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Initial Gifted Education Professional Preparation Standards

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About Our Initial Gifted Education Professional Standards

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National standards for gifted education teacher preparation programs reflect what the field of gifted education determines is essential for gifted education specialists to know and be able to do. The Initial Preparation Standards for Gifted Education Professionals define what a candidate must know and be able to do to begin teaching. A high-quality preparation program that prepares candidates to meet these standards must provide, at a minimum, the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Sufficient opportunities to develop and demonstrate appropriate pedagogical skills including extensive field experiences and clinical practice
  • Preparation in core academic subject areas

In addition, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) expects that professional gifted educators in new positions undergo a systematic and structured discipline-specific period of induction—this is often the responsibility of the state or school district.

Standards for the Preparation of Gifted Education Professionals

Initial Preparation Standard 1: Learner Development and Individual Learning Differences
1.0 Beginning gifted education professionals understand the variations in learning and development in cognitive and affective areas between and among individuals with gifts and talents and apply this understanding to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for individuals with exceptionalities.

Key Elements

1.1 Beginning gifted education professionals understand how language, culture, economic status, family background, and area of disability can influence the learning of individuals with exceptionalities.
1.2 Beginning gifted education professionals use understanding of development and individual differences to respond to the needs of individuals with gifts and talents.

 

Initial Preparation Standard 2: Learning Environments
2.0 Beginning gifted education professionals create safe, inclusive, and culturally responsive learning environments so that individuals with gifts and talents become effective learners and develop social and emotional well being.

Key Elements

2.1 Beginning gifted education professionals create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments that engage individuals with gifts and talents in meaningful and rigorous learning activities and social interactions.
2.2 Beginning gifted education professionals use communication and motivational and instructional interventions to facilitate understanding of subject matter and to teach individuals with gifts and talents how to adapt to different environments and develop ethical leadership skills.
2.3 Beginning gifted education professionals adjust their communication to an individual’s language proficiency and cultural and linguistic differences. 
2.4 Beginning gifted education professionals demonstrate understanding of the multiple environments that are part of a continuum of services for individuals with gifts and talents, including the advantages and disadvantages of various settings.

 

Initial Preparation Standard 3: Curricular Content Knowledge
3.0 Beginning gifted education professionals use knowledge of general and specialized curricula to advance learning for individuals with gifts and talents.

Key Elements

3.1 Beginning gifted education professionals understand the role of central concepts, structures of the discipline, and tools of inquiry of the content areas they teach, and use their understanding to organize knowledge, integrate cross-disciplinary skills, and develop meaningful learning progressions within and across grade levels.
3.2 Beginning gifted education professionals design appropriate learning and performance modifications for individuals with gifts and talents that enhance creativity, acceleration, depth and complexity in academic subject matter and specialized domains.
3.3 Beginning gifted education professionals use assessments to select, adapt, and create materials to differentiate instructional strategies and general and specialized curricula to challenge individuals with gifts and talents.
3.4 Beginning gifted education professionals understand that individuals with gifts and talents demonstrate a wide range of advanced knowledge and performance levels and modify the general or specialized curriculum appropriately. 

 

Initial Preparation Standard 4: Assessment
4.0 Beginning gifted education professionals use multiple methods of assessment and data sources in making educational decisions about identification and learning. 

Key Elements

4.1 Beginning gifted education professionals understand that some groups of individuals with gifts and talents have been underrepresented in gifted education programs and select and use technically sound formal and informal assessments that minimize bias.
4.2 Beginning gifted education professionals use knowledge of measurement principles and practices to differentiate assessments and interpret results to guide educational decisions for individuals with gifts and talents.
4.3 Beginning gifted education professionals collaborate with colleagues and families in using multiple types of assessment information to make identification and learning progress decisions and to minimize bias in assessment and decisionmaking.
4.4 Beginning gifted education professionals use assessment results to develop longand short-range goals and objectives that take into consideration an individual’s abilities and needs, the learning environment, and other factors related to diversity.
4.5 Beginning gifted education professionals engage individuals with gifts and talents in assessing the quality of their own learning and performance and in setting future goals and objectives.

 

Initial Preparation Standard 5: Instructional Planning and Strategies
5.0 Beginning gifted education professionals select, adapt, and use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to advance the learning of individuals with gifts and talents.

Key Elements

5.1 Beginning gifted education professionals know principles of evidence-based, differentiated, and accelerated practices and possess a repertoire of instructional strategies to enhance the critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, and performance skills of individuals with gifts and talents.
5.2 Beginning gifted education professionals apply appropriate technologies to support instructional assessment, planning, and delivery for individuals with gifts and talents. 
5.3 Beginning gifted education professionals collaborate with families, professional colleagues, and other educators to select, adapt, and use evidence-based strategies that promote challenging learning opportunities in general and specialized curricula.
5.4 Beginning gifted education professionals emphasize the development, practice, and transfer of advanced knowledge and skills across environments throughout the lifespan leading to creative, productive careers in a multicultural society for individuals with gifts and talents.
5.5 Beginning gifted education professionals use instructional strategies that enhance the affective development of individuals with gifts and talents.

 

Initial Preparation Standard 6: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice
6.0 Beginning gifted education professionals use foundational knowledge of the field and professional ethical principles and program standards (NAGC, 2010) to inform gifted education practice, to engage in life-long learning, and to advance the profession.

Key Elements

6.1 Beginning gifted education professionals use professional ethical principles and specialized program standards to guide their practice.
6.2 Beginning gifted education professionals understand how foundational knowledge, perspectives, and historical and current issues influence professional practice and the education and treatment of individuals with gifts and talents both in school and society.
6.3 Beginning gifted education professionals model respect for diversity, understanding that it is an integral part of society’s institutions and impacts learning of individuals with gifts and talents in the delivery of gifted education services.
6.4 Beginning gifted education professionals are aware of their own professional learning needs, understand the significance of lifelong learning, and participate in professional activities and learning communities.
6.5 Beginning gifted education professionals advance the profession by engaging in activities such as advocacy and mentoring.

 

Initial Preparation Standard 7: Collaboration
7.0 Beginning gifted education professionals collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers, individuals with gifts and talents, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of individuals with gifts and talents across a range of learning experiences.

Key Elements

7.1 Beginning gifted education professionals apply elements of effective collaboration.
7.2 Beginning gifted education professionals serve as a collaborative resource with colleagues.
7.3 Beginning gifted education professionals use collaboration to promote the well being of individuals with gifts and talents across a wide range of settings and collaborators.

 

Download the Initial Gifted Education Preparation Standards

Download the Initial Gifted Education Preparation Standards with full research explanations

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