Search Results for education models

Models in Gifted Education


Due to the sheer number of models in gifted education, it was decided that five models would be discussed during the course of our hour-long chat. Additional models will be briefly covered in this blog post. A full transcript of the chat may be found at Storify.

Models considered:

  • Renzulli’s School Wide Enrichment Model (SEM) ~ a widely used model which appeals to a broader definition of giftedness.
  • Betts’ Autonomous Learners Model (ALM) ~ a self-directed learning approach.
  • VanTassel-Baska’s Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM) ~ specifically high ability learners.
  • Gagné’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent ( DMGT) ~ distinguishes between natural ability & talent development.
  • Gentry’s Total School Cluster Grouping (TSCG) ~ employs differentiation within the framework of inclusion.


The first question was to ask, “Why there are so many different models in gifted education?” The consensus was that a wide variety of models allowed for greater choice to meet the needs of gifted students. It was also pointed out by several people that because there is no one definition of ‘giftedness’ that different models responded to particular definitions. Different models appeal to different school settings – rural, urban, suburban, region of the country. Each model’s perspective may be from different vantage points – intellectual, social-emotional, neurological (Gifted Challenges).

“Just like every gifted kid is different, every community, district, and school has its own needs and demands.” ~ Jeffrey Farley, Middle School Teacher in Beaumont, Texas

Certain models seemed better suited to either the elementary or secondary level. In fact, the moderator pointed out that several of the models had modules specific to each level. Some models of gifted education are geared toward self-contained classrooms more common in the lower grades K-3. Other models are been adapted for content specific areas of instruction.

Factors that might be considered to ensure the success of any chosen model included flexibility; availability of professional development so that all stakeholders fully understand the program is critical; sufficient budget to implement a new program; a mind-set that is supportive of gifted education in general; as well as parent and community support.

“We need more support and training for teachers in their higher education teacher prep programs!” ~ Toby Brown, PhD candidate teaching at Oklahoma State 

Would it be better to simply consider acceleration or multi-age classrooms as opposed to implementing a specific model? Academically, acceleration is an excellent option; other considerations–maturity, siblings, sports–still play a role. In the final analysis, the most important factor voiced by most of our chat participants was CHOICE! Every child is different and every child should have options to choose from that best meet their individual needs.


Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa 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:


Individual Models and Links


School Wide Enrichment Model: “In the SEM, a talent pool of 15-20% of above average ability/high potential students is identified through a variety of measures including: achievement tests, teacher nominations, assessment of potential for creativity and task commitment, as well as alternative pathways of entrance (self-nomination, parent nomination, etc.). High achievement test and IQ test scores .automatically include a. student in the talent pool, enabling those students who are underachieving in their academic school work to be included.” ~  from the Executive Summary, Renzulli and Reis

Schoolwide Enrichment Model Book Cover

The Schoolwide Enrichment Model Executive Summary Renzulli/Reis

Research Supporting SEM & Extensions of Gifted Ed Pedagogy to Meet Needs of All Students

Preparing Students for Success by Helping Them Discover & Develop Their Passions


Autonomous Learners Model: ““The Autonomous Learner Model (ALM) was initially created to provide students with alternative learning environments. The main goal of the ALM is to create independent, self-directed learners. Ideally, students will become lifelong learners through the ALM. The philosophy of the ALM is “to do it with the gifted, and not to them.” This philosophy embodies the belief that teachers should become facilitators and students should become learners. Students will go through each of the five dimensions of the ALM and they will gradually gain more control over their own learning.” Models for the Gifted (website)

Autonomous Learners Model Book Cover

Independent Study in the Betts’ Autonomous Learner Model

Teach with Class ~ Using the Autonomous Learners Model

Autonomous Learners Model in the Shawnee Mission School District, KS


Integrated Curriculum Model: “ICM was specifically developed for high-ability learners based on current research evidence at the time of what worked with gifted learners. It has three dimensions: (a) advanced content, (b) high-level process and product work, and (c) intra-and interdisciplinary concept development and understanding.” Gifted Child Quarterly 2007 51: 342

