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Gifted Education - Questions & Answers


1. How are gifted children identified? Does any of the departments of the HKSAR Government provide assessment services to the potentially gifted?

Ans: Currently, local and international trends adopt a broad definition of giftedness using multiple criteria. Gifted children may show their extraordinary performance in different aspects, for example, in cognitive domains, leadership, arts and sports. Therefore, gifted children are best identified using multiple methods, such as behavioral checklists, teacher/parent/peer/self nomination, standardized tests and IQ tests. The Education Bureau does not assess children solely to identify whether they are gifted or not. If parents want to consider formal assessment for their own child, they may approach a registered private psychologist or the Hong Kong Psychological Society (Email: for details.


2. What are the characteristics of gifted children?

Ans: The characteristics of gifted children vary according to which aspects they are talented in. Generally, most gifted children are apt at thinking, reading, understanding and retrieving what they have learned. They tend to be more mature. They are more capable of handling challenges than children of their own age. Gifted children are also more outspoken and eager to express themselves.


More features of gifted children are listed as follows for reference:


Intellectually gifted students:


  • possess higher abilities in applying the lexis of a language than the children of their age;
  • are prominent in collecting and processing an extensive amount of information;
  • are perceptive in causal-relationships;
  • can comprehend and synthesize complex issues;
  • are discerning observers.


Students gifted in Mathematics and Science:


  • can accomplish complicated arithmetic;
  • are skilful in classification and seriation;
  • have keen observation and analysis skills;
  • can concentrate on activities related to science and nature;
  • persevere in efforts to find out the causal-relationships and carry out investigations.


Students gifted in creativity:


  • have an acute sense of beauty;
  • enjoy risk-taking;
  • are able to generate many alternative means to solve complicated problems;
  • have a delicate sense of humor;
  • are flexible.


Students gifted in leadership:


  • are responsible, can be entrusted with tasks and projects;
  • have good communication skills ;
  • are competent in organization;
  • have potential in leading activities;
  • are eloquent.


Broadly speaking, gifted students possess the motivation to:


  • study a specific theme in great depths;
  • learn independently;
  • persist in tasks;
  • take responsibility for own actions conscientiously;
  • sustain their interest in a specific topic or subject.


3. Is there any special school for the gifted?

Ans: The current gifted education policy of the HKSAR Government encourages mainstream schools to nourish gifted/high ability students through school-based gifted programmes. The needs of gifted students should be basically met in their own school. Parents may approach the school in Hong Kong in which their child has enrolled to see how the school’s gifted education policy may offer to meet his/her needs.


4. Which department of the Education Bureau provides services for gifted students in Hong Kong?

Ans: Services for gifted students provided by the Education Bureau include:

(i) Curriculum development and support

  • To encourage mainstream schools to nourish gifted/high ability students through school-based gifted development programmes to meet the needs of gifted students;


  • To provide curriculum resource and guidelines on school-based gifted development programmes as reference for schools and parties interested in gifted education;


  • To compile and upload curriculum resources onto the webpage of Gifted Education Section;


  • Curriculum resources include:
    • Teacher Training Packages for School-based Gifted Programmes in different areas: namely Chinese Language Education, Mathematics Education, Science Education, Affective Education, Creative Thinking and Project Learning;
    • Exemplars on key learning area.


Designated Section:

Gifted Education Section, Curriculum Support Division
Telephone No. 3698 3472
Fax No.: 2490 6858


(ii) Psychological Services

  • To provide assessment and counseling services to the students with special needs (e.g. behavioral and emotional problems, special learning difficulties), and provide advice/support to parents and schools of the gifted students concerned.


