10 Terms That Gifted Educators Should Know

Early today, I was reminiscing about all of the talks that I used to have with a colleague of mine, while we were both educators working in Jackson Public Schools. I was a special education teacher, and she was a gifted education teacher. You would think that special education and gifted education are incongruent disciplines, but they are two sides of the same coin. I mean in the sense that both attempt to help students maximize their academic potential.

I learned a lot from her and our conversations. In honor of our talks, I decided to write an article entitled 10 terms that gifted educators should know.

Cluster Grouping

A form of gifted student grouping that is used to assign them in the regular classroom. Usually, five to seven gifted students with similar skills, gifts, and interests are grouped together in the same classroom, which allows the teacher to differentiate their instruction successfully.

Curriculum Compacting

A teacher strategy that gives teachers the ability to modify the curriculum for advanced students by identifying which students are proficient in all or most of the learning outcomes and developing differentiated instructional activities which will provide these students with more of a challenge and help them live up to their academic potential.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

A rigorous pre-college initiative that students can take to earn college credit. The program stresses critical thinking and cultural diversity. At the end of the program, students are awarded a diploma, which allows graduates access to universities worldwide.

Flexible Grouping

A teaching tactic in which students are grouped to receive advanced instruction.

Homogeneous Grouping

A process in which educators assemble students by need, ability, or interest.


Learning experiences that add to or go beyond the existing curriculum. This could be in the form of additional assignments, projects, service learning, etc.

Talent Development

Learning experiences, curriculum and support services for gifted and talented students that can help them reach their potential.

Talent Search

An initiative that uses assessments to find students with high potential and provides opportunities for them to participate in various challenging actives outside of school.


To teach and assess the same amount of learning experiences in a short duration of time, in an attempt to carve out more time for enrichment activities that better fit the interests, needs, and readiness levels of gifted students.


A word that is used to describe the discrepancy between a child’s academic achievement and their potential to excel at a much more prominent level.

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