ERIC Number: EJ855213
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 8
Myth 2: The Gifted Constitute 3% to 5% of the Population. Moreover, Giftedness Equals High IQ, Which Is a Stable Measure of Aptitude--Spinal Tap Psychometrics in Gifted Education
Borland, James H.
Gifted Child Quarterly, v53 n4 p236-238 2009
The myth that gifted children constitute 3% to 5% of the school population was addressed in the 1982 issue of the "Gifted Child Quarterly" by Joe Renzulli, a fact that is more than a little intimidating to one charged with addressing the same myth 27 years later. In his 1982 article, Renzulli interpreted the 3% to 5% myth as an implicit endorsement of the belief that giftedness equals high IQ, which he rightly took pains to refute. Because more than a quarter of a century has passed, the belief that 3% to 5% of the school population is gifted and the belief that giftedness can be reduced to a high score on an IQ test must now be mere historical curiosities from the Reagan years, as outdated as Cabbage Patch Dolls, Milli Vanilli, and supply-side economics. Alas, this is not the case. Both myths still flourish, apparently invulnerable to reason and the lessons of experience. In this article, the author argues that giftedness is not a fact of nature but, instead, a social construction, and the notion of a certain percentage of the population being gifted as a matter of empirically verifiable fact is logically incoherent.
Descriptors: Academically Gifted, Misconceptions, Intelligence Quotient, Psychometrics, Social Influences, Clinical Diagnosis, Ability Identification
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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