Gifted and Program Services Standards
Classroom teachers are the primary agent for identifying and serving gifted and talented students in our nation’s schools. Ensuring that highly able learners are recognized and subsequently served through systematic programming is of the highest priority. It is critical that all teachers are able to recognize a high-ability student who may need more depth and complexity in instruction or be referred for further assessment and services. Teachers in specialized programs for gifted learners or those who coordinate gifted and talented programs and services should be familiar with the theory, research, curriculum strategies, and educational practices necessary to developing and sustaining classroom-based opportunities for advanced student learning. The standards provided here — for teacher preparation, Pre-K to 12 gifted education programs and services, and knowledge and skills for all teachers — will assist in improving teaching and deepening student learning.
The NAGC Pre-K — Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards assist school districts in examining the quality of their programming for gifted learners. Recognizing that the ongoing evaluation and re-tooling of a successful gifted program is an evolutionary process, the NAGC Programming Standards detail a framework that focuses on student outcomes, which mirrors current practice in most schools, so the revised standards should connect without difficulty to state and local initiatives. Districts across the country use the program standards both as mileposts for improving programs and services and as rubrics for evaluation. The standards have been endorsed by The Association for the Gifted of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC-TAG). Click here for a wealth of related resources and materials.
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) approved new Teacher Preparation Standards in Gifted Education in December 2013 for use in reviewing programs as part of the national accreditation process. The revised standards were developed jointly by NAGC, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and the Association for the Gifted (CEC-TAG). The 2013 standards, which are the foundation for the knowledge and skills in which teacher candidates demonstrate competency, as determined by the field of gifted education, are used by college and university teacher preparation programs in gifted education and are a model for district-based professional development programming.
Many educators in gifted education continue their professional growth toward mastery of advanced professional standards to help prepare them for leadership roles in gifted education. The Advanced Standards lay out the knowledge and skills that teachers in gifted education should master as part of their preparation for advanced professional practice.
Few general teacher preparation programs provide instruction on the needs of gifted and talented students, and as a result, the majority of teachers in classrooms today have not been trained to meet the learning needs of these students. As teacher preparation programs acknowledge the importance of all teacher candidates being able to recognize and address the specialized learning requirements for gifted children, NAGC has developed the Knowledge and Skill Standards for their use, as well as for others involved in training all teachers already in the classroom. These knowledge and skill standards present the primary understanding of the issues, learning differences, and strategies that all teachers should possess. The Knowledge and Skill Standards in Gifted and Talented Education were drawn from the NAGC-CEC Teacher Preparation Standards.