Gifted and Talented Education Programs
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Below is a directory (broken down by state) of all of the Gifted and Talented Education programs we could find, from over 1,700 accredited colleges and universities across the US.
A kindergarten student enters school already reading. Another student demonstrates an avid interest in science, well beyond that shown by his or her peers. Still another makes up her own songs and musical compositions. All of these children show characteristics of giftedness. They and the approximately three million other gifted and talented children in the nation's classrooms need the skills of a qualified gifted and talented teacher to help them reach their full potential.
EducationDegree.com can help you find the right school to get your degree in Gifted Education. You can find our list of more than 100 schools below that offer accredited gifted education programs. Be sure to request information from multiple schools to compare and make the best decision for you.
Some Background on Gifted & Talented Education
Gifted children demonstrate a high degree of creative ability, excel in specific academic fields and possess an extraordinary motivation for learning. As an educator in this specialty area, it is vital that you understand the complex differentiations that gifted students experience in learning, growth and development and their unique challenges. A specialty degree in teaching gifted children is designed to educate the teacher on how to accommodate the talented student, identify their exceptional academic expertise and assist them with the social, developmental and psychological stressors that may affect gifted learners.
Below, EducationDegree.com speaks with Darlene Boyd, the Director of the University of California Irvine's Gifted Students Network. In the interview, she discusses what giftedand talented education is, and how to get started in the field.
Gifted & Talented Education Job Description
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) defines gifted and talented as those individuals who demonstrate outstanding levels (top 10 percent or higher) of aptitude or ability in one or more areas such as math, music or language. Gifted and talented teachers are responsible for helping identify and educate these unique learners. To do this effectively, they must be well-versed in theory, research, strategies and best practices of gifted education. Schools employ gifted and talented teachers at both the elementary and secondary levels.
Gifted and talented teachers might work within a wide variety of service models. Some work in special schools for the gifted and talented, while others teach students in a self-contained classroom in a traditional school setting. Still others work with gifted and talented students in a pullout setting. Gifted and talented teachers often serve as consultants to regular classroom teachers, and they also identify and coordinate enrichment opportunities for gifted students.
Gifted & Talented Education Requirements
Like all other teachers, gifted and talented teachers must be licensed by the state in which they work. State licensing requirements typically include a bachelor's degree from an approved teacher education program, a student teaching internship, and a passing score on a competency test. Teacher preparation programs frequently group gifted and talented education in the special education category, so a prospective teacher might earn a Bachelor of Science in special education with a gifted and talented endorsement. While there is no national certification requirement for teaching the gifted, most schools seek to hire teachers who are specifically trained in gifted and talented education. Teachers with a gifted and talented endorsement or specialization have taken extensive coursework that addresses the particular knowledge and skills needed to serve gifted and talented students.
Gifted & Talented Education Career Outlook
The American Association for Employment in Education reports that the supply of GATE teachers is balanced with demand according to a 2008 study. This means there is neither a surplus nor a shortage of GATE teachers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary of teachers was between $47,000 and $51,000 in 2008. First-year teachers with a bachelor's degree made an average of $33,000 during the 2005-2006 school year according to the American Federation of Teachers.
Gifted & Talented Education Trends
One of the hottest topics in gifted education is the under-representation of minority, low-income, and limited English students in gifted education programs. According to the NAGC, Congress has introduced legislation called The Equity in Excellence Act to attempt to reduce the achievement gap between high potential, low-income students and their more advantaged peers.
Gifted and Talented Teacher Education Online
Want to engage and challenge gifted and talented students but don't have the time to earn a traditional campus-based degree?
Online degrees in gifted and talented education (GATE) may be the answer. If you're considering this online degree, you should know that most are master's-level programs. It's also helpful (although not necessarily required) to have previous teaching experience.
Online gifted and talented education programs are much like traditional programs except most or all of the coursework is done via the Web. Classes are available online for you to access at any time of the day or night. Live chats, email and virtual classroom tools supplement your online learning. Typical courses include issues in gifted education, teaching methods for gifted and talented, and assessment in gifted and talented education.
The time it takes to complete an online master's degree in gifted and talented education ranges from as little as 18 months up to two years. Most graduates are then eligible to apply for gifted and talented education certification in the state where the program provider is located.
