Gifted Education Standards Within the National Context

The standards in gifted education are part of a wider network of professional preparation and programming standards that influence the education of all teachers and students (see Figure 1).  At the top of Figure 1 are the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) Standards.  InTASC is a consortium of state education agencies and national educational organizations interested in the reform of the preparation, licensing, and ongoing professional development of teachers and is a part of the Council for Chief State School Officers.  InTASC has developed common standards in teacher preparation (CCSSO, 1992; 2011) and CCSSO, together with the National Governor’s Association has developed common standards in the core subject areas of English-language arts and mathematics (CCSSO & NGA, 2010).  The influence of these standards is noteworthy: 45 states have adopted the 2010 common core standards and 38 states adopted the 1992 InTASC teacher preparation standards.

The InTASC standards were used as guidelines for the development of the initial teacher preparation certificate in gifted education (National Association for Gifted Children/Council for Exceptional Children-The Association for the Gifted [NAGC-CEC/TAG], 2006).  Initial certificates may be offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and focus on educators who may have other certificates but are seeking their first one in gifted education. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) uses the NAGC-CEC/TAG initial standards as part of the process of accrediting schools of education.  Teacher preparation programs that meet these standards are nationally recognized by NCATE.  Recently, the InTASC model core teaching standards and the NCATE recommendations for standards have been changed and will influence the next revision of the NAGC-CEC/TAG teacher preparation standards in 2013 (InTASC, 2011; NCATE, 2009).

Gifted educators have also developed an advanced set of standards for teachers who already have an initial certificate.  These standards are based on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS, 2011) and the Council for Exceptional Children’s Advanced Common Core Standards (CEC, 2009).  They will provide guidelines for teacher preparation programs and schools who are interested in developing teacher leaders in gifted education.  Moreover, the NBPTS (2011) has a certificate for teachers in gifted education, which is a pathway within the Exceptional Needs Standards (2nd edition).

While only 20 states require credentialing or licensure for professionals working in gifted education programs, the majority of states have requirements for programs and services in gifted education (NAGC, 2009).  State rules, regulations, and/or guidelines include characteristics of definitions, procedures for identification, programs and services, personnel preparation, and other practices such as acceleration, early entrance, dual enrollment, and high school graduation alternatives.


Figure 1. Relationship Between Standards

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