Standard 6: Professional Development

Teacher training is essential for all educators involved in the development and implementation of gifted programs and services. Professional development is the intentional development of expertise as outlined by the NAGC-CEC teacher preparation standards and is an ongoing part of gifted educators’ professional and ethical practice. Professional development may take many forms ranging from district-sponsored workshops and courses, university coursers, professional conferences, independent studies, and presentations by external consultants and should be based on systematic needs assessments and professional reflection. High quality gifted education programs and services require that participating students are taught by teachers with developed expertise in gifted education and that gifted education program services are developed and supported by administrators, coordinators, curriculum specialists, general education, special education, and gifted education teachers who have developed expertise in gifted education. Since students with gifts and talents spend much of their time within general education classrooms, general education teachers need to receive professional development in gifted education that enables them to recognize the characteristics of giftedness in diverse populations, understand the school or district referral and identification process, and possess an array of high quality, research-based differentiation strategies that challenge students. Services for students with gifts and talents are enhanced by guidance and counseling professionals with expertise in gifted education.

Ensuring Student Outcomes for Professional Development with Evidence-based Practices

There are 4 Student Outcomes with accompanying Evidence-Based Practices included in the Professional Development Standard:


Standard 6 Description: All educators (administrators, teachers, counselors, and other instructional support staff) build their knowledge and skills using the NAGC/CEC Teacher Standards for Gifted and Talented Education and the National Staff Development Standards. They formally assess professional development needs related to the standards, develop and monitor plans, systematically engage in training to meet the identified needs, and demonstrate mastery of standard. They access resources to provide for release time, funding for continuing education, and substitute support. These practices are judged through the assessment of relevant student outcomes.


Student Outcomes

Evidence-Based Practices

6.1. Talent Development. Students develop their talents and gifts as a result of interacting with educators who meet the national teacher preparation standards in gifted education.

6.1.1. Educators systematically participate in ongoing, research-supported professional development that addresses the foundations of gifted education, characteristics of students with gifts and talents, assessment, curriculum planning and instruction, learning environments, and programming.

6.1.2. The school district provides professional development for teachers that models how to develop environments and instructional activities that encourage students to express diverse characteristics and behaviors that are associated with giftedness.

6.1.3. Educators participate in ongoing professional development addressing key issues such as anti-intellectualism and trends in gifted education such as equity and access.

6.1.4. Administrators provide human and material resources needed for professional development in gifted education (e.g. release time, funding for continuing education, substitute support, webinars, or mentors).

6.1.5. Educators use their awareness of organizations and publications relevant to gifted education to promote learning for students with gifts and talents.
6.2. Socio-emotional Development. Students with gifts and talents develop socially and emotionally as a result of educators who have participated in professional development aligned with national standards in gifted education and National Staff Development Standards. 6.2.1. Educators participate in ongoing professional development to support the social and emotional needs of students with gifts and talents.

6.3. Lifelong Learners. Students develop their gifts and talents as a result of educators who are life-long learners, participating in ongoing professional development and continuing education opportunities.

6.3.1. Educators assess their instructional practices and continue their education in school district staff development, professional organizations, and higher education settings based on these assessments.

6.3.2. Educators participate in professional development that is sustained over time, that includes regular follow-up, and that seeks evidence of impact on teacher practice and on student learning.

6.3.3. Educators use multiple modes of professional development delivery including online courses, online and electronic communities, face-to-face workshops, professional learning communities, and book talks.

6.3.4. Educators identify and address areas for personal growth for teaching students with gifts and talents in their professional development plans.

6.4. Ethics. Students develop their gifts and talents as a result of educators who are ethical in their practices.

6.4.1. Educators respond to cultural and personal frames of reference when teaching students with gifts and talents.

6.4.2. Educators comply with rules, policies, and standards of ethical practice.


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