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Tuesday's Tip: Gifted Scholars Learn Differently

Gifted scholars learn differently and require special education supports in order to grow academically and achieve their potential. This includes:

  • Appropriate identification

  • Academic field exploration with the field and study in-depth learning

  • Accelerated and enriched academically challenging curriculum.

  • Instruction tailored to unique abilities and needs, interests and learning styles.

  • Opportunities to use and develop their creativity.

  • Persistent and committed engagement in learning.


  • Gifted and talented scholars are not challenged in regular classroom settings.

  • They do not thrive in general education programming.

  • They need to be provided with enrichment and accelerated programs to meet their educational needs.

  • Gifted programming positively influences post-secondary /graduate school.

  • Gifted programs increase participation in interest areas over time and into adulthood including creative accomplishments by publishing, receiving patents, scientific-technical innovation, and national awards.

  • General education teachers lack the training in talent development in gifted and learning disability teaching to address the twice-exceptional scholars.

  • Many scholars are denied the opportunity to maximize their potential.

  • There are inaccurate identification practices in most gifted education programs.

  • Denied access to gifted education increases the Black-White achievement gap crisis.

  • Gifted education has important, lifelong implications.

    • Those with high scores on cognitive tests get benefits of:

      • Access to the best colleges

      • Prestigious careers

      • Highest salaries

      • Standardized tests (Stanford Binet and the SAT) are culturally biased against scholars of color.

      • Scholars from poverty score lower due to their lack of opportunities.

      • Class privilege


Gifted scholars need advocates to assist them in meeting their educational, emotional, and social needs at home, school, and in the community. This is done through:

  • Collecting information about educational options regarding:

    • Gifted and IEP vocabulary.

    • Day-to-day programming

    • Dual enrollment

    • Researched based supportive learning environments.

    • Social cognition/skill training

    • The school district’s options for advanced learners

    • Limitations within the system that exist.

    • Twice-exceptional identification testing and accommodation development

    • Differentiation of instruction

    • Modifications to curriculum

    • Collect information and data about your scholar’s education:

    • Go to school open houses and curriculum nights.

    • Observe in the classroom.

    • Talk with the teacher and gain insight into the curriculum, teaching style, and philosophy.

    • Document the scholar’s reactions to the school environment.

    • Document the scholar’s reactions to homework.

    • Inform the school of your concerns.

    • List the scholar’s concerns.

    • Analyze work samples.

    • Know the scholar’s needs and strengths.

    • Find an Advocate who understands Gifted Education

KNOW what your goal is, what your options are, and what to ask for related to:

  • Required testing for inclusion in gifted programming

  • State requirements for Gifted Education (they are NOT all the same)

  • Opportunities for challenging work in a specific discipline, skill or category

  • Supports needed (soft skills missing)

  • Executive functioning or emotional support

  • Find Gifted Education Mentors and get educated –

    • Parents are the BEST advocates for their scholars!

  • Get defined next steps with timetables.

    • Join a parent support group – beware of where information comes from

    • Assess programming with the National Association for Gifted Children’s Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standard for Learning and Development

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