Giftedness in the Making: A Transactional Perspective

C. Owen Lo*, Marion Porath, Hsiao Ping Yu, Chen Ming Chen, Kuei Fang Tsai, I. Chen Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past century, strong applications of psychometrics have resulted in an ideology and practices of identification in the field of gifted education. In recent years, an alternative ideology that construes giftedness in an inclusive light and promotes democratic practices has emerged. This ideology posits a new meaning-making system of giftedness that is process-based rather than person-based. In this article, we elaborate some conceptual principles of this emerging ideology. First, we reflect on the nature of giftedness as a social construct using a symbolic interactionist perspective and articulate the dialectical evolution of collective meanings of giftedness. Second, we address the interdependency between an individual and a context when it comes to helping students realize their giftedness. Third, we accentuate a growth orientation and outline the importance of considering giftedness as a process-based entity. Furthermore, we provide a T:CAD conception of giftedness along with ideas for transaction-focused practices that aim to encourage the rendering of this emerging ideology in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-184
Number of pages13
JournalGifted Child Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 1


  • affordance
  • definition and/or conception of giftedness/talent
  • ecological psychology
  • egalitarianism
  • history
  • inclusion
  • philosophical/theoretical
  • self-knowledge
  • social construct
  • symbolic interactionism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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