Gifted and Talented (GT) A program for students who think “outside-the-box”
The purpose of the GT program Providing students with the skills they need to learn and grow is a common goal in every school. Implicit in that goal is an understanding of how to successfully work with special populations of children. The purpose of gifted and talented programs is to indentify students who exhibit characteristics of high general intellectual ability and to meet their special learning needs.
The purpose of the GT program Gifted programs can provide a differentiated, enriched academic environment for students with advanced learning abilities. Research has shown that gifted students possess similar general characteristics and that along with these characteristics are specific learning needs.
The purpose of the GT program General intellectual ability giftedness is seen in students who show behavior in three general clusters of characteristics; 1) above average intellectual ability 2) task commitment and 3) creativity. Students are usually placed in three categories: academically gifted, creative individuals, and talented individuals.
The purpose of the GT program An effective gifted and talented program will pursue all possibilities and exhaust all resources to accommodate the needs of their exceptional children. Often these children have vastly different characteristics.
The purpose of the GT program Students may be identified in all four core areas of the curriculum. Students may be identified in the area of general intellectual ability, or even creativity, and then be offered services that emphasize content in all four areas.
The qualifications for kids to be considered GT In the state of Texas, or any state, there currently is no formal test that is required or universally recognized for assessing students as qualifying for the Gifted and Talented (GT) program. According to the Texas Education Agency ‘s (TEA) TEXAS STATE PLAN FOR THE EDUCATION OF GIFTED/TALENTED STUDENTS “All kindergarten students are automatically considered for gifted/talented and other advanced level services.”
The qualifications for kids to be considered GT Many educators express concern that the methods used to identify GT students are unsuccessful for bilingual students . To address this, The TEA suggests that even those students who do not speak English are to be assessed. The assessment is required to be in a language the student can understand.
The qualifications for kids to be considered GT Misconception - a child that makes great grades should be GT. A child is not necessarily gifted because they get straight As. Because there is no formal test there is a wide variance among schools across the nation as to who is classified as GT.
The qualifications for kids to be considered GT Consider the following: less than 2% of the student population of Vermont are labeled as GT. Compare this to the state of Oklahoma where 14% of the population has been identified as GT. When IQ tests are used to identify students as GT, score of 130 or higher is typical. So what percentage of students would you expect score 130 or higher? The answer is between 2 – 3%. This illustrates the wide chasm of standards in our country for those classified as GT.
The qualifications for kids to be considered GT The Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act of 1988 defines gifted and talented children as those who “… give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities”.
The qualifications for kids to be considered GT In general, a gifted student is one who has demonstrated exceptional intellectual ability. The following chart (from http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Ed_Bright_vs_Gifted/) breaks down some of the differences between a child who is considered bright and one who is considered Gifted. Notice the traits in the gifted column are “thinking outside the box” type of qualities that rank high on Bloom’s taxonomy.
The qualifications for kids to be considered GT
Teacher specific regulations for GT lessons &differentiated instruction for them in the classroom Gifted students, unlike those with disabilities, are not protected by any federal legislation. They are not, for example, covered under IDEA regulations. The TEA does not have regulations for carrying out GT lessons, but they do have 7 standards that state what educators need to know and what they can do. See the following slide for a list of the standards.
Teacher specific regulations for GT lessons &differentiated instruction for them in the classroom Standard I. The teacher of gifted and talented students understands and applies knowledge of the historical, legal, and conceptual foundations of gifted education. Standard II. The teacher of gifted and talented students has comprehensive knowledge of the cognitive, social, and emotional characteristics and needs of these students. Standard III. The teacher of gifted and talented students understands and applies knowledge of assessment issues relevant to gifted and talented students, including identification, diagnosis, and evaluation. Standard IV. The teacher of gifted and talented students understands and applies knowledge of systematic program and curriculum design. Standard V. The teacher of gifted and talented students creates a learning environment that reflects research-supported instructional practices. Standard VI. The teacher of gifted and talented students collaborates and communicates with students and parents/guardians; colleagues and administrators; professionals in business, industry, and universities; and the public to support the education of gifted and talented students. Standard VII. The teacher of gifted and talented students fulfills professional roles and responsibilities and understands legal and ethical issues relevant to the education of these students. .
Teacher specific regulations for GT lessons &differentiated instruction for them in the classroom According to the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) Web site, the state first passed legislation about educating gifted students in 1977. Then in 1979, state funds for providing services to GT students were made available to school districts. However, providing these services was not mandated by the state. Finally in 1987, the Texas Legislature mandated that all school districts must identify and serve gifted students at all grade levels. In 1990, The Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students was adopted, and in 1999, the Texas Performance Standards Project for Gifted/Talented Students (TPSP) was created. (Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented , 2008).
Planning Instruction for GT students It is important to know more about the learning abilities and styles of gifted and talented students to design effective learning experiences for them. Equally as important is to find out what interests the student (more on this later). Gifted students learn quickly but can get easily bored with lower-level thinking tasks. They thrive on higher-level thinking skills such as analysis and synthesis.
Planning Instruction for GT students The objective for modifying standard curriculum for high-ability students include: meeting the learning capacity of the students, meeting the student’s rapid rates of learning in all or some areas of study, and providing time and resources so that students can pursue areas of special interest.
Planning Instruction for GT students Some lessons can be modified through acceleration or enrichment of content. Teachers can extend or enrich the instruction by open-ended questions. A teacher should use skills in the cognitive domain of Bloom’s Taxonomy as a guide for working with gifted and talented students. Open-ended questions require thinking skills such as comparison, synthesis, insight, judgment, hypothesis, and assimilation.
Planning Instruction for GT students The curriculum for a gifted and talented student should be compacted in the areas that represent his or her strengths. For, example, a student advanced in math should have a compacted curriculum in that area with opportunities given for enriched study in mathematics.
Planning Instruction for GT students A student is a candidate for compacting if he or she regularly finishes assignments quickly and correctly and consistently scores high on tests related to the modified area or if he or she demonstrates high ability through individualized assessment, but not daily class work.
Planning Instruction for GT students The way to compact the curriculum is to create a written plan outlining regular assignments that need to be completed and alternate activities that will be accomplished. Alternate assignments for high ability students can be projects related to the modified area of study that extend the curriculum or they can do independent projects based on the student’s individual interests(this is one reason finding out their interests is important. It is a way to motivate them).
Planning Instruction for GT students Cluster grouping of high-ability students in the same classroom is another option for meeting the needs of gifted students in the regular classroom. This system allows the students to learn from each other and reduce the need for multiple teachers to develop appropriate instructional modifications.
Planning Instruction for GT students Many instructional strategies that are used to meet the needs of gifted students in grades K-12 are the same strategies used to differentiate instruction in any classroom. For example, offering varying points of entry to a concept the teacher wants the children to learn can offer GT kids the opportunity to do their assignments on a level that challenges them, instead of having them breeze through the work and then become frustrated because it was too easy.
Planning Instruction for GT students It is also important to have available independent resources that these GT students can get to when they are looking for answers to their queries. Differentiating instruction like this will give the GT student the accelerated learning opportunities they need to grow.