions.

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How to Cite

Smedsrud, J. (2020). Explaining the Variations of Definitions in Gifted Education. Nordic Studies in Education, 40(1), 79–97. https://doi.org/10.23865/nse.v40.2129





definition of giftedness, gifted education, philosophy of language, concept formation, vagueness