Glossary of Terms

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  • 2e (Twice-exceptional) – A term used to describe a student who is gifted and has a disability. These students may also be referred to as having dual exceptionalities or as being gifted with learning disabilities (GT/LD). This also applies to students who are gifted and have ADHD or are gifted and have autism.


  • Ability grouping – Placing students of similar ability in the same class or group for purposes of instruction. Ability grouping is NOT the same as tracking.
  • Above-grade-level testing – Administration of a test designed for students who are at a grade level higher than other students taking the test.
  • Acceleration – Any strategy for a gifted student that implies moving through the curriculum at a faster rate and results in advanced placement or potential credit.
  • Acceleration Institute – Part of the University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Center that researched acceleration and its effects on students. The institute has also have developed the Guideline for Acceleration.
  • ACCESS – A suite of secure, large-scale English language proficiency summative assessments administered annually to K-12 students who have been identified as EL/ELL (English Learners/English Language Learners).
  • Accountability – Holding students, teachers, administrators, and other school personnel responsible for instructional outcomes.
  • Action Information Message – A feature of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) in which a student can request permission to pursue a Type III activity, usually as a result of a Type I or Type II activity. See Schoolwide Enrichment Model.
  • Advanced Content Dimension – One of the three dimensions of the Integrated Curriculum Model that meets the gifted student’s need for acceleration by providing content earlier and faster than same-aged peers would normally receive it. See Integrated Curriculum Model.
  • Advanced Learning Plan – A feature of the Autonomous Learner Model that includes information about students’ giftedness and academic, social and emotional needs, differentiated experiences students might need, a plan for finding mentors and teachers, and ideas about how students can advocate for themselves. See Autonomous Learner Model.
  • Artistic Modification Menu – One of the six menus in the Multiple Menu Model. This model provides opportunities for teachers to modify the lesson in creative ways to increase interest and excitement. See Multiple Menu Model.
  • Ascending Intellectual Demand – A feature of the Parallel Curriculum in which teachers and curriculum designers work to create an escalating match between the learner and the curriculum. See Parallel Curriculum.
  • Assessment – The process of obtaining information used for making decisions about curricula, students, programs, and educational policy. This term is also used to describe the actual tools (tests, papers, projects, etc.) used to gather information.
  • Autonomous Learner Model – A curriculum model that helps students become independent and responsible learners by giving them increased responsibility for their learning.


  • Best work portfolios – A carefully selected combination of materials that showcases examples of a student’s best work and serves as a final summative assessment.


  • Checklists – Scoring tools that list the behaviors or characteristics of a process or product for teachers to check if the behaviors are present.
  • Cluster grouping – Grouping options that places five to ten high-ability students in one regular class per grade.
  • Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) – The official compilation of all administrative regulations issued by Maryland state agencies. Regulations governing the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) fall under Title 13A.
  • Cognitive ability – A general mental capability involving reasoning, problem-solving, planning, abstract thinking, complex idea comprehension, and learning from experience.
  • Common Core State Standards (Common Core) – A set of academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). Common Core outlines what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The standards place emphasis on helping students obtain skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college and careers.
  • Concurrent enrollmentSee Dual enrollment.
  • ConfratuteConfratute is a summer conference at the University of Connecticut that focuses on Enrichment Teaching and Learning and combines the best qualities of a CONference with a summer instiTUTE and adds a whole lot of FRAternity.
  • Connections Parallel – One of the four parallels of the Parallel Curriculum Model. It has students use common concepts, generalizations, principles, and skills to make connections within and across disciplines, times, cultures, and places. See Parallel Curriculum Model.
  • Content – What teachers expect students to know.
  • Core Parallel – One of the four parallels in the Parallel Curriculum Model. It focuses on the essential nature (content, concepts, principles, and skills) of a discipline as experts in the discipline conceive of and practice. See Parallel Curriculum Model.
  • Creativity – The process of developing new, uncommon, or unique ideas. The federal definition of giftedness identifies creativity as a specific component of giftedness.
  • Criterion-referenced testing – An assessment that compares a student’s test performance to his or her mastery of a body of knowledge or specific skill rather than relating scores to the performance of other students.
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse students (CLD) – Students from diverse backgrounds, including those of black, Hispanic, and Asian descent, those learning English as a second language, and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. These students are often considered underrepresented in gifted programming. They can sometimes be referred to as culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse (CLED) students.
  • Curricular – Materials or subjects that make up a field or course of study in a school.
  • Curriculum compacting – Differentiation option in which students are pretested for mastery of the material to be presented to allow time for individualized learning.
  • Curriculum models – Models that provide a theoretical framework within which specific learning activities can be planned.


