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Gifted Education. Goal of sharing of information/session To share foundational information regarding gifted education with all MMSD staff as all teachers are teachers of students with gifts and talents

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Gifted education
Gifted Education

Goal of sharing of information/session

To share foundational information regarding gifted education with all MMSD staff as all teachers are teachers of students with gifts and talents

To come to a common understanding as a school district that we represent all students, and strive to be responsive to all learners in our classrooms

To gain further understanding of students’ profiles and knowing our learners

The Board of Education approved a new Talented and Gifted Education plan to improve gifted education services in MMSD

Gifted learners exist in all populations.


Gifted education1
Gifted Education

“I believe all children are gifted….”

  • All children have gifts and talents, but not all children are gifted.


    • Gifted education is a field dedicated to providing research based strategies to meet the significant needs of a group of learners.

    • All children have learning needs…

    • but let’s look at specific characteristics and needs of this population.

I am gifted
“I Am Gifted”

Bell curve and asynchronicity
Bell Curve and Asynchronicity








Andrew S. Mahoney M.S.,L.P.C.

Gifted education

Bright VS Gifted

Bright Child Gifted Learner

Janice Szabos


Knows the answers

Has good ideas

Works hard

Answers the questions

Top group

Listens with interest

Learns with ease

6-8 repetitions

Enjoys peers

Grasps the meaning

Is receptive

Enjoys school

Is pleased with own learning

Asks the questions

Has wild, silly ideas

Plays around, yet tests well

Discusses in detail, elaborates

Beyond the group

Shows strong feelings and opinions

Already knows

1-2 repetitions for mastery

Prefers adults

Draws inferences

Is intense

Enjoys learning

Thrives on complexity

Is highly self-critical

Gifted education







Gifted and Talented. Pupils enrolled in public schools who give evidence of high performance capability in intellectual, creative, artistic, leadership, or specific academic areas and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided in a regular school program in order to fully develop such capabilities (from s. 118.35(1), Wis. Stats.).

Gifted education


5 Areas

Pupil profile

Multiple measures

Responsive tools

Appropriate tools

Appropriate programming

Parental participation

PI 8.01(2)(t)2

Each school district shall establish a plan and designate a person to coordinate the gifted and talented program. Gifted and talented pupils shall be identified as required in s. 118.35(1), Stats. This identification shall occur in kindergarten through grade 12 in general intellectual, specific academic, leadership, creativity, and visual and performing arts. A pupil may be identified as gifted or talented in one or more of the categories under s. 118.35(1), Stats. The identification process shall result in a pupil profile based on multiple measures, including but not limited to standardized test data, nominations, rating scales or inventories, products, portfolios, and demonstrated performance. Identification tools shall be appropriate for the specific purpose for which they are being employed. The identification process and tools shall be responsive to factors such as, but not limited to, pupils' economic conditions, race, gender, culture, native language, developmental differences, and identified disabilities as described under subch. V of ch. 115, Stats. The school district board shall provide access, without charge for tuition, to appropriate programming for pupils identified as gifted or talented as required under ss. 118.35(3) and 121.02(1)(t), Stats. The school district board shall provide an opportunity for parental participation in the identification and resultant programming.

Gifted education

Gifted education

  • Gifted students don’t need help. They’ll do fine on their own.

  • All teachers challenge and know how to teach each student.

  • Gifted students are needed as role models in each room.

  • All students are gifted It is not fair to identify only some.

  • Acceleration can be socially harmful to students.

  • Gifted programs are elitist.

  • Gifted students don’t get poor grades.

  • Special education students can’t be gifted.

  • AP courses are sufficient gifted programming.

  • Gifted education requires abundant economic resources.

  • The gifted and talented constitute one single homogeneous group.

  • The gifted constitute 3%-5% of the population and “equals” high IQ.

  • There must be “winners” and “losers” in identification and programming.

  • A single test score or indicator tells us all we need to know about giftedness.

  • Creativity is too difficult to measure.

  • The “patch-on” approach to programming is effective.

  • There is a single curriculum for the gifted.

  • Gifted programs should stick out like a score thumb.

  • High-stakes tests are synonymous with rigor and difficulty.

  • Gifted and talented individuals do not have unique social and emotional needs.

Best practices in gifted education
Best Practices in Gifted Education

  • Opportunities to Socialize and to Learn with Like Ability Peers

    • This can be provided through a number of like ability or like performing group options, such as full-time gifted programs, sent-out-programs, regrouping for specific instruction, within class grouping, and cluster grouping.



  • Significant research supports the following acceleration and grouping strategies of which have varying levels of effectiveness:

    • Subject Acceleration

    • Advanced Placement courses

    • Credit by Examination

    • Mentorships

    • Grade Skipping

    • Early Entrance to School

    • Full-time ability grouping

    • Regrouping for specific instruction

    • Cluster grouping for GT students

    • Pull-out grouping

    • Within class ability grouping

    • Cross-graded classes

Strategies to implement best practices
Strategies to implement best practices


  • Upfront cluster grouping

  • Flexible ability grouping

  • Choice/Choice menus

  • Pre-assess, compact, contract, alternatives

  • Formative assessment to determine learning needs

  • Tiered assignments

  • Higher Level Questioning

  • Open-ended assignments

  • Independent study/mentor

Opportunities for further learning
Opportunities for further learning


  • Madison Virtual Campus online course: Structuring a Differentiated Classroom (2 cr.)

  • Book study: Making Differentiation a Habit by Diane Heacox (1 cr.)

  • University of Whitewater: Offers various classes related to Gifted Education in cooperation with UWSP.

Gifted education


Characteristics Checklist for Gifted Children. (n.d.). NAGC Parents [Informational Checklist]. Retrieved June, 2010, from‌index.aspx?id=958

Gifted and talented pupils. (n.d.). DPI gifted and talented pupils [Web page]. Retrieved June, 2010, from‌cal/‌gifted.html

I Am Gifted. (n.d.). You tube video [Video]. Retrieved June 1, 2010, from‌watch?v=Omx_iLtMjZA

Mahoney, A. (2008, December). Counseling the Gifted. Lecture presented at GDCTGN Professional Development, Edgewood College.

Maryland Public Schools. (2010, March 11). Top Ten Myths in Gifted Education. In You Tube [Video]. Retrieved from‌noodlebib/‌defineEntryAPA.php

Reis, S. M., & Renzulli, J. S. (2009, Fall). Myth 1: The Gifted and Talented Constitute One Single Homogeneous Group and giftedness is a Way of Being that Stays in the Person Over Time and Experiences. Gifted Child Quarterly, 53(4), 233-235.

Renzulli, J., Ph.D., & Lohman, D., Ph.D. (2007, April). A Simple Procedure for Combining Ability Test Scores, Achievement Test Scores, and Teacher Ratings to Identify Academically Talented Children (Monograph).

Slocumb, P., Ph.D., & Olenchak, F. R., Ph.D. (2006). Equity in Gifted Education, A State Iniative. In GT Equity [Pdf]. Retrieved June, 2010, from Texas Education Agency website:‌docs/‌equity_in_ge.pdf

Szabos, J. (1989). Bright Child Gifted Learner. Challenge Magazine, (34).

Szabos, J. (1989). Bright Child Gifted Learner. Challenge Magazine, (34).

Wyner, J. S., Bridgeland, J. M., & Dhulio, J. J., Jr. (n.d.). Achievement trap How America is failing millions of high-achieving students from lower-income families. Retrieved from Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and Civic Enterprises website:‌news-knowledge/‌press-releases/‌achievement-trap-announcement/