NAGC Position Statements & Framing Papers

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) periodically issues statements and papers that deal with issues, policies, and practices that have an impact on the education of gifted and talented students.

When a need for clarification arises on a particular issue, policy, or practice, NAGC will commission a statement or paper. All position statements are approved by the NAGC Board of Directors and must consistent with the organization's position that education in a democracy must respect the uniqueness of all individuals, the broad range of cultural diversity present in our society, and the similarities and differences in learning characteristics that can be found within any group of students.

The Board of Directors recently revised the policy on official statements and papers from the association and is evaluating its process and procedures around the creation of policy documents.


Position Statements


Educational acceleration is one of the cornerstones of exemplary gifted education practices, with more research supporting this intervention than any other in the literature on gifted individuals. The practice of educational acceleration has long been used to match high level student general ability and specific talent with optimal learning opportunities.
Accountability NAGC believes that schools, districts, and states should be accountable for the learning gains of all students, including gifted and talented learners from all socio-economic, racial, and ethnic subgroups.
(Affective Needs) Nurturing Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children

Gifted students have the same developmental tasks as their less able age peers do (related, for example, to identity, sense of competence, career direction, peer relationships, differentiation, autonomy). However, because of characteristics associated with giftedness in clinical and research literature (e.g., sensitivity, intensity, perceptiveness, overexcitabilites, divergent thinking, precocious talent development, advanced moral development), their needs, concerns, and how they experience development may be quite different. Rapid information-processing in itself may contribute to intense emotional responses to environmental stimuli. The characteristics just mentioned may even contribute to difficulties with developmental tasks. In general, it is important that parents, educators, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists be informed about affective development of gifted children and adolescents and apply their knowledge in their relationships with this population.

Arts Education NAGC believes that arts education is fundamental to an appropriate education for gifted and talented learners and should be addressed through domain-specific opportunities and authentic integration across the curriculum.
The Role of Assessments in the Identification of Gifted Students Assessments can be used for a variety of purposes, including identifying students for gifted programs; providing ongoing feedback to guide the instructional process; and to determine to what extent students have obtained intended goals (e.g., academic, affective) within a gifted program. The purpose of this position paper is to provide parents, teachers, and other advocates of gifted students with best practices endorsed by NAGC related to the first purpose--the role of assessments in identifying students for gifted programs.
Collaboration Among All Educators to Meet the Needs of Gifted Learners Collaboration among gifted, general, special education and related services professionals is essential to meet the varied needs of today’s diverse student population. Through a shared vision and passion for meeting the needs of all learners, specialized educators share their expertise and insights to plan for their students across programs and services.

Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards for Gifted and Talented Students

While supporting the effort to promote rigorous content standards for all learners, the National Association for Gifted Children also calls for attention to the specific needs of gifted learners in the implementation of the national content standards and their corresponding assessments.

Comprehensive Assessment to Ensure Gifted Students with Disabilities Receive Appropriate Services 

Like all other students with disabilities in America’s schools, gifted students with co-existing disabilities—the Twice-Exceptional (2e)—have the right to a free, appropriate, public education. However, due to challenges inherent in accurately evaluating a student’s learning strengths and weaknesses, and special education identification processes that focus on below grade-level achievement, many 2e students are going unidentified. NAGC recommends five strategies that will increase the probability that gifted students with disabilities are identified and that their advanced abilities and disabilities are simultaneously addressed and supported.
A Definition of Giftedness that Guides Best Practice It is essential to define giftedness in a way that considers the complex nature of giftedness and the services needed to serve gifted and talented students.
Differentiating Curriculum and Instruction for Gifted and Talented Students Most gifted children in the United States spend the majority of their school time in regular classroom settings, grouped with age peers who have a wide range of academic achievement and potential. This expansive range of needs in every classroom underscores the importance of assessing all students appropriately and providing differentiated curriculum and instruction that will promote their learning.
Early Childhood This position paper, initiated by the Early Childhood Division of NAGC, focuses on creating optimal environments for recognizing, developing, and nurturing the strengths and talents of young gifted children, age 3 through 8.
Excellence Gaps The available data suggest that the singular focus on the most struggling learners has resulted in meaningful progress in closing minimum-competency achievement gaps. However, at the same time, schools have not addressed gaps between groups of students at advanced levels of achievement, commonly referred to as excellence gaps.  Reducing and eventually eliminating excellence gaps is an issue of equity and social justice, community development, economic advancement, and national security. NAGC calls on policymakers and educators to set a goal of closing achievement gaps at every level of achievement.
Response to NCTM's, Providing Opportunities for Students with Exceptional Mathematical Promise The National Association for Gifted Children supports the position statement of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics on Providing Opportunities for Students with Exceptional Mathematical Promise. NAGC particularly supports the strong emphasis on ensuring continuing progress for students with exceptional mathematical promise through differentiated instruction in an engaging mathematics learning environment, as well as the attention to opportunities for acceleration and depth in learning for every prepared student.
Supporting Gifted Students with Diverse Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities Similar to other gifted youth, students with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities may have strengths in one or more areas of giftedness and are present across, genders, cultural and ethnic groups, income levels, geographical locations, religions, and abilities/disabilities. However, unlike most other groups of gifted students, they may not only feel different from other youth because of giftedness, but also may feel isolated due to sexual identity and/or gender expression.
Standards for Teacher Preparation Programs in Gifted Education Teacher Preparation Standards in Gifted Education have been approved by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). NAGC worked with the Council for Exceptional Children to revise the standards used by college and university teacher preparation programs in gifted education.  Click here to learn more

Grouping gifted children is one of the foundations of exemplary gifted education practice. The research on the many grouping strategies available to educators of these children is long, consistent, and overwhelmingly positive (Rogers, 2006; Tieso, 2003). Nonetheless, the "press" from general educators, both teachers and administrators, has been consistently less supportive. Myths abound that grouping these children damages the self-esteem of struggling learners, creates an "elite" group who may think too highly of themselves, and is actually undemocratic and, at times, racist. None of these papers have any founding in actual research, but the arguments continue decade after decade (Fiedler, Lange, & Winebrenner, 2002). This position paper is intended for school board members, school administrators, teachers, parents of gifted children, and other community members with an interest in education.