  • Destination Imagination – An enrichment program similar to Odyssey of the Mind that teaches creative thinking and problem-solving along with self-confidence, interpersonal skills, and more. See Odyssey of the Mind.
  • Differentiation – Modifying curriculum and instruction according to content, pacing, and/or product to meet unique student needs in the classroom.
  • Distance learning – When a student takes a course remotely (most commonly online) from a school or teacher different from his or her local/home district. These can come in the form of online high schools, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), courses for dual credit through universities, or courses offered by Talent Search programs.
  • Distractible – Refers to students who are easily distracted, inattentive, and frequently impulsive usually, but not always, because of an underlying condition such as Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD), or Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).
  • Dual enrollment – Refers to high school students taking college courses, often for college credit. Dual enrollment is viewed as providing benefits such as greater access to a wider range of rigorous academic and technical courses, savings in time and money on a college degree, promoting efficiency of learning, and enhancing admission to and retention in college. The term may also refer to middle school students taking high school courses and earning credit toward graduation.


  • Early identification – Identifying traits or conditions at an early age.
  • Educators – Individuals who have received formal training and are usually state-certificated in education. This includes teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, teaching assistants, etc.
  • EL (English Learners) – Students who are learning English as an additional language. Special consideration should be taken to identify these students properly for gifted programming.
  • ELL (English Language Learner)See EL.
  • Enrichment – Strategies for gifted students that refer to richer and more varied educational experiences, usually modified to provide greater depth and breadth than generally provided.
  • Enrichment activities – The third of five dimensions of the Autonomous Learner Model. It includes differentiation of the curriculum by the teacher and student. See Autonomous Learner Model.
  • Enrichment cluster – A group of students, not necessarily identified as gifted, from several grades who share a common interest. The group meets with an adult who is an expert in the area of interest for six to twelve weeks.
  • ESOL (English as a Second Language)See EL.
  • ESEA – The Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) was signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who believed that “full educational opportunity” should be “our first national goal.” From its inception, ESEA was a civil rights law.
  • ESSA – The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) signed by President Barack Obama in 2015 reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s national education law.
  • Evaluation – Making a value judgement about a student’s product or performance and can be based on measurement of performance or an observation.
  • Evidenced based – Emphasizes the practical application or materials based on best available current research.
  • Excellence gap – Phrase coined by Dr. Jonathan Plucker to describe the disparity in achievement between gifted students who are members of historically underrepresented student groups, usually black and or Latino students who qualify for FARMS (Free and Reduced-Priced Meals program) and those who are not, usually white or Asian middle-to-upper-class students.
  • Extracurricular – Extracurricular programs, experiences, or materials supplement what is being taught in the classroom during the regular school day or academic year.


  • FARMS – Free and Reduced-Priced Meals program
  • Flexible grouping – Grouping strategy for differentiation in which students are grouped based on the activity and content to be covered.
  • Formal assessment – A planned, systematic attempt to discover what students have learned.
  • Formative assessment – Given before or during instruction to provide feedback, which can help the teacher guide students’ learning.
  • Frameworks – Plans or standards for learning outcomes. Some of these can be developed by local school systems or states, but most use frameworks and standards developed by the national organizations in each content area.
  • Full-time heterogeneous grouping – Grouping options for gifted learners in which gifted students receive differentiated instruction in a mixed-ability classroom.
  • Full-time homogeneous grouping – Grouping options for gifted learners in which gifted students are grouped together for most of the day.
  • Future Problem Solving Program – An enrichment program that challenges students to develop solutions to assigned problems using the Creative Problem Solving method.


  • Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences – To capture a person’s full range of abilities and talents, Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner theorized that people have many kinds of intelligence, including musical, interpersonal, spatial-visual, and linguistic intelligences.
  • Gifted and talented (federal definition) – “Gifted and talented children are those identified by professionally qualified persons, who by virtue of outstanding abilities are capable of high performance. These are children who require differentiated educational programs and/or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their contribution to self and society. …Children capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement and/or potential in any of the following areas, singly or in combination: General intellectual ability, Specific academic aptitude, Creative or productive thinking, Leadership ability, and or Visual and performing arts.” [Public Law 91-230, Section 806.]
  • Gifted and talented students – The federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act defines gifted and talented students as, “Students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities.” [Title IX, Part A, Definition 22. (2002)] Many states and districts follow the federal definition.
  • Grade acceleration – Places students in a grade level ahead of chronological age peers. Also referred to as grade skipping.
  • Grade-equivalent scores – Similar to age-equivalent score. Where a student at grade level for the specific grade (e.g., 10th grade, fourth month) would score about the same as a student who is above grade level if they had taken the same test and scored 10.4.
  • Growth portfolios – A type of performance assessment in which students collect samples of their work that are not final products, accompanied by teacher comments and the student’s self-reflection.


  • Heterogeneous grouping – Grouping students by mixed ability or readiness levels. A heterogeneous classroom is one in which a teacher is expected to meet a broad range of student needs or readiness levels. Also referred to as inclusion or inclusive classrooms.
  • Historically underrepresented populations – Groups of students who have historically not had representation or received services or support at the levels in which they appear in society. Historically underrepresented groups vary from place to place, but nationally, are considered to be black or African-American, Latino, Native American, and/or students who qualify for Free and Reduced-Priced Meals (FARMS) programs.
  • Homogeneous grouping – Grouping students by need, ability, or interest. Although variations between students exist in a homogeneous classroom, the intent of this grouping pattern is to restrict the range of student readiness or needs that a teacher must address.


  • Identification – The process of determining students qualified for gifted or advanced programming; identification most commonly occurs using intelligence or other testing.
  • Identity Parallel – One of the four parallels in the Parallel Curriculum Model. It helps students reflect on key concepts, principles, and applications in a discipline as they relate to their strengths, preferences, values, and commitment. See Parallel Curriculum Model.
  • Inclusion/inclusive classroom – An inclusive classroom contains students of varying ability levels. See Heterogenous grouping.
  • Independent study – A self-directed learning strategy where the teacher acts as guide or facilitator and the student plays a more active role in designing and managing his or her own learning, often on a topic of special interest.
  • In-depth study – The fifth of five dimensions of the Autonomous Learner Model in which students pursue areas of interest in long-term individual or small-group studies. See Autonomous Learner Model.
  • Individualized Education Plan (IEP) – An IEP is a document that delineates special education services for special needs students. The IEP includes any modifications that are required in the regular classroom and any additional special programs or services. Federal law and most states do not require IEPs for gifted learners.
  • Individualized development – The second of five dimensions of the Autonomous Learner Model. It focuses more clearly on the development of skills, concepts, and attitudes that promote lifelong independent, self-directed learning. See Autonomous Learner Model.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – Federal special education law that applies to some aspects of twice-exceptional (2E) students.
  • Informal assessment – Techniques such as observations, interviews, or reading journal entries that are conducted to provide feedback and do not involve scores or comparing students.
  • Instructional best practices – Strategies that have been tested in real-world settings with students, reflected upon, and reimagined to get valid and reliable results that are transferrable to other settings and populations.
  • Instructional Objectives/Student Activities Menu – One of the menus in the Multiple Menu Model. It involves the development of how the student will input knowledge, analyze knowledge, synthesize and apply knowledge, and finally, how the student will evaluate knowledge. See Multiple Menu Model.
  • Instructional Sequence Menu – One of the six menus in the Multiple Menu Model. It describes the sequence of instructional activities: gain attention, inform students of objectives, provide options for advanced level follow-up, relate topic to previous learning, present material, assess performance, relate topic to other disciplines, and provide opportunities for transfer and application. See Multiple Menu Model.
  • Instructional Strategies Menu – One of the six menus in the Multiple Menu Model. It itemizes teaching and learning options familiar to most teachers. See Multiple Menu Model.
  • Integrated Curriculum Model – A curriculum model that involves accelerated and advanced content, depth, and complexity through abstract concepts; direct study of higher-order thinking processes; interdisciplinary themes; and student research with culminating products for authentic audiences.
  • Intellectual ability – The skills required to think critically, see connections between disciplines, and problem-solve in new or changing situations.
  • Intelligence – The ability to learn, reason, and problem-solve.
  • Intelligence quotient (IQ) – A numerical representation of intelligence. IQ is derived from dividing mental age (result from an intelligence test) by the chronological age times 100. An average IQ is considered to be 100.
  • Intelligence test – A research-based formal tool that is taken to determine the individual’s level of intelligence. These are typically normed using national or greater standards and compares the participant to others who have also taken the assessment.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) – A demanding pre-university program that students can complete to earn college credit. IB emphasizes critical thinking and understanding of other cultures or points of view. A diploma is awarded at the completion of the IB program, which allows graduates access to universities worldwide.
  • Internship (Mentorship) – A system, program, or strategy where students with interests and/or strengths in a particular area or field of endeavor are paired with professionals or experts in that area or field. These mentors work with the students, exposing them to opportunities and information to help the student determine if that area or field would be one that they would like to pursue as a career.


