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For lessons on the related topic of Talent, follow this link.

Intellectual giftedness is an intellectual ability significantly higher than average. It is different from a skill, in that skills are learned or acquired behaviors. Like a talent, intellectual giftedness is usually believed to be an innate, personal aptitude for intellectual activities that cannot be acquired through personal effort.

Various ideas about the definition, development, and best ways of identifying intellectual giftedness have been put forward.

Intellectual giftedness may be general or specific. For example, an intellectually gifted person may have a striking talent for mathematics, but not have equally strong language skills.

Intellectual giftedness is not the only form of talent. Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences proposes several kinds of non-intellectual "intelligences", such as bodily-kinesthetic intelligence and interpersonal intelligence. Emotional intelligence is a broad term for one type of non-intellectual intelligence.

When combined with an adequately challenging curriculum and the diligence necessary to acquire many learned skills, intellectual giftedness often produces academic success.

Developmental theory

Gifted children may develop asynchronously: their minds are often ahead of their physical growth, and specific cognitive and emotional functions are often developed differently (or to differing extents) at different stages of development. One frequently cited example of asynchronicity in early cognitive development is Albert Einstein, who did not speak until the age of two, but whose later fluency and accomplishments belied this initial delay.

In regards to this fact, psychologist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker theorized that, rather than viewing Einstein's (and other famously gifted late-talking individuals) adult accomplishments as existing distinct from, or in spite of, his early language deficits, and rather than viewing Einstein's lingual delay itself as a "disorder", it may be that Einstein's genius and his delay in speaking were developmentally intrinsic to one another.

It has been said that gifted children may advance more quickly through stages established by post-Freudian developmentalists such as Jean Piaget. Gifted individuals also experience the world differently, resulting in certain social and emotional issues. The work of Kazimierz Dabrowski suggests that gifted children have greater psychomotor, sensual, imaginative, intellectual, and emotional "overexcitabilities".

Francoy Gagne's (2000) Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT) is a [developmental theory that distinguishes giftedness from talent, offering explanation on how outstanding natural abilities (gifts) develop into specific expert skills (talents). According to DMGT theory, "one cannot become talented without first being gifted, or almost so" (Gagne,2000). There are six components that can interact in countless and unique ways that fosters the process of moving from having natural abilities (giftedness) to systematically developed skills (Gagne,2000).

These components consist of the gift (G) itself, chance (C), environmental catalyst (EC), intrapersonal catalyst (IC),learning/practice (LP) and the outcome of talent (T)(Gagne,2000). It is important to know that (C), (IC), and (EC) can facilitate but, can also hinder the learning and training of becoming talented. The learning/practice is the moderator. It is through the interactions, both environmental and intrapersonal that influence the process of learning and practice along with/without chance that natural abilities are transformed into talents.[[1]]