Serving Our Gifted Children in a Normal Classroom (pdf) Margaret Hodgson

What Works in Curriculum for the Gifted (pdf) Joyce VanTassel-Baska


Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent: “Francois Gagné’s differentiated model of giftedness and talent considers behaviors that appear spontaneously easy different from those that require mastery through extensive training. According to Gagné, giftedness is a superior natural ability whereas a talent is an ability/skill that has been developed exceptionally well. From this perspective, a talent implies a gift, but a gift does not automatically imply a talent.” Duke TIP

A Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (pdf) Gagné

Gagné’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness & Talent from DukeTIP


Total School Cluster Grouping: “Cluster grouping model that takes into account the achievement levels of all students and places students in classrooms yearly in order to reduce the number of achievement levels in each classroom and facilitate teachers’ differentiation of curriculum and instruction for all students and thus increase student achievement.” ~ From Total School Cluster Grouping & Differentiation, by Marcia Gentry and Rebecca L. Mann, p. 9

Total School Clustering and Differentiation Book

Total School Cluster Grouping & Differentiation (Amazon) Marcia Gentry

Total School Cluster Grouping (pdf) via Iowa TAG Presentation Slides by Marcia Gentry

NRC G/T: Promoting Student Achievement & Exemplary Classroom Practices Through Cluster Grouping (pdf) Gentry

All Together Now?” in Education Next Winter 2011 by Mike Petrilli


 Additional Models


Parallel Curriculum Model (PCM) ~ Tomlinson: “The Parallel Curriculum Model is a set of four interrelated designs that can be used singly, or in combination, to create or revise existing curriculum units, lessons, or tasks. Each of the four parallels offers a unique approach for organizing content, teaching, and learning that is closely aligned to the special purpose of each parallel.” ~ Parallel Curriculum Model Powerpoint Presentation, New Zealand Ministry of Education

Parallel Curriculum Model Book Cover

Presently Gifted (website): Parallel Curriculum Model

Introduction to the Parallel Curriculum Model (pdf)

Introducing the Parallel Curriculum Model (pdf)

The Parallel Curriculum: A Design to Develop Learner Potential and Challenge Advanced Learners (Amazon) Tomlinson and Kaplan et al


Talents Unlimited (TU) ~ Schlichter: “Talents Unlimited (TU) is an empirically based staff development model structured to help educators develop the creative and critical thinking skills, or talents, of their students.  This model embraces the philosophy that traditional academic success is not the only indicator of somebody’s ability to think and solve problems, and that a person can express his or her intellectual potential in a variety of forms.  The model categorizes six talent areas– Productive Thinking, Decision Making, Planning, Forecasting, Communication, and Academic– and outlines a staff development program to help teachers nurture each of these talents in the classroom.” ~ from Models for the Gifted (website)

Talents Unlimited. A Critical and Creative Thinking Skills Model. Awareness Packet (pdf)

Talents Unlimited, Inc. Prezi by Jennefer Lowke 9/30/2013

Talents Unlimited (website)


Purdue Three-Stage Enrichment Model for Elementary Gifted Learners (PACE) ~ Feldhusen: “Regardless of age or content area, the core goal of this model is to move the student from novice toward practitioner. This model can be implemented as a wide-reaching program, or as a smaller curriculum. Through three distinct stages, this model begins with covering basic levels of knowledge, continues with the application of that knowledge and skills, and finishes with students solving real-life problems. Because of its simple steps, this model is not difficult to implement, needing only a variety of resources for students to interact with at the second and third stages. This model is both flexible and adaptable to many different settings and is low cost.” ~ from Models for the Gifted

International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent P. 352

Encyclopedia of Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent P. 323


Multiple Intelligences (MI) ~ Howard Gardner: “According to this theory, “we are all able to know the world through language, logical-mathematical analysis, spatial representation, musical thinking, the use of the body to solve problems or to make things, an understanding of other individuals, and an understanding of ourselves. Where individuals differ is in the strength of these intelligences – the so-called profile of intelligences -and in the ways in which such intelligences are invoked and combined to carry out different tasks, solve diverse problems, and progress in various domains.” ~ from “The Distance Learning Technology Resource Guide,” by Carla Lane at Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences (pdf)

Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences – Emory (pdf)

Big Thinkers: Howard Gardner on Multiple Intelligences at Edutopia (video)



More Models (All links from Models for the Gifted (Google Site):

