Literature Review Example on the Role of Giftedness in Solving Global Problems

Published: 2022-07-15
Literature Review Example on the Role of Giftedness in Solving Global Problems
Type of paper:  Literature review
Categories:  Knowledge Intelligence
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1719 words
15 min read

The concept of giftedness

Pfeiffer (2018) states that giftedness implies that someone has a unique gift that must be exploited for the good of society thus the need for its identification and measurement. While discrediting the interest in gifted children for primarily focusing on their creative and intellectual characteristics rather than on their emotional nature, Roeper (2007) termed giftedness as greater awareness, a higher sensitivity, and a greater ability to understand and change beliefs into intellectual and emotional experiences. Betts et al. (2014) see gifted learners as autonomous learners who see learning and living as two main components of their on-going development of potential in the cognitive, emotional, social and physical domains. In other words, their motivation emerges from within, they internalize skills, and their driving force is passion learning. Also, they are never satisfied since they see their needs for nourishing life and the higher needs of society. According to Betts et al. (2014), gifted learners exhibit creativity, reasonable response to mentors who show intellectual respect, excellent communication, excellent memory, motivation to achieve for the good of the collective and use of insight to understand situations.

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The Need for a Better Future

Brown, (2009) states that every day there are new problems that require unique solutions hence we need to think and act differently and have an enormous capacity to solve problems and overcome obstacles than ever before through innovation. These innovations need innovative energy hence proper identification of gifts, abilities, and power need to be correctly detected. As stated above, this identification is done through two primary tests that include achievement tests and ability/ quick tests. According to McClain and Pfeiffer (2012), ability tests provide data on the intellectual domain but not helpful in the identification of someone with leadership skills, creativity or other valuable abilities that can be used globally to solve numerous problems present globally. Achievement tests on the other side asses what the student has learned and determined if the students are advanced than the peers on the same grade level. The achievement tests are not used as they have a ceiling hence students are not able to show everything they know (McClain & Pfeiffer, 2012). Renzulli and Reis, (2010) emphasize on the need to have better mechanisms to detect giftedness in children and not only subject them to examinations since we need creative individuals to solve problems since the modern world has severe unattended issues.

Sternberg (2018) identifies three kinds of components of intelligence that can help understand the processes of knowledge. They include metal components, performance components, and knowledge-acquisition components. Metacomponents deal with planning what to do, monitoring it while it is being done, and assessing it after it is done. As such, intelligence recognizes that the problem exists, define the nature of that problem, construct a mental representation of the problem, and establish a plan to solve the problem, monitor the process of solving the problem and analyzing the process after it is completed. The actual problem solution occurs in the performance components while the knowledge-acquisition components learn how to find a solution to the problems in the first place. Davidson and Sternberg (2003) also identified the same processes of intelligence. Vogelaar et al. (2017) found that metacognition is associated with training benefits. Thus, training is essential in problem-solving. In support of Sternberg's processes, Renzulli (2005) argues that creativity will help in solving world problems as it emphasizes on the need for the originality of thought, being sensitive to stimulations or world issues and willingness to take a risk by employing new mechanisms in solving problems. For an individual to resolve difficult global issues, there need to be commitments to the tasks by turning motivation into actions while upholding perseverance, hard work, and endurance.

Understanding the intelligence processes would be critical in identifying persons with the ability to solve global problems. Renzulli (2003) agrees that it is paramount to recognize persons with the ability to solve real-world problems. In support of these views, Sternberg and Davidson (2005) state that to be able to solve world's problems, we need to identify gifted persons through proper identification, assessment, and instruction since this will produce individuals who have solutions to most of our problems. As such, superior contemporary identification methods need establishing that would accurately identify gifted individuals that can help in fixing world problems. According to Berry et al. (2018), the world problems are increasing day by day and need urgent attention. But, Watts et al. (2015) indicate these problems such as the increase in the spread of diseases and global warming exacerbate due to lack of gifted experts. For the development of effective giftedness identification methods, a multi-criteria approach that focuses on achievements, creativity, and productivity should be applied (Renzulli & Gaesser, 2015).

Wisdom in Solving Contemporary World problems

Steinberg (2005) conceptualizes giftedness as involving wisdom, creativity, and intelligence. Through the balance theory of understanding, Sternberg (2018) defines wisdom as the use of information, knowledge, creativity and common sense guided by the principles of ethical value to achieve positive results. Regarding this theory, gifted individuals require wisdom to be able to solve world problems since to find viable solutions one has to be focused, intelligent, possess and apply knowledge that has been gained through experiences and be able to balance among different interests to solve contemporary world problems (Sternberg, 2018). Therefore, giftedness should always be evaluated in a broader aspect to incorporate other parts of wisdom (intelligence).

