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Gifted Programs

"Most school mission statements proclaim the intention of educating every child to the level of his or her potential, yet many times those words have no translation value for the gifted as they sit bored in classrooms where their instructional level exceeds by years their age-peers sitting in the next seat. Thus there is a real need to consider nonnegotiable options for this population..." Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Basic Educational Options for Gifted Students in Schools

Gifted Education Professional Development Package Recommended by Miraca U.M. Gross, Caroline Merrick, Ruth Targett, Graham Chaffey, Bronwyn MacLeod, Stan Bailey
Essential information a teacher needs to understand the nature of giftedness and talent; what the terms mean; levels and types of giftedness; subjective and objective identification procedures; social and emotional characteristics and needs of gifted students; underachievement;  teaching strategies and methods of curriculum differentiation to enhance the learning of gifted students in the mainstream classroom; practical strategies for the establishment and monitoring of ability, achievement or interest grouping in classes, and the many forms of accelerated progression through schooling...
 
A Guidebook for Twice Exceptional Students: Supporting the Achievement of Gifted Students with Special Needs Recommended from Montgomery County Public School Department of Curriculum and Instruction
To assist staff, parents, and the students in understanding the identification process and in accessing appropriate instruction.  Covers identification, framework for success, interventions, and more... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
The Handbook of Secondary Gifted Education Recommended by Felicia A. Dixon and Sidney Moon (or from Amazon)
An in-depth, research-based look at ways schools and classrooms can support the development of gifted adolescents.  Each chapter is written by leading scholars and researchers in the field, including Nicholas Colangelo, Susan Assouline, Sally Reis, Donna Ford, Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Carolyn Callahan, more...
 
Iowa Acceleration Scale Manual; A Guide for Whole-Grade Acceleration Recommended by Susan G. Assouline, Nicholas Colangelo, Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik, Jonathan Lipscomb, Leslie Forstadt
For schools or parents, the Iowa Acceleration Scale provides a systematic and thorough approach to considering and implementing academic acceleration for gifted and talented students in grades K-8; read Hoagies' detailed review.  Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
 
Plateauing Recommended by Draper Kaufman
They tell me that my child has "hit a plateau" and his learning pace has leveled off, and the other kids will now "catch up." What does this really mean?
 
Programs and Services for Secondary Gifted Students: A Guide to Recommended Practices Recommended by Felicia A. Dixon (or from Amazon)
A reference for service and program options for practitioners, administrators, and coordinators; a companion to the more in-depth The Handbook of Secondary Gifted Education.  Part I: the gifted adolescent's cognitive social and emotional dimensions, including suggestions for academic, personal/social, and career exploration best practices; Part II: programmatic offerings such as AP and IB, distance learning, magnet and other special schools, study abroad, and early entrance to college options; Part III: a view of optimal future directions—taking into account obstacles to change in today’s high schools...
 
Aiming for Excellence: Gifted Program Standards: Annotations to the NAGC Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Program Standards  by Mary S. Landrum, Carolyn M. Callahan, and Beverly D. Shaklee
Offers a comprehensive review of gifted education program standards, included both a minimum and exemplary standard and examples for each piece of the standards...
 
The application of an individual professional development plan to gifted education by Elizabeth Shaunessy, in Gifted Child Today ($)
Many districts are beginning to recognize that all teachers can benefit from designing individual professional development plans...  The individually developed learning plan has implications for professional development in gifted education. Using information about the performance of gifted children, attitudes of gifted children and their parents, and classroom practices can help teachers identify potential areas of professional growth...
 
Applying gifted education pedagogy to total talent development for all students by Joseph S. Renzulli
The field of gifted education has been a true laboratory for the many innovations that have subsequently become mainstays of American education.  The Schoolwide Enrichment Model comprises strategies for increasing student effort, enjoyment, and performance, and for integrating a range of advanced-level learning experiences and thinking skills into all curricular areas... 
 
Appropriate Expectations For The Gifted Child by Arlene R. DeVries
Parents and educators working cooperatively can make a significant difference in the emotional and intellectual growth of the gifted child. However, for these children to fully benefit from this combined effort, parents and schools must recognize and work together toward similar goals...
 
Are Programs and Services for Gifted and Talented Students Responsive to Beliefs? by E. Jean Gubbins
What services do your students need? To what extent are existing services connected to students' skills, abilities, talents, and interests? What services should be added, modified, or reconsidered?
 
Assessing Instructional and Curricular Strategies by E. Jean Gubbins
Modifying, differentiating, and enriching the curricula are three approaches to curricular strategies. Checklist helps answer the question, To what extent do you practice curriculum modification?
 
