The University of Montana
Department of Mathematical Sciences

Technical report #12/2011

Considering the Effects of Dogmatism on Giftedness and Talent Development

Don Ambrose, Rider University

Robert J. Sternberg, Oklahoma State University

Bharath Sriraman, The University of Montana


In the field of gifted education there is lack of consensus about definitions (who are the gifted) and identification (how should the gifted be “selected” for gifted programs). The unsettled, contested nature of the conceptual foundations for gifted education causes problems for educators who do the practical work of program development, curricular refinement, and instruction. Moreover, lack of conceptual clarity hampers the efforts of professionals in the field when it comes to advocacy for the needs of the gifted and securing the necessary resources for program implementation. This chapter explores ways in which narrow-minded, shortsighted thinking might be exacerbating the conceptual turbulence in the field. After a discussion of these conceptual problems we discuss the contributions in this book Confronting Dogmatism in Gifted Education (Routledge, Taylor and Francis) and the ways in which they can establish more clarity about the nature and nuances of giftedness and talent.

Keywords: dogmatism; philosophy of giftedness; philosophy of education; philosophy

AMS Subject Classification: n/a

Preliminary version of chapter to appear in D. Ambrose, R. Sternberg, B. Sriraman (Eds). Confronting Dogmatism in Gifted Education, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Pdf (59 KB)