Problems, challenges, trends and prospects for Special Education for talented children


The purpose of this paper is develop a documental review about the problem, needs, challenges and prospects of the models of Special Education for talented children. To this end, various studies associated with contemporary problems and challenges that must take special education from a meta-analytic perspective were reviewed. From systematic review of the different studies were identified three types of contemporary approach in Special Education models: a) models oriented toward the active and personalized classroom, b) models focused on maximizing in the achievement of the standards and the development of skills and competencies, and c) models that articulate the use of information and communication technologies with the research training, sport and cultural activities, and artistic production. The findings from this review are focused on the need to design a curriculum educational model tailored to the needs of special education and personalized children according to their abilities and skills, promoting their integral development and the gradual building their life projects, ensuring their well-being and quality of life.

Keywords: Special educationtalented childrenmeta-analytical reviewcompetenciesintegral development


This article seeks to promote the proper care to infants with high intellectual abilities. Approximately 2% of the population has high capacities (IQ above 130 or genius in a specific area). There are many parents who watch their children from an early age some rare skills and capacities for their chronological age. Children with great verbal, creative capacity and an intrinsic desire for learning, may suggest that parents and educators are faced with a case of intellectual giftedness (Antequera, 2003).

In Colombia, the Ministry of National Education refers to what has decided to call the exceptionality in two lines: the gifted and talents. They referred to the possible existence of potential talents and, in addition, is considered the possibility of the development of talents in each person, but subject to the environmental conditions of their development; says it can be considered to all people as potential talents. It is also considered that the gifted are those who scored above the 98 per cent of the population on intelligence tests. This last statement can be deduced that the position of the design on the gifted varies between the innate model-genetic and the performance-oriented, which is an approximation, from any perspective, theoretically lawful but improvable (Villarraga, Max & Torralbo, 2004, p. 97).

In this sense, it is essential more information in families and in schools to achieve an early identification to help develop correctly and avoid common disorders to social, emotional and academic novel, suffering these children with extraordinary abilities (Antequera, 2003).

The conceptual approach to the analysis of talent has allowed delve into a variety of concepts associated with this concept. It found a common factor: the reference to some differentiating features, which have their nuances in our society and affecting the educational concept, because the diversity of children make education a challenge on the way to properly address them (Villarraga, Martínez and Benavides, 2004).

Talented children need a differentiated attention for their personal development. This requires an adaptation of the process to their particular characteristics. To publicize the reality of these children, and to all to contribute to the balanced development as people, they need to be all possibilities to facilitate human and intellectual development (Antequera, 2003).

Today has changed the concept of Special Education. It is not understood as the education of a certain type of students but as a set of personal and material available to the education system will respond to the educational needs that the students resources. (Tannenbaum, 2000; Pérez, Rodríguez, López-Liria, Padilla, & Lucas, 2008).

The first attempt of scientific analysis of giftedness was conducted by Galton (1883). This paper speaks of genius, a category that today little touched, but sets a significant precedent. This English author insisted on the heritability of genius.

In this regard, Purcell & Renzulli (1998) say that what defines an individual as gifted includes the presence of three sets basic of features closely related and with an equal emphasis on each of them:

  • A brainpower above average

  • A high degree of dedication to the tasks

  • High levels of creativity

Additionally, about of professional mission in educative context Blanco, Ríos & Benavides (2004, p.59) argue that:

The intervention of professionals who perform support functions must be performed through a collaborative work with teachers in which decisions are made jointly, each contributing their knowledge, experience and views. These professionals, rather than working directly with students, have to do especially with teachers and parents, so that every time they are better able to optimize the development and learning of children and young people with talent.

The highlight is a condition that can be developed in some people if proper interaction between a person, his environment and a particular area of human endeavor is established. Almost all human skills can be developed. This concept is implicit potentially outstanding emerging or "sale" at different times and in different circumstances.

Problem Statement

The education system does not always offer these possibilities. In most cases, the detection of the potential not detected and therefore gifted children, thereby losing the strategic opportunity to develop their great intellectual potential and make it serve their communities (Antequera, 2003).

