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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Department of Education
Board
State Board of Education
chapter
Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia [8 VAC 20 ‑ 542]
Action Comprehensive Revision of the Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 10/31/2015
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10/31/15  11:40 am
Commenter: Virginia Association for the Gifted

Proposed Gifted Endorsement/Competencies Recommendations
 

The Board of Directors of the Virginia Association for the Gifted has reviewed the requirements for the add-on endorsement in gifted education and offers the following review and recommendations for consideration by Virginia’s State Board of Education. Overall, the endorsement requirements and competencies represent progress in the professional growth of teachers there are a few areas in which the Association would like to offer suggestions. The endorsement requirements (8VAC20-23-370. Gifted education) as outlined below are found to be suitable for ensuring that educators of the gifted are well-equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully meet the needs of gifted learners throughout Virginia.

The candidate must have:

1.An earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university and hold a license issued by the Virginia Board of Education with a teaching endorsement in a teaching area; and

2.Completed an approved teacher preparation program in gifted education; or

3.Completed the following requirements:

a.An earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university and hold a license issued by the Virginia Board of Education with a teaching endorsement in a teaching area; and

b.Completed 12 semester hours of graduate-level coursework in gifted education distributed in the following areas:

(1)Introduction to the gifted including models and methods for identification of giftedness: (3 graduate level hours);

(2)Social and emotional development and guidance of gifted learners: (3 graduate level hours);

(3)Curriculum, instruction and assessment strategies (including student academic growth assessments) for gifted learners: (3 graduate level hours);

c.Advanced work (3 graduate level hours) in one of the following areas:

a.Advanced curriculum, instruction, and assessment design

b.Advanced program development and evaluation

c.Advanced study in underrepresented populations

4.Completed a practicum of at least 45 instructional hours. This practicum shall include a minimum of 45 instructional hours of successful teaching experiences with gifted students in a public or an accredited nonpublic school. In lieu of the practicum, one year of successful, full-time teaching experience with gifted students in a public or an accredited nonpublic school may be accepted provided the teacher is assigned a mentor holding a valid license with an endorsement in gifted education

The competencies (8VAC20-543-320. Gifted education competencies) as outlined below are found to be suitable for ensuring that the coursework completed to earn an add-on endorsement in gifted education are comprehensive, cohesive and reflective of the current gifted education field. Mastery of these competencies establishes a foundation for educators to have the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the needs of gifted learners throughout Virginia.

The program in gifted education shall ensure that the candidate holds an active license with a teaching endorsement or endorsements issued by the Virginia Board of Education and has demonstrated the following competencies:

1.Understanding of principles of the integration of gifted education and general education, including:

a.Strategies to facilitate the interaction of gifted students with students of similar and differing intellectual and academic abilities;

b.Development of activities to encourage parental and community involvement in the education of the gifted;

c.Strategies to encourage collaboration among professional colleagues, especially in the areas of curriculum and professional development; and

d.Strategies to collaborate and consult with general education teachers and other resource specialists on behalf of gifted students.

2.Understanding of the characteristics of gifted students, including:

a.Varied expressions of advanced aptitudes, skills, creativity, and conceptual understandings;

b.Varied expressions of the affective (social-emotional) needs of gifted students; and

c.Gifted behaviors in special populations (i.e., those who are culturally and linguistically diverse, economically disadvantaged, highly gifted, or have special needs or disabilities, including twice-exceptional students).

3.Understanding of specific techniques to identify gifted students using diagnostic and prescriptive approaches to assessment, including:

a.The selection, use, and interpretation of multiple standardized, norm-referenced aptitude and achievement assessment instruments;

b.The selection, use, and evaluation of multiple identification criteria and strategies;

c.The use of both formal and informal nonbiased measures to provide relevant information regarding the aptitude and ability or achievement of potentially gifted students;

d.The use of authentic assessment tools such as portfolios to determine performance, motivation, interest, and other characteristics of potentially gifted students;

e.The use and interpretation of reliable rating scales, checklists, and questionnaires by parents, teachers, and others;

f.The evaluation of data collected from student records such as grades, honors, and awards;

g.The use of case study reports providing information regarding exceptional conditions; and

h.The roles and responsibilities of the identification and placement committee.

4.Understanding and application of a variety of curricular and instructional models, methodologies, and strategies that ensure:

a.The use of the Virginia Standards of Learning as a foundation to develop a high level of proficiency, academic rigor, and complexity for gifted learners in all curricular academic areas;

b.The acquisition of knowledge and development of products that demonstrate creative and critical thinking as applied to student learning both in and out of the classroom, including inquiry-based instruction, questioning strategies, and problem-solving skills;

c.The development of learning environments that guide students to become self-directed, reflective, independent learners;

d.The acquisition of tools to enable students to contribute to a multicultural, diverse society, including preparation for college and careers; and

e.The development of learning environments that recognize and support the affective needs of the gifted students.

5.Understanding and application of theories and principles of appropriately differentiating curriculum specifically designed to accommodate the accelerated learning aptitudes of gifted students, including:

a.Accelerated and enrichment opportunities that recognize gifted students' needs for advanced content and pacing of instruction, original research or production, problem-finding and problem-solving, higher level thinking that leads to the generation of products, and a focus on issues, themes, and ideas integrated within and across disciplines;

b.Opportunities for students to explore, develop, and research their areas of interest, talent, or strength using varied modes of expression;

c.Emphasis on advanced and complex content that is paced and sequenced to respond to gifted students' persistent intellectual, artistic, or technical curiosity; exceptional problem-solving abilities; rapid acquisition and mastery of information; conceptual thinking processes; and imaginative expression across a broad range of disciplines;

d.Evaluation of student academic growth and learner outcomes through appropriate multiple criteria, including a variety of pre-assessments and post-assessments; and

e.Use of current and advanced technologies to enhance student performance and academic growth.

6.Understanding the fundamental principles of differentiated curricula for effective program planning and evaluation, including:

a.Program design and development for gifted learners;

b.Research and topics for affective administrative arrangements, supervision, and program implementation;

c.Activities to encourage parental and community involvement in gifted education; and

d.Strategies for building an effective advisory committee;

7.Understanding of contemporary issues and research in gifted education, including:

a.The systematic gathering, analyzing, and reporting of formative and summative data from local, state, and national perspectives; and

b.Current local, state, and national policies, trends, and issues.

8.Understanding of and proficiency in grammar, usage, and mechanics and their integration in all forms of communication.

9.Understanding of and proficiency in pedagogy to incorporate writing as an instructional and assessment tool for candidates to generate, gather, plan, organize, and present ideas in writing to communicate for a variety of purposes.

10.The program shall include a practicum that shall include a minimum of 45 instructional hours of successful teaching experiences with gifted students.

The Board of Directors of the Virginia Association for the Gifted supports the State Board of Education’s efforts to refine our preparation for educators who work with gifted learners. We offer our support and collaboration with the State Board, the Virginia Advisory Committee for the Education of the Gifted, and the Consortium of Gifted Education Administrators to promote this work.

Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl A. McCullough, President

Virginia Association for the Gifted