Authored by Paula Olszewski-Kubilius & Dana Thomson
Citation: Olszewski-Kubilius, P. & Thomson, D. (2014). Talent search. In J. A. Plucker and C. M. Callahan (Eds.), Critical issues and practices in gifted education. What the research says. (pp. 633-644). Waco, TX, Prufrock Press.
The document is chapter 47 in Critical Issues and Practices in Gifted Education: What the Research Says (2nd ed.), edited by J. Plucker & C. Callahan. The book is a service publication of the National Association for Gifted Children. It is available in the NAGC Bookstore
This chapter discuss the practices of, research in, and important issues regarding talent search, a well-established and researched model of identification and programming for gifted learners. This chapter consists of five main sections. First, it describes three defining features of the the talent search model, which includes (a) an emphasis of domain-specific assessments over general cognitive ability testing (e.g., IQ testing) and highlight above-grade level or off-level assessments (e.g., tests designed for older students) over grade-level tests; (b) providing a variety of outside-of-school programming matched to students’ domain and level of talent as shown in the above-grade level tests; and (c) offering parents many academic advising and counseling resources, such as future course taking and education programs for their children, parenting, and academic and career planning. Second, this chapter briefly discusses the prevalence of talent search practices in the United States. Third, It presents some existing data concerning the performance of talent search students on above-grade level tests compared with the performance of average older students on grade-level tests. Fourth, it summarizes some empirical research that investigated whether talent search scores predict long-term outcomes such as achievement in higher education or early career success. In particular, it elaborates on some existing research on the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), a talent search program that has been extensively study. Lastly, this chapter discusses the implications of talent search programs and research as well as the limitations of talent search models.