Gifted Education Program Options

Often overlooked, teacher training can affect the availability and quality of gifted program options. Lack of knowledge about special populations in the classroom often leads to lack of understanding of their needs. When teachers and administrators become aware of their gifted and 2e students, they often are their greatest advocates. Teacher training in gifted education needs to begin at the undergraduate level and continue throughout their careers. State mandated PD can go a long way in making this a reality. This can lead to the availability of high quality programs. Extending PD to all faculty and staff can increase the number of options available as well as educate the wider community of the benefits of meeting the needs of GT and 2E students. This can result in increased funding and opportunities.

COVID-19 and the Pandemic had a profound effect on gifted education – both positive and negative. Already existing anti-intellectualism gained ground as education in general was affected by uneven school closures & political influences. Far too often, the Pandemic was used as an excuse to shut down gifted programs in schools where districts had a negative view of providing it at all. However, when parents and supportive educators pushed back, it was a different scenario. Positive implications include the availability of tech, increased distance learning opportunities and a vision of what is possible. Also, greater awareness of educational needs of GT and 2E by parents and caregivers thrusted into homeschooling.

What are the best delivery options available in gifted education? Delivery options have evolved over the past several decades. Pull-out elementary programs are still the most common. Self-contained gifted classrooms offer exceptional opportunities for GT students to learn with intellectual peers. Out of school options include after-school programs, academic competitions, weekend programs, summer classes, and distance learning. Delivery options differ at the secondary level and involve accelerated options such as dual enrollment, early out options, magnet schools, AP/IB, and credit by examination. Alternatives to public education include private schools, micro schools, and homeschooling. Each family needs to determine which is best for their student and family finances.

What curriculum and instructional modifications best benefit gifted students? Curriculum and instruction involve content, process, product & learning environment. The NAGC’s Pre-K to 12 Programming Standards provide a comprehensive outline of evidence-based options. Differentiation is a widely used option when servicing GT students in the regular classroom. Curriculum compacting and tiered assignments have historically also been used. More recent options include Genius Hour, design thinking, VR and experiential learning opportunities.

Online learning is a program option which can be used in gifted education. It can be used in a variety of ways for GT students including in-class enrichment, extensions to outside opportunities (mentoring, linking to experts) or for distance learning (rural ed, dual enrollment). Issues which need to be addressed in online learning for gifted students include student accountability, etiquette, collaboration, and communicating with parents (Phelps, 2020).

Homeschooling has long been a viable option for students whose needs aren’t being at their local school due to lack of programs or for #2ekids or PG students whose needs may be better met in a home setting. It requires dedication, financial resources, provision of appropriate educational resources and learning environment, and someone to teach (parent/caregiver/other).

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/1AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Meta Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


Twelve Cost Effective Educational Options for Serving Gifted Students | Davidson Gifted

Gifted Services | Hempfield School District (PA)

Gifted Education: School Work Make-Up Guidelines | North Allegheny School District (PA)

K-12 Gifted Education Handbook 2021-2022 (pdf) | Bexley City Schools (OH)

Gifted Education 5 Year Comprehensive Program Plan (CPP) (pdf) | Colorado Department of Education

What Makes for a “Gifted” Education? Exploring How Participation in Gifted Programs Affects Students’ Learning Environments (pdf) | National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research

Six Ways Schools can Serve Gifted Students after the Pandemic

Applying the Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards: Guiding Questions (pdf) | NAGC

Five Ways to Support Gifted Students in Your Classroom

Best Practices in Gifted Programming (pdf) | Arlington VA Public Schools

Standard 5: Ensuring Student Outcomes for Programming with Evidence-based Practices | NAGC

Introduction to Gifted Education (book)

Gifted Education and Support Options | Davidson Gifted

Educational Options for Gifted Learners | Davidson Gifted

Considering Homeschooling: A Guidebook for Investigating an Alternative Path to Education (pdf) | Davidson Gifted

Basic Educational Options for Gifted Students in Schools (pdf) | Center for Gifted Education College of William and Mary

Accelerated Programs and Gifted Education

4 Ways You Can Encourage Your Gifted Child’s Progress Outside of School

Successful Online Learning with Gifted Students: Designing Online and Blended Lessons for Gifted and Advanced Learners in Grades 5–8

Image courtesy of Pixabay   Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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