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Throughout the world, there are students that are capable of learning at an accelerated rate, which tasks educators and school administrators with the unique task of finding ways to ensure these students are able to stay challenged while maintaining a cohesive curriculum for the rest of the students. More than ever, schools are becoming aware of how necessary it is to address different learning styles and create programs that not only help individuals with learning disabilities, but also create accelerated programs that allow gifted students to not be forced to wait for other students to catch up. It’s well-documented that there have been cases in which students are mistakenly considered to be special needs or developmentally disabled, only for administrators or teachers to later realize instead that they were working with a child who was particularly gifted. This presents real challenges for those working in special education and gifted education. Below is a great overview of what it’s like to work with special needs children and what emphasis should be taken while pursuing a doctorate.
Those working in gifted education will have to working extensively to figure out exactly the best approach to educating these talented individuals. Unlike the general populace of students which generally maintain a similar learning page, educators can have a little more fun testing the boundaries of gifted individuals. The creation of more “open-ended” projects is typically a good starting point for these children, things that don’t have a defined boundary that can be met. Math is uniquely situated to consistently push students to do better since it’s harder to hit a wall. Activities that go beyond the typical classroom, often called “vertical enrichment”, will help gifted students learn at a greater pace as well. Once teachers can locate gifted students, they’ll be helping create competitive games that can still drive these students. Since these students will more easily achieve higher scores, it can often be hard to keep a friendly, competitive nature that proves to be so crucial for driving education. Additionally, you can take an approach called “curriculum compacting”, which reduces the rate by which material is covered.
Possible Jobs Include:
- Gifted and Talented Coordinator
- Acceleration Program Director
- Teach, Educate, and Mentor Instructional Coach
Degree and Career Information
If you’re pursuing a PhD in gifted education, maybe you too were once a gifted child and know the frustrations with being unable to be challenged in many academic settings. Regardless, this education level uniquely prepares you to have the skill-set to create comprehensive curriculums that are tailored to gifted individuals. You’ll do a fair amount of researching gifted individuals and what exactly prompts some to learn at an accelerated rate compared to others.
Online programs in Gifted Education
- Grand Canyon University – MA – Gifted Education
- Liberty University – MEd – Gifted Program Specialist
- St Leo University – MEd – Exceptional Student
- University of Southern California – MAT – Gifted Education Certificate