Therefore, it is necessary to promote concern for the agencies involved:

a) To detect all cases of high capacities.

b) Support schools to develop educational adaptations properly.

c) Provide resources to families so they can meet the educative needs of their children.

Research Questions

  • What are the models of special education that allow to respond to the needs and potentials of the talented children?

  • What are the educational model prevalent in Special Education for talented children?

  • Which are the main challenges of Special Education?

Purpose of the Study

Analyze the problem, needs, challenges and prospects of the models of Special Education for talented children.

Research Methods

The present study assumed a methodological approach to documentary research based on a review meta-analytical. In this sense it reviewed different investigations on the educational models designed for talented children.


The findings of meta-analytical review highlights the need to strengthen different care strategies such as:

  • Psycho-pedagogic enrichment programs that would provide additional stimulus to mainstream education through curricular adaptations.

  • Acceleration programs consisting in promoting student one or two courses compared to that corresponds chronologically.

  • Grouping programs involving segregation in special schools, model followed in Israel, USA, Russia, China, among others.

In connection with the need to generate educational models that promote the gradual development and optimum of the competences of the talented children, highlights the contributions of Gutiérrez (2004) who argues that:

Since the flexibility of the current curricular structure of early and primary education it is possible to design curriculum enrichment programs that optimize the development of talents and that, in addition, allow to identify behaviors of talent and gifted. However, it is fair to admit that Peru as a country, you need to continue growing in a culture of research: design instruments of identification of talented students, standardize that being carried out, and develop research that will allow to optimize the educational processes and the educational intervention with talented students (Gutiérrez, 2004, p. 150).

Within the educative models based on the use of ICT, Alfaro, Badilla & Miranda (2012) argue that the E-portfolio has an epistemological basis from the constructionist model and active learning according to which the individual learns to the extent that builds objects to think, the shares and improvement through the feedback of the teacher and the group.

In the context of the use of ICT, Avendaño, Cortés & Guerrero (2015), in its study on the factors associated with academic performance highlighted among others the following findings:

The study allowed to identify statistically significant associations between the internet usage habits and preferences for activities which involve the use of ICT in the institution, as well as statistically significant association between the academic performance and the use of the internet as a medium for the development of the school commitments. Additionally, identified a statistically significant association identified between the academic performance and the perception of the parents on the positive role of ICT in the learning process of their sons and daughters (Avendaño, Cortés & Guerrero, 2015, p.31).

In this regard Díaz, Romero & Heredia (2012) in their studies suggest that claim that the E-portfolio enables the introspection, the authentic assessment, the academic growth and leaving evidence of acquired skills. This constitutes an innovative alternative for the development of curriculum models based on the use of ICT and the real framework for personalized teaching, responding to the need to adjust the educational model to the context and needs of special education for the talented children.

From systematic review of the different studies were identified three types of contemporary approach in Special Education models:

  • Models oriented toward the active and personalized classroom.

  • Models focused on maximizing in the achievement of the standards and the development of skills and competencies.

  • Models that articulate the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) with the research training, sport and cultural activities, and artistic production.


The special education for talented children required a design, management and development of an integrated system of education innovative centered in the significant learning and the use of information and communication technologies, where the students have a horizon of adjusted standards, adjusted to their needs and potentialities in the construction of their life project.

Within the different perspectives associated with the contemporary educational models for talented children, has been identified in the stage of ICT, the methodology of the E-portfolio. This pedagogical perspective includes an alternative didactic, based in the reflexive gaze, participatory and constructive that children have to understand the process of teaching and learning from the framework of significant learning. Therefore, favors the formative evaluation, since it allows to recognize the abilities and skills of the participants, under the active role of the teacher as strategic facilitator of development of the competence and collaborative learning with other students (Cortés, Pinto & Atrio, 2015).

This paper, aims to be a helpful tool, consultation and guidance for the education of gifted children. The general approach to the study of outstanding people could lead to the belief that the highlight is a condition that is magically inherited in the same way that nature gives us eyes brown, black hair or brown skin.


The authors express their gratitude to the Universidad de la Costa by the institutional support for the development and socialization of the present study.


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