Also, Renzulli (2011) proposes two types of giftedness: schoolhouse and creative-productive giftedness. He defined schoolhouse giftedness as the test-taking or lesson-learning giftedness, thus is mostly emphasized in schools. Creative, productive people are those who tend to have the ability to become producers (instead of consumers) of fundamental knowledge, materials or products and who use thought processes that seem to be 'inductive, integrated and problem-oriented'. While schoolhouse gifted individuals tend to be consumers of knowledge, creative, productive people are producers of knowledge. Pfeiffer (2018) argues that developing creative, productive skills and knowledge acquisition is likely to reduce inequalities such as the unequal representation of minorities in gifted education programs and gender equity. Besides, enhancing these skills would include ensuring that students are taught and assessed in ways that match their pattern of abilities.

Sternberg, (2017) argues that problems experienced in the world require IQ, analytical skills, IQ-like skills as well as wisdom-based practical and ethical skills (Sternberg, 2017). Solving of world problems require overcoming the one-track mind through encouraging creativity and wisdom to equip gifted individuals with these essential tools needed to solve problems (Dai & Cheng, 2017). Reis and Renzulli (2010) indicate that education for adolescents needs to inspire them to continue learning and working to develop their academic and creativity potential. This would enable them to get the benefits of developing creative productivity.

Gifted Children Have Problem Solving Capacity

Gifted children have the qualities such as wisdom, intelligence, creativity among others that enable them to be able to solve world problems if adequately identified and guided accordingly. These individuals also possess rare qualities in children such as sensitivity to injustice, empathy and are concerned and care for the world. Burns (2010), points out that although good health, self-concepts, social adjustments and emotional maturity are possessed by the children gifted intellectually, the children have a degree of difficulties in adjustments regarding perfectionism, an appropriate environment, and self-definition whereby in this case the degree of success is dependent on environmental support.

Kettler and Bower (2017) measured the creative capacity in gifted students using teacher ratings and student products and revealed that talented students scored higher than the general students in creativity. Female students scored higher on creativity than their male counterparts. In another study, Saygili (2014) conducted a study exploring the intellectual potential of gifted children and its benefits on problem-solving and compared with other children in Turkey. He found that problem-solving skills are not dependent on academic giftedness. Thus there is a need to emphasize on developing creativity in students rather than focusing on raising the achievement in scores. Reis and Renzulli (2010) support programs that focus on developing students' creativity as well as their academic potential and discard the notion of many educators and politicians. They argue that creativity, which is an element of giftedness, is much more critical for students and the society.

Oku (2012) argues that strategies in solving math's relate to the math education, in this cases, the educators have faced a problem of teaching their students in a matter regarding how the problems are solved. As such, Erbas (2012) recognizes that the problem solving is not only applicable as a method in mathematics but also comprises of the whole process of learning mathematics where it involves the deepening of the compression of concepts in mathematics through synthesizing and analyzing of the student's knowledge. In this case, it is hence evident that the students and the children need to learn how to regulate and control their experience to be excellent learners. One achieves this through the application of the rote concept whereby one allows the students to struggle through a problem; he later solves that problem and advice the student to use the similar strategy in solving other problems of the same manner. Out of understanding this method, it means that the students can use it in addressing real-world challenges and issues through the preparation of the students when it comes to matters of thinking in respect to mathematics and students are advised to do so. It is possible through enhancement and shaping the way they think; a case referred to as metacognition.

Baltaci (2016) examined gifted students' probability problem-solving process regarding mathematical thinking and discovered that gifted students use reasoning and strategies skills. They solved a problem as soon as they encountered it. Gifted students have a high level of self-confidence in preparing a good plan for any problem they encounter. According to Dunker (2013), one of the requisite for the problem solving is the skill and knowledge which makes one successful and through this many are the students who give up on the way. It is a process which requires perseverance among the students whereby the students explains and understands the problem and looks into ways of arriving at the solutions. As such, they solve not only mathematical problems but also real-life problems. Indeed, Munro (2015) revealed that gifted students demonstrated greater problem-solving skills in real-life situations compared to their typical counterparts. Similarly, De Franca-Freitas, Del Prette and Del Prette (2014) agreed that gifted and talented children have a superior ability to solve problems.

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