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TCEA’s New Course on Understanding and Teaching Gifted Learners

by Miguel Guhlin
TEA Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students

Since 2019, the Texas Education Agency has required gifted and talented training. Teachers must earn six hours of annual professional development. TCEA is proud to provide a self-paced online course that supports teachers in earning these six hours. The course, Understanding and Teaching Gifted Learners, examines various factors impacting gifted education.

State Goal for Services for Gifted/Talented Students

The Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted Talented Students states:

Students who participate in services designed for gifted/talented students will demonstrate:

  • skills in self-directed learning
  • thinking
  • research
  • communication

What’s more, this demonstration requires evidence in the form of innovative products and performances that reflect individuality and creativity. It should also be advanced in relation to students of similar age, experience, or environment.

With these expectations in mind, how do schools ensure ongoing professional learning opportunities? One way is to provide educators the opportunity to complete this new course from TCEA.

Satisfying the State Requirement

This course meets the requirements outlined in TEA’s plan. That is, it provides six (6) hours of annual professional development (detailed in 19 TAC §89.2(3) and TAC §233.1). With district approval, teachers can use this course to meet the six hours.

The course develops teachers’ deep understanding of what it means to be gifted. Course participants also learn how to identify students who can benefit from gifted services.

TCEA’s courses allow for enrolled educators to begin at any time. What’s more, those enrolled can complete coursework at their own pace over the course of one calendar year. The course developer has provided videos with specific suggestions that present an array of methods to enhance instruction.

Course Modules

Participants will work through activities in five modules. The modules include:

  • Nature and Needs. Develop an understanding of what it means to be a gifted learner. Explore what required accommodations there may be for gifted students.
  • Identification and Assessments. With accurate identification, student can reach their full potential in gifted programs. Tools and methods for identification are shared.
  • Curriculum and Instruction. Differentiation is key in classrooms with gifted children. Explore the Texas Performance Standards Projects curriculum, and learn various strategies to assist gifted students in growing their knowledge and talents.
  • Dimensions of Depth and Complexity. This framework contains research-proven strategies. It includes eleven depth and complexity thinking prompts that support student learning.
  • Content Imperatives. This continued exploration of the framework focuses on five content imperatives. Learn how to use them to increase rigor in the classroom.

Teachers can earn a digital badge and a digital certificate upon course completion. Additionally, educators who complete the course also get 12 CPE hours.

Course Prerequisites and Requirements

There are no prerequisites for this online, self-paced course. This makes it a course worthy of consideration for in-service educators as it may assist them in deepening their knowledge in this area.

How to Sign Up

The course is available for $39 for individuals or $34 per person for groups of 10 or more. Contact Miguel Guhlin (mguhlin@tcea.org) for quotes for 10 or more people. Large groups can also pay via TCEA Credit Card Authorization Form.

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