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How is giftedness defined in Ontario?

There is no universally accepted curriculum with which to teach gifted learners, and perhaps because of this, there is a wide discrepancy in how giftedness is defined.

Within each province or territory, the educational opportunities available to gifted learners differ on a school-division-by-school-division basis.

In Ontario, the definition of giftedness is currently:

An unusually advanced degree of general intellectual ability that requires differentiated learning experiences of a depth and breadth beyond those normally provided in the regular school program to satisfy the level of educational potential indicated.


The Association for Bright Children of Ontario (ABC Ontario), a charitable advocacy group, offers a more in-depth definition of intellectual giftedness:

Asynchronous development characterized by measurable, advanced intellectual abilities which accompanied by any or a combination of the following: heightened intensity, exceptional creativity, persistent intellectual curiosity, rapid acquisition and mastery of concepts, superior reasoning and problem-solving skills, leadership capacity, potential for advanced achievement in a specific domain or general academic aptitude.

ABC Ontario3


1. Ontario Ministry of Education. (2017). Special education in Ontario: Kindergarten to Grade 12. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/health18curr.pdf

2. Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. (2016). OCDSB gifted program review: Final report. Retrieved from https://weblink.ocdsb.ca/weblink/0/edoc/2789590/06%20Gifted%20Review%20_Final%20Report_Sep%2009%202016.pdf

3. ABC Ontario. (2014). Defintion for intellecutal giftedness exceptionality. Retrieved from https://abcontario.ca/11-abc-ontario-news/77-definition-for-intellectual-giftedness-exceptionality

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