Certification and Endorsement in Gifted and Talented Education: What the Teacher Educator Should Know

Certification and Endorsement in Gifted and Talented Education: What the Teacher Educator Should Know

Jessica Cannaday (Azusa Pacific University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3041-1.ch001
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Although endorsement and certification in gifted was a prevalent topic in the 1970s and 1980s, certification and endorsement needs for gifted and talented education (GATE) teachers has not been discussed extensively in the recent literature. This chapter provides an updated look at endorsement and certification through a review of teacher, parent, student, school counselor, and mental health professional perceptions regarding training needs in gifted education. Thematically, identification and characteristics of the gifted, differentiation for gifted learners, and the social and emotional needs of the gifted are discussed, and recommendations are made regarding pre-service coursework.
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According to the most recent State of the States in Gifted Education survey (NAGC-CSDG, 2014/15) only 17 of 41 States participating in the bi-annual survey have at least one full time employee devoted to gifted education policy and practice. Moreover only 15 State respondents report having teacher training for gifted as required practice, and only 19 of responding States require gifted education credentials or certification for those teachers who teach primarily in gifted education classrooms. Finally, the State of the States in gifted education survey indicates that a majority of general education teachers have little to no training in gifted education, and only 12 responding States indicated required gifted education coursework in teacher training programs.

The lack of training opportunities in gifted education available to teacher candidates is known to contribute to several problems in gifted education; including lack of identification for underrepresented groups (Ford, 2014), lack of differentiation for both English learners and twice-exceptional students (Ford, Grantham and Whiting, 2008; Stein, Hetzel, and Beck, 2012; Willard-Holt, Weber, Morrison, and Horgan, 2013), and litigation against schools and districts when students needs go unmet in identification or instructional processes (Karnes and Marquardt, 1997; Zirkel, 2005; Peters, and Engerrand,, 2016). The problems stated are insidious and may increase the achievement gap present in the United States (Freeman, Freeman, and Mercuri, 2002), if left unresolved. Specifically one resolution recommended by this author is for teacher preparation programs to increase and improve new teacher training in gifted and talented education.

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