Issues Addressed in the NAGC-CEC Teacher Preparation Standards in Gifted Education
The revised standards for gifted education have been collaboratively developed over three years with representatives from the Council for Exceptional Children-Association for Gifted (CEC-TAG) and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) working in tandem at each association's national meeting and at selected meetings of the university network of personnel who teach in university-based programs for the gifted. There has also been a deliberate effort to involve school district personnel and to ensure both cultural and geographic diversity in the process.
Each of the ten standards represents important emphases within a program of study in gifted education for educators or would-be educators seeking their initial preparation in this field. Each set of underlying emphases are divided into knowledge and skills essential to the work of personnel preparation.
The standards begin with a knowledge-based foundations component that traces the theoretical, historical, and research-based constructs central to understanding this specialized area of individual differences and its manifestation in policies at all levels of the educational enterprise. This component also emphasizes key issues and societal and economic factors that impact the development of intellectual talent more broadly.
Standards 2 and 3 emphasize how gifted learners are different from other learners in respect to characteristics, developmental trajectories, and idiosyncratic ways of learning. Attention is given to the added differences that accrue due to cultural background, poverty, and learning problems that sometimes accompany giftedness.
Standards 4 and 7 focus on instructional strategies and instructional planning respectively. Standard 4 emphasizes the pedagogical approaches that have been found effective in working with gifted learners, including those from diverse backgrounds. It also stresses the importance of using appropriate management strategies including assistive technology that respond to exceptional student learning needs. Standard 7 focuses on the products necessary to differentiate curriculum appropriately for gifted learners including learning plans, units, and scope and sequence documents. Emphasis is also placed on differentiation features that can be matched to different domains and student differences.
Standards 5, 6, and 10 emphasize the nature of learning environments for the gifted that provide optimal contexts for learning personal, social, and intellectual skills, the development of oral and written language and communication skills at appropriate levels of advancement, using appropriate technologies. Moreover, the collaboration standard focuses on the multiple types of collaboration necessary to have an effect in developing programs for these learners with learners' families, school personnel, and various community groups.
Standard 8 explicates the knowledge and skills essential for both identification of gifted learners, including the use of multiple methods for finding underrepresented populations, as well as the knowledge and skills needed to assess learning in programs.
Finally, Standard 9 focuses on professional and ethical practice in relating to students and other individual stakeholders in the gifted education enterprise and challenges teachers to strive for continuous improvement through professional development and reflection on practice.
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