School Psychologists Serving Students Who Are Gifted. January 14, 2012


Invited Lectures ; Foley-Nicpon, M., Stephens, K., Worrell, F., King, E., Knotek, S., Assouline, S., and Pfeiffer, S. ; Psychologists working in the schools have an opportunity to impact the services they provide to gifted students. Although they share a common interest, all too often school psychology and gifted education operate independently and psychologists are infrequently exposed to the ideas, thinking, or writings in the gifted field (Robertson, Pfeiffer, & Taylor, 2011). For example, a recent survey of school psychologists found that more than one-third of the national sample received no training in gifted assessment, characteristics, theories, curriculum, social-emotional needs, or twice-exceptionality (gifted students with co-existing disabilities; Robertson, et al., 2011). The professionals in this symposium advocate for a new and comprehensive perspective on how high ability students are identified and best served in the schools. Based on a talent development framework (Subotnik, Olszewski-Kubilius, & Worrell, 2011), which suggests that talent should be cultivated in specific domains at variable stages of development, we propose a greatly expanded role for school psychologists. For example, school psychologists can draw upon the philosophies of positive psychology to create school cultures where being smart and working hard is valued (Duckworth & Seligman, 2005;Dweck, 2006). They can help dispel the myth that gifted children will do fine on their own and emphasize they need environmental supports, monitoring, coaching, mentoring, and career counseling to maximize their talent (Neihart, Reis, Robinson, & Moon, 2001). They can influence identification and assessment models,consultation practices, new ways of viewing the gifted student, and interactions with twice-exceptional students. The symposium participants provide a set of perspectives on how school psychologists might operationalize this model in serving high ability students. We hope that attendees find the ideas provocative,pertinent, timely, and relevant to their own work.

Service Performed By


  • January 14, 2012

Location or Venue

  • Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.