Multiple Menu Model

Levels of Service Approach

Catalyst Model


General Links on Models in Gifted Education:

Models for the Gifted (Google Site)

Systems & Models for Developing Programs for Gifted & Talented, 2E (Amazon) Renzulli & Gubbins

Tough Choices: Ten Curriculum Models (Prezi)

Introduction to Definitions and Conceptions of Giftedness (pdf) Robert J. Sternberg

Curriculum for Highly Able Learners That Conforms to General Education and Gifted Education Quality Indicators


Links from chat participants:

Cybraryman’s Design Thinking Page

Cybraryman’s Understanding by Design Page

Cybraryman’s IEP Individualized Education Programs

Young, Gifted, and Black: What I’ve Learned While Raising a Gifted Child


Role of Technology in Gifted Education

Last week during chat, we discussed cluster grouping of gifted students. Although a strategy to be considered, technology can be a better option for GT students to explore passions and work at their own pace. It is a natural fit for GT students working in STEM areas who are conducting research or working with mentors at an early age. Emerging technologies such as VR, Augmented Reality, and AI are all appealing to GT students and they are capable of utilizing the tech to their advantage.

Tech can be used to connect GT students on social networks such as Twitter to give and receive authentic feedback to their work. It expands their audience to a global level in many cases. GT students can use online resources for independent, self-directed learning; research; and access to highered online courses.

Special populations within the gifted community often struggle to form and maintain relationships with age-peers. Online opportunities can put them in contact with intellectual peers. Technology resources, especially for low-SES and rural students, need to be available not only during school hours; but, also after-school and during school breaks as well.

Asynchronous development can be a factor for younger GT students who may be drawn into groups of older students who may be intellectual peers, but much more mature. Parental and teacher guidance should be utilized. Memory construction (and recall) and sustaining attentive focus is a concern for some twice-exceptional students. Adult supervision may be required by parents, teachers or support staff to ensure optimal learning occurs. In recent years, online bullying of GT students has steadily increased. Before beginning networking, students should understand the importance of reporting of any incidences to an adult.

Accommodating a wide range of abilities in a single classroom can be nearly impossible for any teacher. Technology can be a great asset in differentiating curriculum, tiering assignments, and scaffolding learning. It can enhance learning experiences by providing educators with high quality, ongoing professional development; something that was nonexistent just a few years ago. It’s important to remember that technology is a tool and not be considered a learning outcome. It should raise awareness; provide answers to questions; and avenues to finding new questions to ask.

Is online learning a viable alternative to traditional classrooms for GT students? Yes and no. There are certainly excellent online learning experiences available. Many resources have been the result of meeting the demands of gifted homeschoolers and GT students isolated in rural school districts. Although many GT students excel in online environments, others report preferring to interact with peers and teachers face-to-face in the classroom whenever possible.

A transcript of this chat may 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 Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM 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 Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad 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:


Challenging Gifted Students in the General Education Classroom (pdf)

How to Put the Six Blended Learning Models into Action

Differentiating Technology for Gifted Learners

Technology in Gifted Education: A Review of Best Practices and Empirical Research (pdf)

Using Technology in Gifted and Talented Education Classrooms: The Teachers’ Perspective (pdf)

Computer Technology for the Gifted and Talented Child! (pdf)

Technology in Gifted Education: Annotated Bibliography

The Role of Technology in Gifted and Talented Education

6 Must Have Apps, Tools, and Resources for Gifted Children (2017)

Effects of Technology on Gifted Children

Using Technology with Gifted Students

3 Ways Technology Can Help You Support Gifted Students

How to Identify, Understand and Teach Gifted Children

Teaching Strategies for Gifted Students

Students that Are Gifted Need to Be Challenged

For Frustrated Gifted Students, Distance Learning Offers a World of Opportunities

5 Activities to Try in Your Gifted and Talented Classroom

The Neglected Readers: Differentiating Instruction for Academically Gifted and Talented Learners (pdf)

Factors That Promote/Inhibit Teaching Gifted Students in a Regular Class: Results from a Professional Development Program for Chemistry Teachers

Simple Truth: Technology Changes. The Skills We Believe in Don’t.

In Celebration of Teaching Geeks!