  • Jacob’s Ladder – The Jacob’s Ladder Reading Comprehension Program targets reading comprehension skills in high-ability learners by moving students through an inquiry process from basic understanding to critical analyses of texts.
  • JHU–CTY – The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth
  • Joplin Plan – Another term for cross-grade grouping.
  • Junior Great Books – A popular enrichment activity that trains teachers to ask probing questions that require students to think and interpret modern and traditional literature at each grade level.


  • Knowledge Menu – One of the six menus in the Multiple Menu Model. It recommends a desirable sequence for teaching knowledge in a particular area: including location definition and organization of knowledge; basic principles and concepts; knowledge about methodology; and knowledge about specifics. See Multiple Menu Model.
  • Knowledge Tree – Part of the Knowledge Menu of the Multiple Menu Model. It is used to illustrate the organization and subdivision of a field along with the characteristics and missions of each subdivision. See Knowledge Menu, Multiple Menu Model.


  • Learning environments – The classroom arrangement, class rules, and structures (e.g., levels of student independence).
  • Learning styles/learning preferences – Preferred way(s) in which individuals interact or process new information across the three domains of learning identified in the taxonomy of education objectives: cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (attitude). An individual’s learning preference/learning style is how he or she learns best.
  • Levels of Service (LoS) approach – A curriculum model that employs a blend of services that exist in the general education program with a school’s talent development efforts.
  • Local contact information – Contact information for your local school system representative who oversees or is responsible for gifted and/or advanced education (sometimes called TAG) programs.


  • Magnet schools – A public school program that focuses on a specific learning area such as math, science, technology, or the performing arts.
  • Maryland Comprehensive Program (MCAP) – New Maryland state assessment test given to students in grades three through eight in mathematics and English, and in the tenth grade in English. Students will still be required to take a test at the end of Algebra I to complete the course.
  • Maryland Annotated Code – Maryland state law passed by the legislature, as opposed to the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), which is adopted by the Maryland State Department of Education and are regulations that supports the law.
  • MATHCOUNTS– A national program that promotes better math skills for all students and creates opportunities for those who excel to compete at local, state, and national levels.
  • Mentor – A community member who shares his or her expertise with a student who has similar career or field-of-study aspirations.
  • Mentoring Mathematical Minds (M3) – Mentoring Mathematical Minds is a series of curriculum units developed to motivate and challenge mathematically talented students at the elementary level.
  • Mentoring Young Mathematicians (M2) – Mentoring Young Mathematicians is a series of eight curriculum units designed for grades K-2 to foster inquiry and engage students in critical-thinking, problem-solving, and communication activities.
  • Mentorship – A student works with a community professional who serves as a role model, guide, teacher, and friend.
  • Montessori education – Developed by Maria Montessori, this is a method of observing and supporting what she considered to be the natural development of a child. Authentic Montessori educational practice helps children develop creativity, problem-solving, critical-thinking, and time-management skills, as well as learn how to care for the environment and each other.
  • Multiple intelligences – See Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences.
  • Multiple measures – The selection and use of multiple assessments, tools, or methodologies that produce multiple data points that are used to measure diverse abilities, talents, and strengths that are based on current theories, models, and research.
  • Multiple Menu Model – A curriculum model that focuses on teaching content and thinking processes in efficient and interesting ways. It includes six planning menus that provide guidance for designing curriculum. See Artistic Modification Menu, Instructional Objectives/Student Activities Menu, Instruction Sequence Menu, Instructional Strategies Menu, Knowledge Menu, Knowledge Tree.


  • Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) – A nonverbal test of general ability commonly used to identify gifted children. The questions on the NNAT are composed of shapes and/or symbols and require few instructions.
  • National History Day – An enrichment activity in which students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct primary and secondary research and present their findings.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) – A set of science standards that outlines what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The standards emphasize helping students obtain skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college and careers.
  • Norm-referenced testing – An assessment that compares an individual’s results with a large group of individuals who have taken the same assessment. Examples include the SAT and Iowa Assessments (formerly known as Iowa Tests of Basic Skills).


  • Odyssey of the Mind – An enrichment program similar to Destination Imagination that teaches creative-thinking and problem-solving along with self-confidence, interpersonal skills, and more. See Destination Imagination.
  • Online mentoring – A mentoring relationship that is conducted online, sometimes through e-mail or discussion boards.
  • Orientation – The first of the five dimensions of the Autonomous Learner Model (ALM) in which students, teachers, administrators, and parents learn about the central concepts of gifted education and the specifics of the ALM as well as about themselves and their giftedness.
  • Overexcitability – A theory proposed by Kazimierz Dąbrowski, a Polish psychologist, psychiatrist, and physician, that suggests that some individuals have heightened sensitivities, awareness, and intensity in one or more of five areas: psychomotor, sensual, intellectual, imaginational, and emotional.


  • Parallel Curriculum Model– A curriculum model developed from NAGC’s curriculum initiative. It includes four parallel ways that educators can approach curriculum design that is appropriate for gifted learners by using any one of the parallels or a combination of the four parallels. See Connections Parallel, Core Parallel, Identity Parallel, Practice Parallel.
  • PARCC – Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
  • Part-time grouping – Grouping options in which gifted students are grouped for part of the time during the day, week, or semester for specialized instruction.
  • Percentile score/percentile ranking – The percentile rank of a score is the percentage of scores in its frequency distribution that are equal to or lower than it. For example, a test score that is greater than 75% of the scores of people taking the test is said to be at the 75th percentile, where 75 is the percentile rank.
  • Performance assessment – Any form of assessment that requires students to carry out an activity or develop a product to demonstrate skill or knowledge.
  • Portfolios – An alternative or supplement to traditional measures of giftedness, portfolios offer a collection of a student’s work over time that can help to determine achievement and progress. Many of the elements found in portfolios cannot be captured by a standardized test.
  • Primary Talent Development (PTD) – The Primary Talent Development Early Learning Program PreK-2 is a science-based critical and creative- thinking curriculum that integrates gifted education and early childhood education theory and practice.
  • Practice Parallel – One of the four parallels in the Parallel Curriculum Model that ask learners to apply the concepts, principles, and methodologies of a discipline as an expert would use them to address important issues, questions, and problems. See Parallel Curriculum Model.
  • Problem-based learning – A curriculum and instruction model that asks students to solve real-world, complex, or open-ended problems by using research, decision-making, creative and critical thinking, and other skills.
  • Process – How the students make sense of the content and include the various activities teachers use (e.g., homework assignments, class discussions, etc.).
  • Products – How students demonstrate what they have learned.
  • Professional learning – Continuous personalized learning designed to help educators continue to grow and improve personally and professionally.
  • Pull-out program – A program in which students are pulled out of their regular classroom once or twice a week for two to three hours per session to participate in enrichment activities.
  • Purdue Three-Stage Enrichment Model – A curriculum model that has both program and curriculum development components that provide engaging instruction for gifted and talented students.



