I just read an excellent article about the difference between a high achieving student, a gifted student and a creative student. Our schools tend to treat high achievers and gifted students the same and they are not. Although a student may be both a high achiever and gifted. For example:
the teacher announces an assignment, and the high achiever quickly tries to determine what the teacher most wants so he can please and satisfy the teacher’s intentions: "What do you really want?" The gifted learner ponders what to do that would most interest her as she learns: "What I would like to do is…" Simultaneously, the creative thinker’s mind begins to race with all of the diverse and varied possibilities that could be explored.
The comparison table in the article is also really interesting. I’m not sure the classifications are right and I might add more than the three he has, but it is really interesting food for thought.