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Gifted education

Gifted education (also known as Gifted and Talented Education (GATE), Talented and Gifted (TAG), or G/T) is a broad term for special practices, procedures, and theories used in the education of children who have been identified as gifted or talented.

The main approaches to gifted education are enrichment and acceleration. An enrichment program teaches additional, related material, but keeps the student progressing through the curriculum at the same rate. For example, after the gifted students have completed the normal work in the curriculum, an enrichment program might provide them with additional details about a subject in the curriculum. An acceleration program advances the student through the standard curriculum faster than normal. When gifted students have completed the normal work, they move on to the next subject in the curriculum, even though the rest of the class is still working on the first subject.

There is no standard global definition of what a gifted student is. Multiple definitions of giftedness are used by different groups. Most of these definitions select the students who are the most skilled or talented in a given area, e.g., the students with the most skill or talent in music, language, logical reasoning, or mathematics. The percentage of students selected varies, generally with 10% or fewer being selected for gifted education programs. However, since students vary in their aptitudes and achievements, a student who is not gifted in one area, such as music, may be considered gifted in another, such as language. Consequently, even if all programs agreed to include only the top 5% of students in their area, more than just 5% of students would be identified as gifted.

Gifted and talented education dates back thousands of years. Plato (c. 427–c. 347 BCE) advocated providing specialized education for intellectually gifted young men and women. In China's Tang Dynasty (580-618 CE), child prodigies were summoned to the imperial court for specialized education. Throughout the Renaissance, those who exhibited creative talent in art, architecture, and literature were supported by both the government and private patronage.

One of the earliest Western studies of human abilities was conducted by Sir Francis Galton, who between 1888 and 1894 developed and compiled measurements of over 7,500 individuals to gauge their natural intellectual abilities. In his studies he determined that if a parent deviates from the norm, so will the child, but to a lesser extent, one of the earliest observed examples of regression toward the mean. Galton believed that individuals could be improved through interventions in heredity, a movement he named eugenics. He categorized people into gifted, capable, average, or degenerate and recommended breeding between the first two categories, and forced abstinence for the latter two. His term for the most intelligent and talented people was "eminent," and after studying England's most prominent families, concluded that one's eminence was directly related to his direct hereditary line.

State/Territory Public Primary Schools with Programs Partially Selective Public High Schools Fully Selective Public High Schools
New South Wales 95 25 17
Western Australia 0 16 1
Queensland 0 0 3
South Australia 0 3 0
Victoria  ?  ?  ?
Tasmania 0 0 0
Australian Capital Territory 0 0 0
Northern Territory 0 0 0

Definition of Giftedness in Hong Kong
The Mission and Principles of Gifted Education Policy in Hong Kong
The Framework for Gifted Education in Hong Kong
Modification of a gifted student’s curriculum to accommodate their specific needs. This may include changing the content or ability level of the material.
Affective curriculum
A curriculum that is designed to teach gifted students about emotions, self-esteem, and social skills. This can be valuable for all students, especially those who have been grouped with much older students, or who have been rejected by their same-age, but academically typical, peers.
Heterogeneous grouping
A strategy that groups students of varied ability, preparedness, or accomplishment in a single classroom environment. Usually this terminology is applied to groupings of students in a particular grade, especially in elementary school. For example, students in fifth grade would be heterogeneously grouped in math if they were randomly assigned to classes instead of being grouped by demonstrated subject mastery. Heterogeneous grouping is sometimes claimed to provide a more effective instructional environment for less prepared students.
Homogeneous grouping
A strategy that groups students by specific ability, preparedness, or interest within a subject area. Usually this terminology is applied to groupings of students in a particular grade, especially in elementary school. For example, students in fifth grade would be homogeneously grouped in math if they were assigned to classes based on demonstrated subject mastery rather than being randomly assigned. Homogeneous grouping can provide more effective instruction for the most prepared students.
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
A written document that addresses a student's specific individual needs. It may specify accommodations, materials, or classroom instruction. IEPs are often created for students with disabilities, who are required by law to have an IEP when appropriate. Most states are not required to have IEPs for students who are only identified as gifted. Some students may be intellectually gifted in addition to having learning and/or attentional disabilities, and may have an IEP that includes, for instance, enrichment activities as a means of alleviating boredom or frustration, or as a reward for on-task behavior. In order to warrant such an IEP, a student needs to be diagnosed with a separate emotional or learning disability that is not simply the result of being unchallenged in a typical classroom. These are also known as Individual Program Plans, or IPPs.
  • exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area;
  • possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or
  • excels in a specific academic field.
    — 74th legislature of the State of Texas, Chapter 29, Subchapter D, Section 29.121
  • Nurturing multiple intelligences as a requirement of basic education for all students and an essential part of the mission for all schools
  • The needs of gifted children are best met within their own schools though it is recognized that opportunities to learn with similarly gifted students are important. Schools have an obligation to provide stimulating and challenging learning opportunities for their students
  • The identification of gifted students should recognize the breadth of multiple intelligences
  • Schools should ensure that the social and emotional, as well as the intellectual, needs of gifted children are recognized and met.
  • Level 1:
  • Level 2:
  • Level 3:


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