When judging the quality of an online gifted and talented education program, check to see if it is accredited by the Council for Exceptional Children or the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Also, look for programs that include real-world teaching experiences such as a student teaching internships or classroom observations.
Online Gifted and Talented Degrees to Consider
U.S. News and World Report named Arkansas State University in Jonesboro as a best regional university in 2012. The university offers a fully online Master of Science in education with a specialization in gifted and talented education. The program is aligned with the teacher preparation guidelines of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Council for Exceptional Children.
Graduates of the University of Cincinnati's online Master of Education in gifted, creative and talented education are eligible to apply for certification in the state of Ohio. It is strongly recommended that applicants to this two-year program have previous teaching experience, but it is not required. This program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Azusa Pacific University, a Christian school in Azusa, California, offers an online Master of Arts in education with a concentration in gifted and talented education that is designed for working professionals. Program features include live chats, threaded discussions and a virtual classroom with whiteboard, graphing and drawing capabilities.
Curriculum Information for Teaching Gifted Children Specialty
As reported in the N.Y. Times, the trend in arranging the classroom by ability has returned to public and private schools. Once thought as a barrier to the successful learning of minority children, research has shown that talented children were not provided the encouragement and assistance that they required to excel. As suggested by numerous studies, all children are entitled to an education that is appropriate for their interests, capabilities and level of learning. Your course curriculum may include some of the following classes:
Introduction to the Education of Gifted Students
As higher-achievers are now clustered in special groups, the identification of talented children is essential. Educators who teach gifted children should be familiar with the research strategies, curriculum design, learning theories and educational practices that are vital to teaching gifted children. This introductory course describes the nature, needs and characteristics of talented children. Differentiations can be made at the social, cognitive, emotional and cultural aspects of learning. Through learning theories and research, strategies can be improvised to meet the distinctions of each individual child. This course also attempts to provide perspectives in learning that allow the gifted learner to flourish and remain motivated in the learning experience. Gifted students require special instruction to achieve at the levels that match their abilities.
Differentiating and Designing Curriculum for Gifted Learners
Guided by advanced learning theories and educational research, educators learn to modify basic curriculum to meet the talented child's needs. Each child has unique characteristics that must be considered when developing learning strategies and materials that challenge them appropriately. Qualitative research is used to assess a child's interests, need for in-depth exploration and appropriate time for their provocative questions. A gifted child may have extensive interests that are different than their peers or age group. Educators learn to build on a child's individual needs to provide them with a successful curriculum designed to motivate, inspire and challenge them.
Assessment of Barriers in Educating the Talented Student
Through a conceptual framework, educators evaluate characteristics and individual needs of talented learners. All learners require an education that is relevant to their lives, provides rich experiences and offers the appropriate tools to build on prior knowledge. Talented children may learn at a faster pace, explore their expertise at a deeper level and require more of the teacher's time in the classroom. Educators learn to arrange classroom time to meet the needs of gifted students while encouraging interaction with their peers, identifying social isolation, psychological stress or disabilities to effective learning.
Evaluation of Programs for Gifted Students
Educators learn how to use advanced research, learning theories and teaching principles to test and evaluate curriculum for talented learners. Evaluation instruments are used to define cultural, unique characteristics and learning style to assess the success of curriculum, lesson plans and learning materials. Teaching models are employed to evaluate the cognitive, social and learning styles of gifted learners to achieve the highest level of learning. Teachers also use evaluation design techniques to organize, manage and evaluate alternative learning technologies to assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of learning outcomes.
Teaching the Gifted
The specialty area of teaching gifted students is greatly needed in public and private schools. Understanding the rich rewards and challenges of teaching high-achievers is vital to providing gifted learners with an education that is appropriate to their level of learning.
- Gifted Exchange
- High Ability: A News Blog for Resources and Information on Gifted Education and High Ability Children
- National Association for Gifted Children
- Council for Exeptional Children
- Byrdseed Gifted: Gifted Classroom Ideas
This rewarding profession needs more teachers like you who care about the needs of gifted children. Request information from the schools below to find out more about each school's Gifted Education program.
Featured Online Programs:
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