Two tails of the normal curve. Similarities and differences in the study of mental retardation and giftedness.Am Psychol. 2000 Dec; 55(12):1413-24.AP
Professionals in the fields of mental retardation and giftedness have much to teach each other as well as the field of human development in general. Examining the commonalities and differences between the fields in social issues, definitions, developmental differences from the norm, values and policy issues, and educational and long-term implications deepens insights about both normal and deviant development. The authors stress the importance of individual differences in the differential design of educational strategies and the application of approaches developed with specialized populations to normally developing children. Current social inequalities affect both of these fields in particular ways. Finally, numerous research agendas can be enhanced by including representatives of both ends of the normal curve.