Part of the controversy over gifted education is whether resources should be taken from the majority of students to benefit a small group of top pupils and until this dilemma is resolved, it will not be successful, an expert said. Speaking at a seminar, Professor Wu Wu-tien, president of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, said gifted education should not be seen as depriving some students of resources. 'People with different abilities should be taught differently. Like ordinary education, the purpose of gifted education is to help students develop their potential to the fullest,' he said. 'We should cater to the needs of the majority but we also have to respect the minority.' He added that the question of fairness was not the only obstacle to gifted education. After World War II, the German and Japanese Governments feared that gifted education would polarise the societies and some of their people would become too ambitious or aggressive. Gifted education was almost non-existent for years. 'While the Germans have walked out of the shadow of war and gifted education is now accepted by the public, the Japanese have yet to come to terms with it,' Professor Wu said. Gifted students are identified by their IQ score (145 and above), creativity, leadership skills and special academic interests. Professor Wu said people should adopt a positive attitude towards gifted education. 'Gifted people could contribute to the society, but they could also cause damage if they took the wrong path. So we have to ensure that they get a proper education and make good use of their talents.' Professor Wu added that there was no guarantee that gifted people would be successful. He said the more intelligent people in Taiwan often chose to be doctors. 'They make a lot of money but that doesn't mean they are successful. However, if they are devoted to research, they could accomplish a lot.' Professor Wu said gifted education should focus on critical thinking, creativity and self-actualisation, as well as moral values and responsibility. 'Moral value is very important because it can prevent gifted students from turning their talents into disasters.' Professor Wu also said society did not understand the difficulties encountered by gifted students. 'People think that gifted students are perfect and can be successful on their own, which is not true. Like ordinary people, they need guidance from teachers and support from the society.' He added that gifted people were constantly under pressure because the public looked at them differently and expected more from them. Professor Wu said the goals of gifted education were to help students achieve things and fit into society. 'We try to balance the differences,' he said.