Gifted and talented students are found in every cultural and economic group, from all backgrounds, and in all grade levels. This population is also diverse in ability, as talent does not develop at the same time or rate or in every subject. Support is needed for students who are already high achieving and those with the potential for high achievement. Social, emotional, and behavioral issues, as well as learning disabilities, may hinder identification and overall learning.
Gifted and talented education is the system by which districts recognize and serve this special population of children. In planning for educational opportunities, school leaders must communicate a clear purpose and common goal that is endorsed by curriculum coordinators, classroom teachers, gifted resource specialists, counselors, and other district staff. Gifted education strategies, when employed, not only increase the achievement of identified gifted students, but have been shown to increase achievement levels of all students, making their deployment well worth the investment.
The resources below help pave the way for districts to offer a challenging and appropriate education for high-achieving and high-ability learners. Many of these resources are from the Administrator Toolbox, materials developed by Administrators for Administrators and are indicated below with a toolbox icon.
Gifted Education: The Basics
Those involved in gifted and talented education should be familiar with the common language and issues related to the field, as well as persistent myths about high-ability students that hinder appropriate programming. Educating yourself, or refreshing your knowledge, with these important tools is a good start.
Gifted Education Strategies lead to Student Learning
A comprehensive understanding of the diverse nature of gifted and talented students and the researched-based strategies used with them is necessary to provide an appropriately challenging curriculum.
Gifted Education Programs and Services
Facilitating a continuum a services for high achieving and high-ability students includes challenging curriculum, standards, high quality identification procedures, and other policies that support advanced learning.
Supporting Educators to Work with Advanced Students
Exceptional gifted education begins with knowledgeable and committed educators who can communicate effectively, are expertly trained, and possess an overall understanding of the needs of gifted and talented students.