Special Education / Education 634

Current Issues in Teaching the Gifted

1. Catalog Entry

Current Issues in Teaching the Gifted

Credit hours (3)

This course focuses on critical issues, current research, and future directions in the field of gifted education. Assignments are structured to help participants develop the knowledge, conceptual understandings, and skills to assess, identify and nurture gifted learners, including those students who are typically underserved.

2. Detailed Description of Course

This hybrid, lecture course focuses on current issues related to the recognition and education of gifted learners.  The topics will vary, based on the nature of current issues in gifted education (e.g. current research, trends, and issues, as well as legislation and litigation concerning children identified as gifted and talented).  Course topics include:
• Special Populations of Gifted;
• Critical Thinking, Creativity, & Problem Solving for Gifted Learners;
• Addressing the needs of Gifted Learners in the General Education Classroom;
• Social/Emotional Needs of Gifted Learners; and
• Content-area Instruction for Gifted Learners

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

• Course readings will serve as primary course content basis for class discussions including both synchronous and asynchronous online discussions.
• Literature reviews, case studies, and demonstration lessons will be used in conjunction with material related to gifted education.
• A variety of written and/or multimedia assignments (research reviews, reflective writings, narrative responses, journals, formal papers, book talks) will be used to help students refine their personal understandings of effective practices in gifted education.
• Group and individual tasks will be used to process and reinforce information/skills.
• Lectures by the professor will be utilized to supplement and reinforce course readings.
• Videos will provide additional content for personal reflection and/or class discussion.
• Internet searches will provide an additional source for acquiring related course content.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this course address CAEP Standards, Virginia Licensure Regulations for School Personnel (8VAC20-542-300), and the NAGC-CEC Teacher Knowledge & Skill Standards for Gifted and Talented Education (which were adopted by NCATE in 2006).

At the conclusion of this course, the teacher/teacher candidate will have had the opportunity to develop competencies in the following knowledge and skills and will be able to:
• State a personal and professional rationale for why differentiation is required to meet the needs of students in heterogeneous classrooms; (CAEP #3; 8VAC20-542-300 #8; NAGC-CEC #9)
• Pre-assess readiness, interest, and learning profile in order to strategically plan appropriately differentiated curriculum and instruction; (CAEP # 2, #6; 8VAC20-542-300 #3; NAGC-CEC #8)
• Differentiate content, process, product, and learning environment for gifted learners; (CAEP #7, #8; 8VAC20-542-300 #4; NAGC-CEC #4, #5)
• Develop curriculum for gifted learners development that demonstrate creative and critical thinking as applied to student learning both in and out of the classroom, including inquiry-based instruction, questioning strategies, and problem-solving skills; (CAEP #7, #8; 8VAC20-542-300 #4, #5; NAGC-CEC #5, #7)
• Develop accelerated and enrichment opportunities that recognize gifted students’ needs for advanced content and pacing of instruction, original research or production, problem finding and solving, higher level thinking that leads to the generation of products, and a focus on issues, themes, and ideas integrated within and across disciplines; (CAEP #4, #5; 8VAC20-542-300 #5; NAGC-CEC #3, #4)
• Develop advanced and complex content that is paced and sequenced to respond to gifted students’ persistent intellectual, artistic, or technical curiosity; exceptional problem solving abilities; rapid acquisition and mastery of information; conceptual thinking processes; and imaginative expression across a broad range of disciplines; (CAEP #4, #5; 8VAC20-542-300 #4, #5; NAGC-CEC #3, #7)
• Establish administrative and parental support for a differentiated classroom; (CAEP #10; 8VAC20-542-300 #1, #8; NAGC-CEC #10)
• Implement and manage differentiation in the multicultural, heterogeneous classroom; (CAEP #3; NAGC-CEC #5)
• Evaluate student academic growth and learner outcomes through appropriate multiple criteria, including a variety of pre-and post-assessments; (CAEP #6; 8VAC20-542-300 #3; NAGC-CEC #8)
• Use current and advanced technologies to enhance student performance and academic growth; (8VAC20-542-300 #7, #8) and
• Demonstrate proficiency in grammar, usage, and mechanics across both oral and written assignments, communications for a variety of purposes, and proficiency in writing as a tool for effective instructional planning and assessment (8VAC20-542-300 #7, #8).

5. Assessment Measures

All instructors of this course will assess learning in this class in a variety of ways.  These include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Response journals to assigned readings to support students in processing and reflecting on course content;
• Written assignments such as case study analyses, literature reviews, position statements, and reflections on local/national policy and standards;
• Small group projects;
• Class participation in discussions and small group activities;
• A research paper related to course content;
• Oral presentations (individual or in a group); and
• Mid-term and/or final examination/s on course content.

Technological proficiency must be demonstrated in written assignments, electronic mail communications, and correspondence.

6. Other Course Information

This course will be cross-listed with EDUC 634

Review and Approval
March 17, 2014