Definitions for Gifted and Talented Education

Refers to administrative practices designed to allow students to progress through the school grades at a rate faster than the average; e.g., early school entrance, content area acceleration, grade skipping, credit by examination, early graduation.

Advanced Placement
College-level courses provided at the secondary level for which students may receive college credit by examination (administered by the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board).

Alternative School
A school which provides an alternative to the traditional school structure and which is designed to meet the unique instructional needs of some gifted/talented students.

Cluster Grouping
Any classroom with a group of identified high-ability students purposefully organized to provide planned differentiated instruction most of the time.

Cluster Classroom
The intentional grouping of the grade level's top intellectually talented students into a classroom with a teacher who has the desire and expertise to provide a supportive and challenging environment for this population of learners.

Organized opportunities for gifted and talented students to enter local, regional, state or national contests in a variety of subject areas (e.g., Continental Math League, Math Masters, Quiz Bowl, Academic Games, Future Problem Solving, Spelling Bees, Science Olympiad).

Concurrent or Dual Enrollment
Usually refers to high school students taking some college courses at a nearby college or university before they graduate from high school, but may also refer to students at any level who are allowed to take some classes at the next school level (e.g., elementary/junior high/high school). Also includes correspondence courses.

Convocations, Seminars, Workshops
Special short term sessions where the student focuses on one area of study (e.g., Young Authors Conference, Science Convocation).

Curriculum Adjustment
Experiences provided in the regular classroom that are additional and/or supplemental to the established curriculum and/or texts and which are purposefully planned with the needs, interests, and capabilities of particular students in mind.

Honors Classes
Courses, usually at the high school level, that are designed for able students.

Independent Study
Individually contracted in-depth study of topic.

Interest Groups
Any group organized from one or more classrooms on the basis of interest in a topic; usually short term in duration.

Students who demonstrate high ability and need are placed in a professional setting for a specified period to learn skills of that profession.

Individualized Learning
Courses and curricula are altered to meet the specific needs of a high ability student.

Magnet Schools
Specialized schools for high ability students, usually with a specific focus (e.g., performing and/or visual arts, math and/or science, aviation school, etc.)

A program which pairs individual students with someone who has advanced skills an experiences in a particular discipline and can serve as a guide, advisor, counselor and role model.

Ongoing Assessment & Planning
Students' abilities and needs are continually assessed through both formal and informal means designed to discover and nurture talent. The results are used as the basis for appropriate programming decisions.

The content and pacing of curriculum and instruction are matched to students' abilities and needs. Students move ahead on the basis of mastery. Differentiation in pacing and/or depth is provided.

Pull-out Programs
A group organized from one or more classrooms which meets on a regular basis to provide experiences beyond the established curriculum.