Basic Educational Options for Gifted Students in Schools by Joyce VanTassel-Baska
There is a wide variety of ways that educators can assist in the talent development process of advanced learners. Yet every school needs to have basic provisions in place to assure the educational development of these students in the domains of learning for which the school has responsibility...
 
Best Evidence Encyclopedia Johns Hopkins University
JHU's Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education.  Full reports on research-based educational reforms that work.  Comprehensive elementary and secondary school reforms, math programs at all levels, reading for English Language Learners (ELL), and more...
 
The challenge of being gifted by Laura Vanderkam
Thousands of students have attended new public schools for the gifted that have sprouted across the country during the past two decades. More than a dozen states now fund residential high schools for the gifted...
 
Critical Issues in the Identification and Nurturance of Promising Students from Low Income Backgrounds by Joyce VanTassel-Baska, NRC/GT Senior Scholars Series
There is little disagreement in the field of gifted education about the need to have a broader diversity of students in programs for the gifted, especially those representative of low socio-economic backgrounds and minority students. However, our track record has been less than sterling... (scroll down)
 
Cultivating otherwise untapped potential by Deborah Smith
Talent doesn't flourish on its own, he says: "People have talents in various areas, but if those talents aren't developed, they're not going to mean anything.  Without extra supports, many children with potential are left behind...
 
Cyber school with a twist by Dan Hardy, Philadelphia Inquirer (available with Highbeam.com trial membership)
The Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School, which has about 1,850 students throughout the state, started the University Scholars Program gifted classes in fall 2005.  In the University Scholars program, courses are at least a grade level ahead of the student's age and sometimes more...
 
David C. Baird's Gifted Children Web Site
A teacher and librarian come together to present their gifted program, with details for all teachers to share...
 
“Dear G/T Coordinator….” Spreading the Ownership for Gifted Programming by Deb Douglas, coordinator of the EXCEL Program in Manitowoc, Wisconsin
We now use the NAGC standards and set annual goals for improvement with action plans. Our role as G/T coordinators has morphed. We no longer fight for time with "our kids"; rather principals, counselors, and teachers ask us to help them learn to work with "their kids". Parents have greater understanding of their students' specifics needs...
 
Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) gifted education
A teacher and librarian come together to present their gifted program, with details for all teachers to share...
 
Designing Programs for High-Ability Learners resources from NAGC
Accompanying the AASA issue on of The School Administrator, titled Are High-Ability Students Being Challenged – Or Left Behind?, NAGC created a series of resources to help administrators design and implement a successful program of gifted education, including...
bulletProgram Design and Related Resources
bulletStudent Identification and Related Resources
bulletCurriculum and Instruction and Related Resources
bulletSocio-Emotional Guidance and Counseling and Related Resources
bulletProfessional Development and Related Resources
bulletProgram Evaluation and Related Resources
bulletProgram Administration and Management
 
District shares gifted lessons by Bridget Barry, Dallas Morning News
The Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district has what's believed to be the only program of its kind in the state to meet the needs of its profoundly gifted students. "Gifted students shouldn't be made to sit and wait till everyone else in the class catches up to them," Ms. Charlebois said...
 
Do Small Classes Reduce the Achievement Gap between Low and High Achievers? Evidence from Project STAR by Spyros Konstantopoulos
While reductions in class size did not reduce the achievement gap between low and high achievers, research overwhelmingly indicates that higher-achieving students benefit from being in small classes in early grades... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Evaluation of the Effects of Programming Arrangements on Student Learning Outcomes by Delcourt, Loyd, Cornell, & Goldberg, published by NRC/GT
Large study of many elementary schools including controls who were both gifted and non-gifted. Delcourt found that various programming arrangements had different effects but that all "out of class" arrangements worked better than in-class services. Pull-outs did surprisingly well in terms of test-score gains compared to separate classes or separate schools, although they did not create equally high scores. There were also social benefits to the pull-outs.   (requires Adobe Reader)  Also read the extension study, Qualitative Extension of the Learning Outcomes Study by Marcia A. B. Delcourt & Karen Evans
 
Examining the Effects of Block Scheduling on Gifted and Talented Students by Robert Arthur Schultz
Under pressure to react to perceived poor student achievement, schools are exploring alternate appropriations of instructional time (block scheduling) that extend instructional contact to a range of 90-180 minutes per class. What may be the effects of block scheduling on gifted and talented learners?
 
From feds on down, AP students are being neglected by Walt Gardner
Until recently, the one program for gifted students in public schools that seemed immune to criticism was AP...  But AP is now facing a backlash that worries parents and students. A series of questions about the caliber of instruction have surfaced... With mounting criticism from so many sides, another college-level offering known as the dual enrollment course is slowly gaining traction. These courses are taken either at college or at high school, with instruction paid or supervised by the college...
 
