Gifted Education | Curriculum & Teaching

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Gifted Education

Department of Curriculum & Teaching

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Program Description

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.

Degrees

  • Master of Arts

    • Points/Credits: 32

      Entry Terms: Spring/Summer/Fall

      Certification:

      • NY State Gifted Ed. Extension

      Degree Requirements

      The Nature of Giftedness (7-12)

      Required Courses:

      • C&T 4021 Nature and needs of gifted students (2-3)

      • C&T 4026 Exceptionality and intelligence (2-3)

      • C&T 5506 Seminar in gifted education (3)

      Elective Course:

      • C&T 4025 Educating young potentially gifted children (2-3)

      Teaching Gifted Students (6-8)

      Required Courses:

      • C&T 4023 Differentiated curriculum for gifted students (2-3)

      • C&T 4022 Instructional models in the education of gifted students (1-2)

      • C&T 4024 Planning and implementing programs for gifted students (3)

      Out-of-Program Requirements (6 credits minimum)

      Additional courses to be determined in consultation with your advisor.

      Field Placement (3)

      • C&T 4702 Student teaching-giftedness (3)

      • C&T 5302 Advanced practicum-giftedness (3)

      Culminating Project (0)

      A culminating project, arranged in consultation with your advisor, that demonstrates your ability to integrate your theoretical knowledge with practical problems and issues in gifted education.

      New York State Education Department (NYSED) has teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation which are listed in the Office of Teacher Education section of the catalog.

    • Points/Credits: 32

      Entry Terms: Spring/Summer/Fall

      Degree Requirements

      The Nature of Giftedness (7-12)

      Required Courses:

      • C&T 4021 Nature and needs of gifted students (2-3)

      • C&T 4026 Exceptionality and intelligence (2-3)

      • C&T 5506 Seminar in gifted education (3)

      Elective Course:

      • C&T 4025 Educating young potentially gifted children (2-3)

      Teaching Gifted Students (6-8)

      Required Courses:

      • C&T 4023 Differentiated curriculum for gifted students (2-3)

      • C&T 4022 Instructional models in the education of gifted students (1-2)

      • C&T 4024 Planning and implementing programs for gifted students (3)

      Out-of-Program Requirements (6 credits minimum)

      Additional courses to be determined in consultation with your advisor.

      Field Placement (3)

      • C&T 4702 Student teaching-giftedness (3)

      • C&T 5302 Advanced practicum-giftedness (3)

      Culminating Project (0)

      A culminating project, arranged in consultation with your advisor, that demonstrates your ability to integrate your theoretical knowledge with practical problems and issues in gifted education.

Faculty

  • Faculty

    • James H Borland Professor of Education
  • Adjunct Faculty

    • Lisa Ruth Wright Director, Hollingworth Center

Courses

  • C&T 4021 - Nature and needs of gifted students
    This introductory course in gifted education explores a number of issues related to the psychology and education of gifted students, including conceptions of giftedness, educational provisions for gifted students, creativity, and economically disadvantaged gifted students. Issues of race, class, gender, and disability status as they interact with the construct of giftedness are examined.
  • C&T 4022 - Instructional models in the education of gifted students
    What should gifted students learn? How can we differentiate the curriculum for gifted learners in order to meet their special needs more effectively? These and other questions will be addressed in this course devoted to the discussion, analysis, and evaluation of instructional models designed or adapted for gifted students. Emphasis will be placed on the principles of curricular differentiation and on providing an overview of a range of models designed to modify content, enhance the development of thinking skills, and enhance creativity. Issues of defining giftedness and of defensible differentiated curriculum will also be explored.
  • C&T 4023 - Differentiated curriculum for gifted students
    This course examines the characteristics of appropriate and defensible curriculum for gifted children and youth. Particular emphasis is placed on instructional strategies, curriculum theories, flexible grouping techniques, and meeting the needs of gifted learning in the regular classroom.
  • C&T 4025 - Nurturing Gifts and Talents in the Early Childhood Years
    The theme of this course centers on the potential and promise of all young children ages three through eight. Through workshop style sessions, visits to our early childhood lab school on campus, and guests talks from practitioners, we will grapple with how best to support each child's interests, passions, and over all development. We will take a critical stance as we examine the "deficit" perspective that disregards each child's full and unique profile. In our time together we will sample a variety of topics and ponder the best ways to support and celebrate the development of the full potential of our youngest learners.
  • C&T 4026 - Giftedness and Intelligence
    In this course, we explore theories of intelligence, which have served as a theoretical basis for the field of gifted education from its beginning. Starting with the work of Francis Galton in the 19th century and following through to the present day, we will critically examine and problematize such constructs as intelligence, creativity, and giftedness as well as such related topics as mental measurements.
  • C&T 4027 - Differentiated instruction of gifted students in the heterogeneous classroom
    Gifted students are present in almost every elementary, middle school, and high school classroom. The educational needs of these students can and must be met within this context. This workshop will provide an overview of curricular and instructional strategies designed to enhance the optimal development of gifted learners (and all learners) in the regular classroom. Topics will include general curricular modifications, management techniques, instructional strategies, individual learning opportunities, and outcomes and assessments. Special consideration will be given to those methods of differentiation that can be integrated readily into the learning environment of mixed-ability classrooms.
  • C&T 4029 - Creativity: Its nature and nurture
    An examination and critical appraisal of theories of creativity, test development to measure creativity, and methods designed to enhance the creativity of children and adults.
  • C&T 5024 - Planning and Implementing Gifted Programs
    In this course, we examine factors affecting the planning and implementation of programs for students identified as gifted, components of gifted programs, and a systems approach to program planning. Students develop written program plans for specific settings. Issues of race, class, gender, and disability status as they affect the planning of gifted programs are examined. No prior experience with or knowledge of gifted education is required.
  • C&T 5302 - Advanced practicum-giftedness
    Permission required. Guided experiences for advanced students in Giftedness. Supervised group field visits. Initial internships arranged. Students submit reports analyzing experiences.
  • C&T 5506 - Seminar in gifted education
    This is a topical seminar that examines such issues as identification of gifted students in New York City schools, equity in gifted education, the effects of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, and whether gifted students are necessary for gifted education. Discussions by Skype with leading scholars in the field of gifted education will expose students to contemporary concerns in this field. No prior experience with or knowledge of gifted education is required.
  • C&T 5902 - Independent study--giftedness
    Permission required. Qualified students work under guidance on practical research problems. Proposed work must be outlined prior to registration; final written report required.
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