Renzulli's Three-Ring Conception of Giftedness

 Gifted behaviour occurs 
in certain people,
at certain times,
under certain circumstances.

Joe Renzulli

Renzulli considers three factors important for the development of gifted behaviour: Above average ability, creativity, and task commitment.

Three-Ring Conception of Giftedness

Within the above average abilities Renzulli makes a difference between general abilities (like processing information, integrating experiences, and abstract thinking) and specific abilities (like the capacity to acquire knowledge, perform in an activity).  

By creativity Renzulli understands the fluency, flexibility, and originality of thought, an openness to experience, sensitivity to stimulations, and a willingness to take risks.

Under task commitment he understands motivation turned into action (like perseverance, endurance, hard work, but also self-confidence, perceptiveness and a special fascination with a special subject). Renzulli argues that without task commitment high achievement is simply not possible. 

Only if characteristics from all three rings work together can high achievement or gifted behaviour be witnessed.

Recently Renzulli shifted his emphasis toward the background factors in his models, the personality and environmental factors influencing gifted behaviour. 

Further Information


Back to the Index "What do you know about Gifted Education?"

Back to "Homepage M. Giger"

Please address any suggestions, critic, and questions to

Matthias Giger, April 2006 (Update: 16-12-2007)