Intelligence Theory Grounding Statements

  • St. Cloud Area School District aligns with components of two theories of intelligence, Joseph Renzulli’s Three Ring Concept of Giftedness and Francoys Gagne’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent. The following are the key components of each theory that guide the district's work.


    • Giftedness is a type of behavior not a type of person
    • People are gifted at some times, in some situations
    • Above average ability, creativity and task commitment, as defined as a high level of commitment that occurs at times in an interest or passion area, combine to produce gifted behavior
    • Students who exhibit or have the potential to exhibit any of the three traits (task commitment, creativity, above average ability) require opportunities and challenges beyond the regular classroom activities
    • The three traits develop with environmental or personality traits such as optimism, courage, physical/mental energy, vision or love of a topic.
    • Students who do not inherently have these personality traits or environments require opportunities at school to develop these areas as well as creativity, task commitment and above average ability 
    • Renzulli believes talent development programs serve two purposes. 
    • Maximize opportunities to develop potential in individuals
    • Increase the number of people who can advance society through innovation or creative problem solving


    • Individuals start with evidence of high achievement or the potential for high achievement, (abilities).
    • These abilities develop into talents through catalysts.
    • The catalysts include, motivation, interests, chance, family, community and school.
    • Gagne believes that a child may be born with natural ability, but never turn that ability into a talent. 
    • School systems have the responsibility to create environments that increase the likelihood that gifts will develop into talents. 
    • Gagne believes that gifts cannot be ignored and that a child who has a gift requires support from the school system to create the catalysts needed to actualize the talent.