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Gifted Education Glossary

Common Educational Terms


Ability Grouping - the flexible regrouping of students based on individual instructional needs

Acceleration - moving at a faster pace through academic content: examples include early access to kindergarten; grade skipping; advanced placement classes; concurrent enrollment in elementary & middle school or middle and high school; postsecondary options (earning both high school and college credit for college courses completed); early exit

Affective Needs - the social and emotional considerations of an individual

Articulation - the communication between grades and learning levels about the transition of students

Assessment - standardized or informal methods designed to determine mastery or prior knowledge of skill or content

Cluster Grouping - the intentional placement of a group of similar-ability students in an otherwise heterogeneous (mixed-ability) classroom for a particular learning activity

Cognitive Needs - the intellectual needs of an individual

Cooperative Learning - an instructional strategy in which small, usually heterogeneous, groups of students work collaboratively to accomplish a particular task

Cross-grade/Multi-age Grouping - grouping strategy that mixes children of different ages for instruction

Curriculum Compacting - an instructional strategy in which a students grasp of a subject area is frequently reassessed by the instructor, and following demonstration of mastery of the subject, the student is allowed to progress to the next level or is given more in-depth work in the same subject area

Differentiation - the modification of programming and instruction based on a student’s academic need and intellectual ability

Enrichment - the enhancement of the curricular program with additional opportunities and avenues of learning that involve higher level thinking skills and guided problem solving

Heterogeneous/Homogeneous Groupings - those in which students are taught in groups of mixed or similar ability, respectively

High Ability - capacity to see abstract relationships, make connections through critical analysis, and formulate original hypotheses

Individualized Instruction - customizing the curriculum to align with a student’s learning style, social-emotional concerns, interests, abilities, potential creativity, and task commitment

Learning Styles - the different ways in which an individual begins to concentrate, process, internalize, and remember new and difficult academic knowledge (e.g., auditory-sequential/analytical thinker/left-brained and visual-spatial/ global thinker/right-brained)

Modification - changing the existing curriculum to accommodate the learning needs of the student

Out-of-Level Testing - testing typically given to a particular grade or age of student and used to assess abilities of younger students at a higher level than their developmental peers

Personalized Learning Plans (also called Advanced Learning Plans) - an individualized educational program based on student needs and interests that may include such options as acceleration, differentiated instruction, enrichment activities, and affective counseling and guidance

Pull-out Programs - classes and activities held during the school day but outside the regular classroom

Standards-based Education - a mechanism for which students demonstrate what they know and are able to do with regard to particular content areas such as reading, writing, mathematics, science, history, geography, and foreign language. (For gifted students this system of establishing identifiable and assessable skills and knowledge offers a framework for flexibility and instruction based on mastery and academic need.)

Transition Planning - the process of student articulation (progression) between grades and levels

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