Cybraryman’s Technology Page

Cybraryman’s Technology Integration Page

The Impact of Student-Created Apps

Leveraging Technology to Empower Student Voice, Ease Anxiety, and Create Compassionate Classrooms (Book)

Skype in the Classroom


Cybraryman’s Connected Educators/Students Page

Technology and the Gifted Child


Assistive Technology for the 2e Learner

Meeting the Needs of Gifted and Talented Students through Technology Supported Distance Teaching

2e Students: Who They Are and What They Need

Medieval Helpdesk (with English subtitles) (YouTube 2:44)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Gifted Students in Secondary/Higher Education

At the high school level, there are many ‘options’ for GT students which may include AP, IB, magnet schools, honors classes, or dual enrollment. Additional ‘options’ are early entrance (plus other types of acceleration), talent searches, and distance education classes. Higher education programs include Honors Programs designed as cohorts, accelerated curriculum, study abroad, or mentorships.

Nothing wrong with AP, etc, or honors programs, but they tend to be focused on high achievers. An AP or honors class is only as good for a GT kid as the teacher or prof in charge. If they get GT, it’s great… if not… it can be a struggle ~ Clint Rodriguez, Secondary Gifted Specialist in Dallas, TX 

The impact of a challenging curriculum on GT secondary students can motivate students to become leaders and find success in gifted programs. Research has found a strong correlation between support for the whole student/environmental factors and student success,

Providing mentoring programs to secondary GT students have been found to be key to their identity development. Mentoring programs can provide secondary and college GT students with the opportunity to connect with their local communities and develop networks for future career prospects. Mentors of GT students in higher education are role models for success and hope for the future; especially important for at-risk students.

When GT students are challenged to produce authentic products, it has real-world implications; such as community activism. Society benefits from GT students who become well-rounded students, leaders, and those committed to work for lasting changes for good.

There needs to be a celebration of learning, encouragement to research and discover and persist when things become difficult. ~ Jo Freitag, Co-ordinator Gifted Resources, Australia

Environmental factors such as homogeneous grouping of GT students with others of like-ability and the availability of enrichment programs can foster a mindset of achievement. The presence of supportive parents and family or mentors who guide, support or share expertise can also foster an achievement mindset. Environmental factors can help GT students to navigate challenges and learn self-regulation.

Research has found that the introduction of curriculum that encourages creativity can enhance student success. University faculty should use open-ended assessments rather than written assignments and traditional testing. A transcript of this chat may 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 2PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM 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 Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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:


Starting a High School Mentoring Program for the Gifted: Opportunities and Challenges (pdf)

Mentors’ Contributions to Gifted Adolescents’ Affective, Social, and Vocational Development (Roeper Review)

Effects of Service Learning on Young, Gifted Adolescents and Their Community

Gifted Secondary School Students: The Perceived Relationship Between Enrichment & Achievement Orientation (pdf)

Does Higher Education Foster Critical and Creative Learners? (pdf)

The Role of Creative Coursework in Skill Development for University Seniors (pdf)

Mathematically Gifted Accelerated Students Participating in an Ability Group: A Qualitative Interview Study

‘Honors’ Should Mean a Challenge, Not an Upgrade to First Class

An Investigation of Student Psychological Wellbeing: Honors Versus Nonhonors Undergraduate Education (Journal of Advanced Academics)

Programs and Services for Gifted Secondary Students: A Guide to Recommended Practices (Prufrock Press)

Status of High School Gifted Programs (pdf)

Expanding the Conception of Giftedness to Include Co-cognitive Traits and Promote Social Capital (Renzulli)

Research on Giftedness and Gifted Education: Status of the Field and Considerations for the Future

What the Research Says: Gifted Education Works (pdf)

Who Are The ‘Gifted And Talented’ And What Do They Need?

The Efficacy of Advanced Placement Programs for Gifted Students

Research That Supports Need for & Benefits of Gifted Education The National Association for Gifted Children (pdf)

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Design Thinking with Guest, Krissy Venosdale

gtchat 06142016 Design Thinking


Our guest today was Krissy Venosdale, Innovation Coordinator at The Kinkaid School in Houston, TX. You can learn more about Krissy at her website.

