• Addressing the Learning Needs of Students Who Are Gifted and Talented


    Differentiated Instruction

    Acceleration of instruction

    • Continuous progress— as students demonstrate mastery of the grade level requirements, rather than expanding horizontally and building on the concepts, they progress to the curriculum of the next grade level
    • Curriculum compacting— enables students to skip parts of the curriculum they have already mastered and move on to more challenging content and activities
    • Self pacing—allows students to advance at their own rate; allows students to learn at a highly accelerated rate

    Content Modification (ideas, concepts, descriptive information, facts)— remove the ceiling on what is learned, and use the students’ abilities to build a richer, more diverse and efficiently organized knowledge base

    • Abstractness—moves concepts from the concrete to the abstract— content shifts from facts, definitions and descriptions to concepts, relationships, and generalizations
    • Complexity (more advanced topics, not more of the same)— content shifts to inter-relationships rather than considering factors separately
    • Variety (thematic, integrative)
    • Organization (acceleration, compacting)
    • Method of inquiry— includes procedures used by experts working in their fields

    Process Modification—promotes creativity and higher level cognitive skills, encourages productive use and management of the knowledge students have mastered

    • Higher levels of thinking—upper levels of Bloom’s taxonomy
    • Creative thinking—involves imagination, intuitive approaches and brainstorming techniques
    • Open-endedness—teacher uses open-ended questioning techniques, poses problems/questions that have many correct answers
    • Discovery—students form hypotheses and make informed guesses, employ inductive and deductive reasoning
    • Use of proof and reasoning—students express not only their conclusions, but how and why they arrived at the conclusion
    • Group interaction and Simulations—students feed off ideas of others, sometimes competitive, sometimes cooperative, develops students’ ability to relate to others
    • Variety and pacing—information is presented and learned in varying speeds, vary according to learning styles and strengths
    • Freedom of choice—involve students in evaluation of choices of topics, methods, products and environments

    Product Modification

    • Authentic problems for real audience—real and relevant to the student and the activity and appropriate for the product
    • Appropriate evaluation—self, peer and “audience” evaluation, based on previously established “real-world” criteria
    • Interpreting information rather than summarizing

    Learning Environment Modification—create an environment which encourages students to engage their abilities to the greatest extent possible, including taking risks and building knowledge and skills in what they perceive as a safe, flexible environment

    • Student-centered—focus on the students’ interests, input and ideas rather than those of the teacher
    • Encourages independence—tolerate and encourage student initiative
    • Wide variety of materials and resources, including technology
    • Physical movement—movement in and out of groups, desk settings, classrooms, and schools

    Other ideas

    • Enrichment
    • Active exploration
    • Self-directed learning
    • Learning Contracts
    • Tiered assignments (same concept presented at different ability levels)
    • Scaffolding
    • Variety of cooperative grouping strategies
    • Role models/Mentors/Community internships
    • Debate
    • Socratic Seminar
    • Creative Problem Solving (CPS)
    • Student interests and choice in selecting content, process, product, and environment
    • Extensions Menu (expands a topic of study, provides for independent investigation)
    • Variety of resources including technology
    • High-level questioning
    • Metacognition and student reflection
    • Authentic assessment
    • Advance Placement (AP) courses
    • International Baccalaureate (IB) programs
    • Concurrent enrollment in college


    • June Maker’s Model of Content, Process, Product, and Learning Environment Modifications
    • The Maker Model of Differentiated Curriculum, David Farmer 27 January 1996, adapted from Meeting the Needs of Gifted Students in the Regular Classroom


    IntroductionStudent Behavior • ESE • ESOL • Gifted and Talented