Gifted all day long: implementing new state standards that require gifted and talented education services to be an integral part of the core curriculum will result in improved teaching and learning for everyone by Margaret Gosfield
(although this is CA law, it is true of gifted students everywhere)  Recognizing that gifted students are gifted every day, all day--not just on Tuesday afternoon--the new legislation specifies that services in GATE (gifted and talented education) programs must be an integral part of the school day, and include modification and extensions of core curriculum appropriate for gifted learners... 
 
Gifted and Talented Programs in America's High Schools: A Preliminary Survey Report by Rachel Sytsma
Research on gifted and talented programs in elementary and middle school grades abounds. Research addressing gifted and talented programs at the high school level is relatively scarce. Results of preliminary survey analysis (N=90) indicate that 86% of the respondents' high schools do not offer academic opportunities beyond some combination...
 
Gifted programs and services: what are the nonnegotiables? by Joyce Van Tassel-Baska
Focuses on the "nonnegotiables" of gifted programs and services, emphasizing the importance of appropriately differentiated curriculum, instruction, materials, and assessment procedures, including differentiation, optimal match, technology, inquiry-based instruction, and more... 
 
Gifted Program Evaluation in Progress by Darla-Gail Bohn
One of the most important, and most challenging aspects of the gifted coordinator's duties is program design. How should the task of program evaluation begin? What information should be collected? Are there standards for a good gifted program?
 
The Highly Gifted: Discrimination Against Excellence by Kathi Kearney
"...each time a highly gifted child is deliberately held back academically, each time a school policy prohibits academic acceleration or continuous progress, we need to ask, "What messages are we giving all children about developing talents, about the value of academic achievement, and about intellectual diversity?""
 
IB or Not IB? by
Are IB Schools Appropriate for Gifted Students?  While IB World Schools are neither designed specifically for gifted students nor called gifted programs, many believe that all learners, including outliers at either end of the spectrum, can learn in IB programs if teachers are properly trained and curriculum modules well-designed...
 
Identifying Gifted Students: A Practical Guide by Susan K. Johnsen (or from Amazon)
Designed for practicing professionals, with up-to-date information for building an effective, defensible identification process for gifted students...  Read excerpted chapter: Making Decisions About Placement...
 
Images of teaching by Kathy Hargrove, in Gifted Child Today ($)
The gifted benefit most from being in classrooms with teachers who know and understand their learning characteristics and needs. Their most effective facilitators of learning are teachers with strong academic preparation and highly developed pedagogical skills...
 
Incorporating service learning into leadership education: Duke TIP's Leadership Institute by Steven Pfeiffer, in Gifted Child Today ($)
Direct experience in the community through service learning can evoke strong emotions, creating a desire to use their skills to make a greater difference both within their communities and beyond. The process inspires them to look at a topic through the lens of many disciplines and gives them the opportunity to become involved with issues within larger arenas, including their school, their community, nonprofit organizations, religious affiliations, and the government. Service learning also helps gifted students gain self-confidence and take risks...
 
Individual Instruction Plan Menu for the Gifted Child
Recommendations are intended for consideration by those who know the child well and can make informed decisions about the relevance and practical application of a recommendation to an individual child's aptitude, interest, and needs...
 
Integrating Gifted Education into the Total School Curriculum by Carolyn Cooper
Why is gifted education such a thorny issue for school administrators? Nearly a century of research has established the critical need for services especially designed to develop the gifts of bright and talented youngsters, but this research is often misinterpreted or misapplied.  Gifted education needn't be elitist--and isn't when it is integrated into the total school curriculum...
 
Is Your School Using Best Practices for Instruction? by Paula Olszewski-Kubilius
Gifted education is often the unfortunate victim of "fads"  Fortunately, there is growing research base for many instructional practices that educators can use to design effective programs for gifted students...
 
Making Decisions About Placement by Susan K. Johnsen
When identifying gifted students, schools need to select qualitative and quantitative instruments that are technically adequate and that match gifted students’ characteristics and the school district’s program. Most states require "appropriate criteria that include both qualitative and quantitative measures [Texas]"... [excerpted from Identifying Gifted Students: A Practical Guide Recommended]
 
The Myth About Homework: Think hours of slogging are helping your child make the grade? Think again by Claudia Wallis, Time Magazine
[Two new] books cite studies, surveys, statistics, along with some hair-raising anecdotes, on how a rising tide of dull, useless assignments is oppressing families and making kids hate learning.  Why don't more parents in homework-heavy districts take such actions? Do too many of us think it's just our child who is struggling, so who are we to lead a revolt? More on the research Duke Study: Homework Helps Students Succeed in School, As Long as There Isn't Too Much
 
Nine Truths About Working with Gifted Students by Lea Ybarra, Leadership Compass - Volume 2 Number 3, Spring 2005
There is no one "silver bullet" that works to educate gifted children. What follows is a list of nine key truths that have emerged from over two decades of focusing on the varying needs and strengths of these students...
 
