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Who knows anything about gifted/talented education?


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I've seen some masters/PhD programs have concentrations in Gifted and Talented education.  Honestly don't know much about them or about the job prospects...in my own experience, we had one G/T program in my elementary school that was about 1 hour per week with only one teacher.  After elementary school, kids in that program just went on to honors and, later, AP classes.


Are you interested in working in elementary schools or middle/high schools?

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Consider randomly calling up a few in your local area and asking for a few minutes of their time to ask them questions about the field. Some would likely be more than happy to help answer your questions.

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I will give you a sample Job Description for an Educationalist position open in a Medical college. The fundamentals will remain the same.

Job Title

Educationalist – 1 year fixed-term contract


Education Department which designs and delivers 

  • Educational Programmes
  • Develops educational policy and strategy
  • Produces resources multi-media material and on-line facilities
  • Provides advice and expertise through consultancy work.

Major Responsibilities
  1. To teach on the range of educational programmes
  2. To deliver courses college and the regions with the potential for international work
  3. To contribute to the development and delivery of new educational programmes
  4. To contribute to the development of on-line educational initiatives.
  5. To contribute to the efficient management and administration of the department by performing personal administrative duties e.g. timely resource preparation and marking of assignments
  6. Undertake all duties and responsibilities in compliance with the rules and regulations encompassing equal opportunities.
Educational Requirements
  • Graduate in relevant discipline.
  • Post graduate in teaching certificate or equivalent.

Technical and desirable skill-sets
  • Course development skills like designing workshops.
  • Taking ownership of situations and spontaneous decision making.
  • Good communication skills
  • Develops cohesive teams with Colleagues, Customers, Clients, Members and Fellows where this  assists the College in its work.
  • Demonstrates an ability to work to deadlines

All the best.

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I would suspect your prospects are going to be different depending on how you are wanting to be involved with these programs. Are you aiming to be an educator or a researcher? 


I am considering looking at 2E with respect to neuroscience at the moment and so the programs I am going to be looking into are going to be very different from someone who is doing curriculum development, and those will be entirely different from someone who wants to be an school psychologist, and even more different from someone who wants to develop specific individual education for gifted kids...


It sounds a bit like you are interested in being a teacher for exceptional kids, so you should look into some special education departments and talk to professionals in the special education field about how they view gifted education, how schools are addressing the students' needs in the area, and where someone who is interested could look to get involved. When it comes to education in particular, a couple weeks helping out in a classroom will go a LONG way in helping you figure out what is going to work for you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm very interested in pursuing a career in gifted/talented education.  What kind of a demand is there for these teachers?  What's the best path to pursue such a career?  Does anyone have any advice?


About five years ago I unsuccessfully pursued gifted and talented positions. I guess I am still technically certified in G&T, though I haven't done anything with it recently. Take what I write here with that in mind--I don't know if things have changed, as I've been into other things.


Between five and seven years ago, the opportunities seemed few, and most of them where I was located were elementary based. There were secondary opportunities here and there, mostly in a large urban district that I taught outside of (this was out west, in the US). When I relocated to the east, I was able to get interviews for three different positions in two different states, neither of which I was licensed in at the time (and one of which I was a finalist for in a *great* place). I also had an interview in a district I was working in at the time. The lack of success here probably had to do with lack of experience, gifted specific coursework, and to a lesser extent the credential issue--at least, that's what I think.


As far as advice in pursuing this area:


1. Pursue certification in multiple areas (e.g., math/science, language arts/social studies, although other combinations may prove useful). A teacher of the gifted sometimes has to provide support across content areas, or at the very least advise content teachers in those areas about how to modify content and instruction.


2. At the secondary level, it seemed like many gifted and talented positions required English/language arts certification. I don't know if this was just the area I lived in, or if this is part of a larger trend. I saw a few that were math-focused out west as well.


3. Gifted endorsements or other teaching credentials may get you into interviews, although you'll need more obviously to win yourself a job. Such licenses often require graduate coursework in gifted and talented education. Some states, like New Mexico, require a content test as well or instead; they used to take the PRAXIS II in gifted, but states may have their own G&T test instead/as well.


4. Teach, teach, and teach! My impression from the districts I worked in was that they often staffed these positions internally, from people who had a fair amount of experience (i.e., 5 years or more). Not saying you won't find a position like this with less than 5 years of experience, but these districts I'm referring to seemed to think it was easier to find a new content teacher than to hire a gifted specialist from the outside.


5. Special education credentials are a double-edged sword when it comes to gifted. The skill sets of "special educators" and "gifted educators" have some overlap between them. States that use IEPs and gifted IEPs (are there states that don't?) require gifted educators to be familiar with legal protections and reporting that special educators regularly must use. However, in some districts, a license in special education means a possible reassignment to a special educator role, even if one is hired initially to teach gifted and talented. In terms of being hired, it should go without saying that special education credentials and experiences will land you a job much quicker than gifted credentials will.


Feel free to message if you have other questions. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to help, given the experiences I've had, but I can at least entertain questions and see if I can help.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If you are interested in Gifted Education, I recommend reading Dr. James H. Borland out of Teacher's College, Columbia University. His research and recommendations have completely changed how I view and teach the gifted. Furthermore, Columbia has a master's degree for gifted education. I'm pretty sure Dr. Borland teaches some of those classes. I'm looking into it myself.




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