  • Resource program – A district-wide pullout plan in which gifted students are transported to specially equipped and staffed resource rooms or enrichment centers for one or two sessions per week.
  • Resource room – A place where pull-out programs meet and where special reading materials and equipment resources are located. See Pull-out program.
  • Response to intervention (RTI) – RTI is a general education method identifying and serving students with diverse educational needs, particularly those children with disabilities.
  • Rubric – A chart composed of criteria for evaluation and levels of fulfillment of those criteria. A rubric allows for standardized evaluation according to specified criteria, making grading simpler and more transparent.


  • Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) – A curriculum model that emphasizes the schoolwide focus of the program and involves three types of enrichment.
  • Scientific research – A project investigating a problem that does not have a predetermined conclusion. This involves finding or developing a solution by gathering, recording, and interpreting raw data and then presenting the solution authentically to a real audience.
  • Screening – A process or instrument designed to generate data to help educators determine appropriate supports, programs, or other actions necessary to provide a student with the most productive educational opportunities.
  • Seminars – The fourth of five dimensions of the Autonomous Learner Model. It is designed to give each person in a group of three to five students the opportunity to research a topic and present it in a seminar format to the rest of the group. See Autonomous Learner Model.
  • Services – Intangible products or assistance from professionals, experts, trained and untrained individuals, or groups that help to advance or improve the internal, external, or environmental conditions (e.g., physiological, psychological, spiritual, etc.) of an individual or group by lessening or eliminating needs.
  • SENG – An organization devoted to Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted.
  • Social-emotional needs – Gifted and talented students may have affective needs that include heightened or unusual sensitivity to self-awareness, emotions, and expectations of themselves or others, and a sense of justice, moral judgment, or altruism. Counselors working in this area may address issues such as perfectionism, depression, low self-concept, bullying, or underachievement.
  • Socratic seminars – Socratic seminars are based on the Greek philosopher Socrates, who taught his followers by asking questions. A Socratic seminar is a collaborative, intellectual dialogue facilitated with open-ended questions based on a text.
  • Special populations – Groups that are historically underrepresented in the population as a whole or in a specific area or circumstance. See Historically underrepresented populations.
  • Stanine or stanine score – A stanine (“standard nine”) score is a way to scale scores on a nine-point scale. It can be used to convert any test score to a single-digit score.
  • STEM – An acronym for the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Providing STEM curriculum is encouraged as a way to grow students’ interests and potentials in these areas. Some researchers lump the arts (STEAM) into this category of instruction.
  • Summative assessment – A form of assessment that helps the teacher evaluate students’ progress and the effectiveness of instructional methods, at the end of a unit or grading period.
  • Synchronous – Occurring at the same time or synced to/with something. This can also refer to individuals whose intellect, emotional, or physical rates of growth are in sync with what is considered typical for age or chronological development stage.


  • Talent development – Programs, curricula, and services for gifted and talented students that can best meet their needs, promote their achievements in life, and contribute to the enhancement of our society when schools identify students’ specific talent strengths and focus educational services on these talents.
  • Talent pool – The top 15 to 20% of the general population in either general ability or one or more specific areas of ability in the major categories of school achievement.
  • Talent search – A special program that uses out-of-level testing (commonly the SAT or ACT) to identify high-potential students and allow them to participate in a variety of out-of-school activities. These may occur in the form of Saturday or summer courses or distance learning programs. There are three major talent searches in the U.S.: Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY), Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development (CTD), and  Center for Bright Kids (formerly Rocky Mountain Talent Search) in Denver, CO.
  • Talent spotting – The process of “spotting” or finding individuals who have certain gifts, talents, traits, or abilities, so that they can be observed more closely and/or formally screened for programs and specialized support.
  • Telescope – To cover the same amount of materials or activities in less time, thereby allowing more time for enrichment activities and projects that better suit the interests, needs, and readiness levels of gifted students.
  • Tiered instruction – Creating the best possible lesson and then making it either more or less challenging to fit different levels of student readiness.
  • Twice-exceptional (2e) – A term used to describe a student who is gifted and has a disability. These students may also be referred to as having dual exceptionalities or as being gifted with learning disabilities (GT/LD). This also applies to students who are gifted and have ADHD or are gifted and have autism.


  • Underachieving/underachievement – A term used to describe the discrepancy between a student’s performance and their potential or ability to perform at a much higher level.
  • Universal screening– The process of providing an assessment for all students to provide additional data points, which may lead them to be provided with additional services or supports.