An Observational Study of Instructional and Curricular Practices Used With Gifted and Talented Students in Regular Classrooms by Karen L. Westberg, Francis X. Archambault, Jr., Sally M. Dobyns, and Thomas J. Salvin
Despite several years of advocacy and efforts to meet the needs of gifted and talented students in this country, little differentiation in the instructional and curricular practices is provided to gifted and talented students in the regular classroom.  Teachers and administrators need more preservice and inservice training programs... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Planning positive experiences for teachers of the gifted and talented - Purposeful Professional Development by Melinda Wycoff, William R. Nash, Joyce E. Juntune, and Laura Mackay, in Gifted Child Today ($)
Maximum academic achievement for gifted and talented students can only be accomplished when teachers are given the tools, support, and training needed to strengthen instructional skills and develop knowledge of the social and emotional needs of the students they serve...
 
SAT talent searches lead nowhere for many by Laura Vanderkam
As schools across the country prepare their students for annual grade-level testing under the No Child Left Behind Act, thousands of bright seventh- and eighth-graders are getting ready to take on a greater challenge this Saturday: the SAT college entrance exam. These scores will help schools determine which students need more advanced work than they may be getting in class. At least, that's the idea...
 
Schools seek to kindle gifted by Heather Woodward, The Olympian
"The Challenge Academy was created to meet the special academic needs of our middle school gifted population. There is often the expectation that gifted kids will learn in spite of whatever curriculum they have, but we want them to learn because of it."  The academy is intended to fill a previous gap between North Thurston's gifted elementary school program and the Advanced Placement classes for high school students.
 
The senior project and gifted education by Elizabeth Shaunessy, in Gifted Child Today ($)
The senior project is recognized as a viable educational program at a time when our nation's education system is being questioned.  The senior project model presents a defensible, credible educational model that incorporates many of the elements of exemplary models in gifted education...
 
The Society's Role in Educating the Gifted: The Role of Public Policy by James J. Gallagher, NRC/GT Senior Scholars Series
Support systems should be available for all of general education. This special plea to pay attention to gifted education is not meant to suggest that these support elements should be available exclusively for gifted students, but merely to ask that the special needs of gifted students should be specifically included along with that of general education...
 
Teaming up to support gifted students' best practice guidelines for schools and programs by Linda Smith, in Gifted Child Today ($)
In order to address the needs of students, we ask that the following six guidelines be followed when planning educational programs at the elementary school level...
 
Tiny collegiate high school earns big honor by Rita Farlow, St. Petersburg Times
St. Petersburg Collegiate High School received the greatest number of points on the [Florida] school accountability report.  The school enrolls grades 10-12 in a three-year program that allows students to earn a high school diploma and a college associate degree simultaneously.  "It's good to note that early college experiences are an excellent source of college access for minority students. They receive the support for the transition to prepare them for collegiate classes"...
 
To produce or not to produce? Understanding boredom and the honor in underachievement by Lannie Kanevsky & Tacey Keighley (available with Highbeam.com trial membership)
Explores factors contributing to the boredom of gifted high school students who had gradually disengaged from classroom learning. Evidence from three case studies provides a rich sense of the complexities of this process. The core findings: (1) learning is the opposite of boredom, and (2) learning is the antidote to boredom...
 
Twelve cost effective educational options for serving gifted students by The Davidson Institute for Talent Development
At present, nearly half of all gifted students are underachievers and, alarmingly, up to 20 percent of high school dropouts test in the gifted range.  What can schools do to help these students when they really care, but don’t have the funds?
 
Using public relations strategies to advocate for gifted programming in your school by Kevin Besnoy, in Gifted Child Today ($)
In order to stem the tide of the reduction of gifted education services, educators of the gifted must become advocates and employ public relations strategies within their own school buildings...
 
Welcome to my world by James R. Delisle, in Gifted Child Today ($)
In recognition of your decision to enter this profession that has become my life's passion, I thought I'd offer some guidance as to what you might expect as you enter the volatile, exciting, and (at times) exasperating field of gifted child education...
 

Last updated February 15, 2014
 
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