Teaching Gifted, Creative, & Talented Students

Improving Instruction Quality When Teaching Gifted Students

One of the least standardized educational arenas is the education provided to special needs students who develop more quickly than their peers in certain subject areas. Teaching gifted students requires a unique educator who can remedy the students’ appetites for learning but keep them on a social development level with their peers. Through a focused Master of Education at the University of Cincinnati, educators can learn Curriculum & Instruction methods specifically intended for Gifted & Talented students. By keeping abreast of educational reform, ways to improve the learning environment and methods to promote student achievement, educators teaching gifted students can bolster their students’ successes to promote healthy education habits.

Culture of Gifted Education
Teaching gifted students can be done through a variety of tactics, depending on the student’s learning abilities, the school’s policies, how classes are structured and the educator’s amount of time to devote to that student. In many cases, educators modify the individual student’s curriculum while keeping them in the classroom with their peers. Some classrooms are structured to allow each student to learn at his or her own pace, and in these environments, gifted students can thrive alongside peers who are also succeeding according to their own abilities. Below find some of the successful tactics educators have used while teaching gifted students:

Acceleration: Educators utilize this approach to reaching gifted learners by either advancing them to upper grade levels or allowing them to complete their class work at a more rapid pace than their peers.
Enrichment: Some teachers have success in providing additional assignments to enrich the education of gifted students and challenge them in new ways on top of the regular assignments they must complete for their traditional class work.

Pull-Out: In some schools, teaching gifted students is accomplished by placing them in a separate class with other gifted peers. These often work in conjunction with their regular curriculum by giving students more creative exercises and critical thinking drills that modify how they approach and enjoy regular assignments.

Self-pacing: A more inclusive way to reach gifted students is by promoting self-pacing for all learners, regardless of ability. Through this method, teachers can create individualized education plans that benefit gifted learners alongside their normal peers.

In the Curriculum & Instruction Gifted & Talented concentration of the University of Cincinnati’s Master of Education, educators research multiple methods for meeting the academic needs of these talented students, but they also focus on tracking their emotional development, which is equally important when teaching gifted students. Educators must not assume that a student who can learn at an accelerated pace is developing at an accelerated pace. Learning to evaluate the emotional needs of gifted students is a critical part of this type of special needs education to prevent social disorders like depression and anxiety and serious psychiatric issues like bipolar disorder.

Promoting Gifted Education Reform
As schools seek to reform the gifted education offerings to better serve this sector of student achievement, a more highly trained educator is sought. Pursuing a focused Master of Education in gifted curriculum design can help you to stand apart from your peers. This uniquely focused program offered by the University of Cincinnati helps educators to bring their teaching style up to date with the latest in education reform. Scrutiny of popular government programs that do a disservice to gifted students is one area that educators can examine in order to provide a better take on teaching gifted students in their own schools.

As programs geared toward gifted students steadily decline, many educators are questioning whether No Child Left Behind actually takes away from the education provided to gifted students. This law rates school programs based on reading and math tests, which causes many schools to focus more on their at-risk learners than on their students who are already doing well in these areas. As a gifted teacher, you become the advocate that these advanced learners need to benefit from their early education and foster an appreciation for education throughout their lives. By analyzing how these laws can hurt your approach to teaching gifted students, you can work on bolstering the gifted education program at your own school to keep students’ needs met.

Because the Curriculum & Instruction Gifted, Creative, & Talented concentration of the Master of Education program at the University of Cincinnati is provided in a flexible online format, educators can learn to improve the quality of their instruction and begin implementing these changes before they graduate.

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