Identifying and Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students As the nation becomes more and more diverse, gifted education programs should reflect changing U.S. demographics.  Equitably identified gifted students represent cultural and linguistic diversity as well as a wide range of socioeconomic groups and geographic areas, yet these populations are too often overlooked.  Reversing the underrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse students (CLD) in gifted education will require that educators have a thorough understanding of the reasons that CLD students have traditionally been excluded from participation in gifted programs.
The Importance of Parent, Family, and Community Engagement NAGC believes that parents and families of gifted, high-ability, and advanced learners matter. Family is critical to the development and support of students’ talents and research supports the long- and short-term benefits of parent, family, and community engagement on student performance, school attendance, and social and emotional growth and development, regardless of income, ethnicity, culture, language proficiency, or geography.

Mandated Services for Gifted and Talented Students

NAGC supports mandating services to meet the unique needs of gifted and talented children.
NAGC-NMSA Joint Position Statement  

The National Association for Gifted Children and the National Middle School Association share a commitment to developing schools and classrooms in which both equity and excellence are persistent goals for each learner. Equity refers to the opportunity of every learner to have supported access to the highest possible quality education. Excellence refers to the need of every learner for opportunities and adult support necessary to maximize his or her learning potential.

Preparing All Pre-Service Teachers to Work Effectively with Gifted Learners

The role of pre-service education programs in preparing educators to work effectively with a wide range of learners is critical to student success. However, most teacher licensure programs are not preparing teachers to meet the needs of high-ability students. In order to increase the effectiveness of all teachers in working with gifted and talented students, NAGC calls on pre-service teacher preparation programs to include coursework for all their teacher candidates on the nature and needs of gifted and talented students.

Use of the WISC-V for Gifted Identification

This statement addresses guidelines for use of the WISC-V in the assessment of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Comprehensive, individual intelligence tests can be invaluable when used as part of a multi-faceted approach to identify gifted and twice exceptional children. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) is a popular cognitive assessment for this purpose.

Here is a link to the previous statement on assessment of gifted and the WISC-IV.

Policy Positions

Core Policy Principles The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is dedicated to advocating for equitably meeting the needs of all gifted and talented learners, and the educators and stakeholders that support them, across the United States. NAGC’s advocacy is rooted in the core belief that education in a democracy must respect the uniqueness of all individuals, the cultural diversity within our society, and the similarities and differences in learning characteristics that can be found within any group of students.

Framing Papers

Response to Intervention (RtI) The Association for the Gifted, a division of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC-TAG) recognizes the importance and the impact of the Response to Intervention (RTI) method of identifying and serving students with diverse educational needs. The inclusion of students who are twice exceptional within the RTI framework provided a starting point for addressing students who are gifted.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

The fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are critical to our economy, our national security, and our global leadership in innovation and research. Our key resource lies in students with mathematical and scientific promise, including students who traditionally have been identified as gifted, talented, bright, or precocious in mathematics or science as well as those students with potential who may have missed out on the rich opportunities that have accompanied this recognition. We cannot afford to waste the talents of students with the greatest potential to lead us to creative and productive futures in mathematics, science, technology, and engineering.

Read the Executive Summary.
Twice Exceptionality Psychologists who work in the area of special education sometimes refer to students with two disabilities as having a dual diagnosis, which may be considered to be twice-exceptional. In the field of gifted education, the more commonly used term for a gifted student with a co-occurring disability is “twice-exceptional learner”. This simple definition belies the complexity that underlies the multiple issues associated with twice-exceptionality.






Task Force Reports

When the need arises, the NAGC Board of Directors appoints a task force to investigate a topic important to the board. Often, the task force is reporting back on an internal matter, but sometimes, they are reviewing and making recommendations on an issue of interest to the field.
Task Force on the Definition of Giftedness

The Definition Task Force was created to review (a) the theoretical definitions of giftedness (historic and more recent), (b) the various definitions of giftedness currently on the NAGC website, (c) the Whole Gifted Child Task Force Report, and (d) the Talent Development Task Force Report and then develop a suggested update for NAGC’s definition of giftedness. An NAGC Position Statement was created from this report.

Read the report--Key Considerations in Identifying and Supporting Gifted and Talented Learners

Task Force on Talent Development Report to the Board of Directors

The Talent Development Task Force worked to create a definition of talent development as it relates to gifted children and to develop a list of recommendations for the BOD for future activities related to talent development.

Read the report.

The Whole Gifted Child Task Report to the Board of Directors

The NAGC Whole Gifted Child Task Force was the Presidential initiative of Dr. George Betts (NAGC President, 2015-2017). The Task Force was comprised of 22 professionals with wide-ranging and diverse experiences who work in K-12 programs, higher education, research centers, and in the social sciences.

Read the report.