Outside the Lines: Innovations in Researching Giftedness

Marion Porath, Pamela Richardson


This special issue focuses on the reconceptualization of giftedness. Five papers explore how we define, identify, research, and support gifts and talents. As guest editors, this has been a very exciting project. It began as a symposium at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education in 2008. Our passion for challenging the status quo, questioning what is ‘inside the lines’ of current definitions of and research into giftedness, and doing so in forms that are themselves ‘outside the lines’ prompted further exploration and writing. The papers highlight the possibilities of plurality in how we approach research and represent knowledge (Eisner, 1997; Shore & Friedman, 2000) both in their form and their content. In hand with this, we resist, as Cross (2003) cautioned, the “correct” conception of giftedness and instead support “understanding of the various ways people think about inquiry or research and how this relates” (p. 77) to our conceptualizations and understandings of giftedness. Present in these papers are poetic analysis; children’s perceptions of learning identities expressed in drawings, poems, and music; narrative; metaphors; and pedagogical analysis via documentation of learning, all of which provoke thinking about research and education that promote the realization of all children’s potential.

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