Special Education


Gifted Education - A Resource Guide for Teachers

Glossary of Terms

Ability grouping: A variety of organizational structures of either long or short term duration, whereby students of like ability or achievement level can work together. (Rogers, 1994)

Ability-grouped Classes (Tracking): Students at one grade level are assigned to a self-contained class based on ability or achievement. A subset of this strategy would be special full-time classes for gifted students or magnet schools. (Rogers, 1994)

Above level achievement tests: Tests that have a ceiling considerately higher than the grade level in which a student is placed. For example, a test where a student in Grade 3 could demonstrate a reading and comprehension level at Grade 12+.

Acceleration, college: Access to college-level course work at earlier age than expected.

Acceleration, grade: Completion of general grade-level curriculum at earlier age than expected.

Acceleration, subject-based: Rapid movement through the curriculum of a single subject area.

Categories of giftedness based on I.Q (Silverman, 1994)

  • 115-129 IQ Mildly gifted (+1-2 SD)
  • 130-144 IQ Moderately gifted (+2-3 SD)
  • 145-159 IQ Highly gifted (+3-4 SD)
  • 160+ IQ Extraordinarily gifted (<+4 SD)

Cluster Grouping: Gifted students (usually five to eight students) are placed in one classroom with the remainder of the class composed of a normal distribution of ability levels. The "cluster" teacher is given appropriate training and spends proportionate time on curriculum differentiation and direct instruction for this cluster group. (Rogers, 1994)

Content: The ideas, concepts, descriptive information and facts presented to the student.

Creatively gifted: The creatively gifted have creative thinking abilities which are superior to other children in the school system. These children are divergent in nature and might not score as high as the intellectually gifted on tests of achievement and intelligence, but will score higher on measurements of creativity than the general population. (Betts, 1985)

Cross-Graded Classes: Students are re-grouped by their achievement or performance level in one or two subject areas across grade lines. A subset of this strategy would be full-time cross-grading for all subject areas, as may occur in multi-age classrooms, non-graded classes, etc. (Rogers, 1994)

Genius: Is giftedness which produces new conceptual frameworks that lead to paradigmatic shifts in a discipline, art form, profession, or field of business-economics. (Feldhusen, 1992)

Giftedness: A complex of intelligence(s), aptitudes, talents, skills, expertise, motivation and creativity that lead the individual to productive performance in areas or domains or disciplines valued by the culture and time. (Feldhusen, 1992)

Intellectually gifted: The intellectually gifted have intellectual abilities superior to other children in the school systems. Scores for these children will be high when looking at achievement and intelligence. (Betts, 1985)

Learning Environment: The physical setting and psychological climate in which learning takes place.

Process: The way new material is presented, the activities in which students engage, the questions that are asked, teaching methods and the thinking processes developed in the students.

Product: The thing students develop to synthesize and communicate knowledge, concerns, findings, points of view, recommendations, and theories. It is the result of student interaction with content resembling, for gifted students, those developed by professionals in the discipline being studied.

Pullout: Gifted students at the same or different grade levels are removed from their regular classroom for a set time each week for enrichment and extension of regular classroom curriculum. Hours range from one to six per week. (Rogers, 1994)

Real audience: An audience that has a connection to the students' work in a real life sense. For example, a city council might have an interest in the results of a student study and recommendations on violence; members of the community might be an audience for student developed artistic performances; readers of the local paper might read a students' letter to the editor addressing a community problem.

Talented: The talented have developed one specific area in which they excel. The ability is more focused on one area, such as math or music, but they possess a very strong drive or motivation to devour everything about that one area. Participation in the area is consistently outstanding and there is the need for further facilitation and enrichment. (Betts, 1985)

Within-Class Ability Grouping: Students within one classroom are divided into two or more groups by achievement level in a subject or topic area. This is also known as "flexible grouping." (Rogers, 1994)


Professional Organizations and Resources

The Association for the Gifted (TAG)
Council for Exceptional Children
1920 Association Drive
Reston, VA 22091
(800) 336-3278
(Professional membership encourages program development and professional training in the education of the gifted; journal)


The Association of the Educators for the Gifted, Talented, and Creative Children of B.C.

British Columbia Teachers Federation
550 W. 6th Ave.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4P2
(Provincial Specialist Association)


The Center for Academically Talented Youth (CTY)

Johns Hopkins University
Charles and 34th Streets
Baltimore, MD 21218
(301) 338-8427
(Offers summer programs, networking, and talent search program.)


Council for Exceptional Children/ERIC Products

ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education
1920 Association Drive
Dept. K31148
Reston, VA 22091-1589
(More than 30 digests and research briefs that provide a synthesis of latest research findings.)


Gifted Children's Association of B.C.

Cathy Martyn
5293 Somerset Drive
Nanaimo, BC V9T 2K5
Phone or Fax (604) 758-8238
(An advocacy organization with parent and educator membership; publication.)


Hollingworth Center for Highly Gifted Children
P.O. Box 464
South Casco, ME 04077
(Provides information and newsletter on highly gifted children.)


National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)
1155 15th Street, NW, Suite 1002
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 785-4268
(Membership includes journal, Gifted Child Quarterly, networking, resource information.)


National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
1906 Association Drive
Reston, VA 22091


The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented

The University of Connecticut
362 Fairfield Road, U-7
Storrs, CT 06269-2007
(Research center in gifted education.)


National/State Leadership Training Institute on the Gifted and the Talented (N/SLTI-G/T)

Hilton Center
900 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1142
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213/489-7470
(Provides short-term training of parents, educators, and administrators of the gifted; publications.)


The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, Inc.

Dr. Norah Maier
University of Toronto, Faculty of Education
371 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON
Canada M5S 2R7
(Promotes research for and about giftedness and creativity around the world; semi-annual journal.)

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