Designated section:

Education Psychology Services (Hong Kong) Section
Telephone No.: 3695 0486
Fax No: 3695 0553


Education Psychology Services (Kowloon) Section
Telephone No.: 3698 4321
Fax No: 2715 8056


Education Psychology Services (New Territories) Section
Telephone No.: 2437 7270
Fax No: 2416 2478


5. What are the support strategies provided by Gifted Education Section?

Ans: The support rendered to gifted students includes: 


(i) To promote school-based gifted education by developing curriculum resources and providing support to schools;


(ii) To provide a range of web-based curriculum resources for teachers' reference;


(iii) To compile Guidelines on School-based Gifted Development Programmes;


(iv) To disseminate curriculum resources in gifted education by organizing regular briefings and experience sharing sessions;


(v) To organise teacher development events such as training talks, seminars and workshops. The foci of the talks include the characteristics and educational needs of the gifted, teaching strategies for nurturing the gifted and the development and trend of gifted education in Hong Kong;


(vi) To recruit mentors for the experimental enrichment programmes, monitor the implementation of the programmes, select and refine suitable materials for development of web-based curriculum resource;


(vii) To compile exemplars for uploading onto the Curriculum Bank of Education Bureau;


(viii) To implement Gifted Education School Network Initiative and Collaborative Research Development ("Seed") Projects;


(ix) To liaise with related organizations/bodies (e.g. Education and Manpower Commission, other divisions and sections of the Education Bureau, tertiary institutes and Hong Kong Association for Parents of Gifted Children);


(x) To answer enquiries on gifted education and related issues.


6. What other organizations in Hong Kong provide support in gifted education?

Ans: The websites and telephone numbers of the universities providing support on gifted education are as follows:

The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Programmes for the Gifted and Talented, Education Faculty
Tel: 2603 7463 / 2603 7444
Fax: 2603 7435


Hong Kong Baptist University, Centre for Child Development
organise "Gifted Education Course" & related activities for gifted students
Tel: 3411 7249
Fax: 2337 8902


The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The Center for the Development of the Gifted and Talented
Organise courses in Mathematics and Science for Gifted Students
Tel: 2358 5084
Fax: 3521 0734


The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education
Tel: 3940 0101
Fax: 3940 0201


Hong Kong Association for Parents of Gifted Children
Tel: 3005 7711


The University of Hong Kong, Academy for the Talented
Tel: 2219 4890
Fax: 2291 0451

7. Are there any local researches on gifted education?


(i) Chan, D.W. (1996). Program evaluation: Evaluating gifted programs in Hong Kong. Educational Research Journal, 11, 101-105.


(ii) Chan, D.W. (1997). Development of gifted education in Hong Kong. Gifted Education International, 13, 32-40.


(iii) Chan, D.W. (1998). Promoting quality education through developing gifted programs: The University School Tripartite Model of Talent Development. Educational Research Journal, 13, 7-21.


(iv) Chan, D.W. (1999). Counseling gifted students in Hong Kong: A critical need. Education Journal.


(v) Cheng J.J. (1996). Rethinking mathematics genius and mental arithmetic. House of Tomorrow, 4 (2), 6-7.


(vi) Hui, A. (1994). Educational programs for gifted and talented children and their applications in Hong Kong. House of Tomorrow, 3 (1), 1-4.


(vii) Ku-Yu, H.S.Y., Spinks, J.A., Shek, D.T.L., Bacon-Shone, J.H., & Yung, K.K. (1996). Identification and distribution of gifted children in Hong Kong. (Research Project Commissioned by the Education Department, Hong Kong Government).


(viii) Lau, S. (1993). What can we do for our creative and gifted children? House of Tomorrow, 2 (1), 3-4.


(ix) Sisk D.A. (1996). Using literature to facilitate the cognitive and affective growth of gifted and talented students. House of Tomorrow, 4 (2), 1-5.


(x) Spinks, J.A., Ku-Yu, H.S.Y., Shek, D.T.L., Bacon-Shone, J.H., & McClelland, J.A. (1995). Norming The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking in Hong Kong: Exectuive Summary. Hong Kong: Authors. (Research Project Commissioned by the Education Department, Hong Kong Government).


(xi) Hong Kong Education Department (1999). Evaluation Report on Pilot School-based Programme for Academically Gifted Children. Hong Kong Printing Department.