Classroom Instruction and Teacher Training for Gifted Students from Diverse Populations

Every student has the right to learn something new every day, although, unfortunately we know that too many advanced students are simply marking time in the classroom until new material is presented to them.  Worse, many underrepresented gifted students -- those who are limited English proficient, disabled, or from minority or low-income backgrounds -- have not been identified for advanced learner services or are in schools where no advanced classes or gifted education services are available, and where classroom teachers have not been trained to meet their needs.  In practice, most gifted and talented students spend the majority of their time in the regular classroom. Therefore, it is imperative that schools and districts account for this reality in their instructional and professional development planning. 

Four practices to promote equitable access and school success for underrepresented gifted students

  • Develop culturally sensitive identification protocols
  • Ensure early and continuous access to high-end curriculum for talent development
  • Provide essential supports, including helping students develop psycho-social strategies
  • Establish effective home, school and community connections

Download the full NAGC position statement on Identifying and Serving Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students

Read more about identification practices with diverse learners.

Read best educational practices with low-income, high-ability students

Read Expanding the View of Giftedness in a special issue of AASA's School Administrator magazine.

Teacher Training 

Because high ability and high achieving students are typically served in the regular classroom, it is critical that all teachers be trained to recognize and meet the needs of advanced students so that they may respond to individual student strengths and make referrals for further assessment where appropriate.  It is also critical that school- or district-level staff with expertise in gifted and talented education be available to support regular classroom teachers in this work.

To develop the skills, identify advanced students from underserved populations and to create a learning environment that supports their needs, teachers and other school leaders need regular professional development that addresses the following

  • Learning characteristics and behaviors of underrepresented gifted populations
  • Awareness of cultural differences
  • Children with multiple exceptionalities
  • Developing positive peer culture in the classroom and school
  • Equitable and nonbiased assessments

Explore gifted education practices that that have been shown to increase student achievement.


Information & Publications