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Giftedness and intelligence

    Giftedness refers to areas of performance in which there are differences between people. These include mathematical, linguistic and spatial talents as well as social and artistic talents. Intelligence, i.e. aptitude in cognitive areas such as thinking and problem solving, is particularly closely related to success at school.

    It is known that aptitude and intelligence have a genetic basis, but this is often misunderstood because it does not mean that they are immutable. On the contrary, the realization of a child’s neurobiological potential depends largely on his or her environmental experiences. Thus, it is up to the learning opportunities to determine which gifts can be optimally developed, and conversely, less gifting can not infrequently be compensated for by more learning.

    Interestingly, teaching-learning research shows that differently intelligent children differ primarily in their learning speed, but not fundamentally in their learning paths. Thus, more intelligent children generally achieve learning goals more quickly, although providing more performance-appropriate and stimulating learning opportunities can make a big difference for students with lower learning speeds. Difficulties can arise from the fact that weaker children are also expected to benefit from learning opportunities at the general grade level, but these may already be set too high for them.