The program in gifted education at Teachers College, Columbia University, takes a critical approach to the education of students typically identified as gifted. Although students leave the program well-grounded in the traditional theories and practices of the field to the point where they are qualified to teach in programs for gifted students in the public and independent schools, our program positions gifted education in the nexus of race, ethnicity, social class, gender, and other sociopolitical factors that have influenced and continue to influence the field in profound ways.
Students who are interested in gifted education have two options on the M.A. level at Teachers College.
Those with no background in education can obtain the extension in gifted education as well as certification as an elementary school teacher through the Elementary Inclusive Education Program with the gifted extension (ELGF-DUAL). This option allows students in the Elementary Inclusive Education Program to receive the New York State certificate extension in gifted education along with their initial elementary education certification by including 12 credits in gifted education in their course of study. Students who choose this option complete an additional semester of student teaching (4 credits) in a gifted education setting, which can be an inclusive setting, along with three courses in gifted education. See program description below.
The M.A. certification program in the Education of Gifted Students (GIFT-EXT) is designed for students who have graduated from an accredited teacher education program and who hold an initial teaching certificate. Graduates of the program are recommended for the New York State certificate extension in Gifted Education. Thus, completion of this program provides students with both certification in gifted education and knowledge relating to the nature, needs, and pedagogy of gifted students that contributes to greater effectiveness as a teacher in a variety of situations.