For this week’s chat, the second chat in our #gtchat Professional Development Summer Series, we wanted to look at design thinking, makerspaces and deep learning as they relate to gifted education. Design Thinking can be thought of as a process; a ‘way of thinking’. It enables you to face and answer challenges. The steps to be followed are Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. As Krissy explained, Design Thinking “originated from the idea that we must know our users when we create for them – an excellent way to get kids thinking about others!” Michael Buist, a 5th grade teacher at the Knox Gifted Academy reminded us, “many GT/2E kids see the world in more intricate ways than most of us ever will.” A great reason why Design Thinking resonates with many of them.

When it come to resources, Krissy told us that, “You can find them free online. Think of the steps as a structure and make it work for your classroom.” When considering professional development, Krissy said, “form a group of teachers to try it with; share ideas; support each other. Read a guide together.” Although resources are important, design thinking is more a mindset to re-imagine how we view education.

The discussion then turned to Design Thinking challenges which are an open-ended format that works well for events and  competitions. Krissy explained, “Design Challenges can be as quick as, design a boat with a piece of paper that will hold as many paperclip passengers as possible or as complex as, design and build an invention to improve the campus recycling issue. [And] the beauty? No limits in Design Thinking; it’s open ended and INVITES kids to imagine, create, and explore. Things deep-thinkers LOVE!”

“Just don’t think of Design Thinking as “one more thing to do. It’s an oven to bake the learning in. Tastes better than a microwave!” ~ Krissy Venosdale

Can Design Thinking be integrated with gifted education models? As a pedagogy directed at creating innovation, it can be integrated into pull-outs, stand-alones as well as independent studies. Design Thinking gives gifted students the opportunity to explore passions and decide on priorities. DT challenges speak to the academic mindset and can be initiated in multi-age, cross curricular environments. According to Krissy, “Design Thinking is a totally natural fit in gifted education. Process is emphasized, along with creativity; and thinking outside the box. It breaks down the walls of perfectionism. You aren’t worried about being right if iteration is encouraged.”

At this point in the chat, many participants were already hinting at the synergy between Design Thinking and ‘making’. Design Thinking serves as a catalyst to making; a framework to understanding the process of making. Krissy excitedly pointed out, “Design Thinking is all about the process, iterating, prototyping… maker mindset galore! Joy and play belong, too! Maker mindset BELONGS in gifted programs. GT programs need to be the MOST INNOVATIVE places on campus.”

“Too many kids are starving for creativity like little birds with their mouths open.. waiting. It’s time to FEED them. All of these new ideas, can give gifted education a much needed refresh and update! “ ~ Krissy Venosdale

How does design thinking affect deeper learning; a much desired requisite for gifted education?Deeper Learning is a mix of knowledge; critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. It facilitates learning how to learn; an intricate part of deeper learning. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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:



Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity & Bring Out the Maker in Every Student (Amazon)

Design Thinking in Education: Empathy, Challenge, Discovery & Sharing

An Educator’s Guide to Design Thinking (pdf)

Design Thinking in Schools

Designers: Think Big! (TED Talk 16:50)

45 Design Thinking Resources for Educators

How the Maker Movement Is Moving Into Classrooms

The Design Thinking Toolkit for Educators (Email req’d for download)

Design Thinking in the Primary & Elementary Grades via @krissyvenosdale

5-Minute Film Festival: Design Thinking in Schools 

Design Thinking in Schools: An Emerging Movement Building Creative Confidence in our Youth

Design Thinking Projects and Challenges

Culture by Design

Embracing Failure as a Necessary Part of Deeper Learning

The Deeper Learning Network (pdf)

Teaching Kids Design Thinking, So They Can Solve the World’s Biggest Problems

How to Apply Design Thinking, HCD, UX or Any Creative Process from Scratch

Krissy Venosdale’s Blog

Makerology at

Stanford Webinar – Design Thinking = Method, Not Magic (YouTube 49:31)

Design Challenge Learning

Design Thinking in Action

What Kind of Challenges Can be Addressed Using Design Thinking?

How is Design Thinking Being Implemented in the Business World?

The Virtual Crash Course in Design Thinking

Cybraryman’s Design Thinking Page

Cybraryman’s Empathy Page

Bootcamp Bootleg (pdf)

Montclair State University Gifted and Talented

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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