Understanding Gifted and Talented Students

Understanding Gifted and Talented Students

“Of all the students you are teaching in a given class, which group do you think will probably learn the least this year?” It may surprise you that in a class that has a range of abilities, it is the ablest, rather than the least capable, who will make the smallest amount of academic progress.” This startling comment comes from Susan Winebrenner, Ph.D., one of the leading authorities in teaching gifted students. She makes this point because many talented students within the United States are not well supported or challenged in their studies. Gifted programs throughout this country are underfunded, discontinued, or non-existent, which leaves this talented group of pupils sitting through content and lessons that they have already mastered. Being placed in a general education environment without higher learning opportunities can be frustrating for students who feel bored and underwhelmed. It is equally disappointing for teachers who may not have the experience or resources to address their specific needs.

To fully understand our gifted students’ predicament, it is imperative to realize that grade-level standards are for grade-level learners. These standards are not for gifted students. Therefore, it is essential to understand that if educators want to ensure that gifted students are learning within their general education classrooms, something different must occur for these learners. General education students are challenged daily and get to enjoy the pleasure that comes from learning something new. How do we provide gifted students with these same rights and privileges?


Importance of the course Teaching Gifted and Talented Students

Teaching gifted students is not solely about teaching harder or more-advanced content to these types of learners. In some cases, gifted students taking advanced placement courses may not be ready to keep up with the quicker pace and more advanced material. In lower grade-levels, students may become bored or complacent because the content was too easy. By the time they enroll in a class that meets their abilities, they have already conditioned themselves to put forth little effort. They may become discouraged because the coursework is too challenging!

Teachers of all grade levels must have a working knowledge and toolkit of information to prepare appropriate curriculum for their most gifted and advanced students. Advanced students need differentiated instruction just as much, if not more than their struggling or underperforming classmates. In the course Teaching Gifted and Talented Students, offered by Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne, K-12 educators and administrators will learn about the biological, psychological, character, and familial aspects that identify gifted learners’ unique qualities. Educators will also learn how to apply this knowledge to create a challenging and supportive classroom environment.


Benefits of the Course Teaching Gifted and Talented Students

By enrolling in the course Teaching Gifted and Talented Students, educators will develop the skills necessary to ensure a quality classroom experience for all their students. Learning about gifted education’s myths and realities allows K-12 educators and administrators to build a curriculum that will serve gifted and talented students’ needs, whether in the general education classroom or pull-out gifted program. Educators completing this course will receive examples of gifted and talented curriculum and lessons appropriate for almost any subject area. Topics include:

  • Students will learn the nine myths of giftedness.
  • Students will become familiar with the biological and psychological aspects of giftedness.
  • Students will learn to develop curricula for gifted students.
  • Changing our style of interactions with gifted students.
  • How to involve parents as welcomed partners in their child’s education.
  • Learn how to effectively adjust the grade-level curriculum content for gifted students’ success and engagement.
  • Students will learn how to fuel their students’ passion for learning.
  • Develop enthusiastic lifelong learners.
  • Learn how to teach to different skill levels and learning strengths.


Teaching Gifted and Talented Students Course Contents

Successful completion of Teaching Gifted and Talented Students will lead to long-lasting benefits for yourself and your students. It can also impact your professional career by allowing you to leverage your new skills towards salary advancement, license renewal, or recertification. Students are encouraged to seek approval from their district or state before enrolling 

Course content includes:

  • Gifted children
    • Myths and realities
    • Globally gifted and unevenly gifted
    • Giftedness and the learning disabled.
    • Biology and psychology of giftedness
    • Success as adults
  • Curriculum and teaching strategies
    • Major characteristics of the gifted learner
    • Gifted student vs. gifted learner
    • Early admission and testing out of a skill or content area
    • Creating and school within a school
    • Interdisciplinary courses
    • Independent study
    • Subject area strategies

This three-credit course, Teaching Gifted and Talented Students, can be applied toward the Inclusive Classroom Teaching Certificate offered by Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne. Other popular course options for this timely certificate include:

Note, the University of La Verne is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Since requirements may vary, students should check with their school district or state department of education before enrolling in a course.


How to Register

Teaching Gifted and Talented Students is completed online or via an emailed PDF format. All books and materials are mailed to the student regardless of the format selected. This course is open for registration at any time during each semester. Students also have access to live chat support and can expect a quick turnaround to receive their grades. Upon completion, students receive graduate, non-degree semester credit on official transcripts from the University of La Verne, an accredited university in La Verne, California.

Registration is simple and can be done online or over the phone. Students may enroll in courses on a rolling basis during three standard semesters, and you can begin whenever you are ready! Courses are offered ongoing during three semesters. Students may enroll in up to a maximum of 15-semester credits at any time during each semester.

The registration dates are: 

Fall: September 1 – January 31

Spring: February 1 – May 31

Summer: June 1 – August 31

All students need to experience the joy and excitement of being challenged to learn something new while giving them opportunities to put their skills to the test. Register today to develop the skills and techniques to help your gifted and talented students feel supported, encouraged, and excited to learn!

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