Glossary of Terms

The following glossary is adapted from the Indiana Association for the Gifted (IAG) Resource Guide for Indiana Parents & Teachers, 2nd Edition. It was constructed by modifying and adding to a similar glossary published by the California Association for the Gifted.  The Glossary appeared in their publication: The Challenge of Raising Your Gifted Child (1998). 

 

IAG included implications in the Resource Guide for the terms in red. View them by clicking on the entry. Implications are defined as the issues, concerns, and considerations of the term as it is applied specifically to gifted students and gifted education.

 

Ability Grouping  Grouping students by ability or readiness level. Groups can be formed and reformed to meet varied instructional purposes. Ability grouping is not synonymous with "tracking."

 

Academic Excellence   Expecting each student to work at maximum level toward a set of external standards as defined by state, district, and/or local school. Learning and performing for each student should be at a challenge level commensurate with each student's skills and developed abilities.

 

Accelerated Learning Pacing students through the curriculum at a rate commensurate with their advanced ability.  Students may or may not be formally identified as high ability to participate in some forms of accelerated learning.

 

Achievement Test A test that measures the extent to which a student has mastered the skills and knowledge of a particular area.

 

Advanced Placement Any of 33 classes endorsed by the College Board in which a secondary student can earn college credit by successfully meeting criteria established by higher education institutions on a nationally given and scored Advanced Placement examination. Students also earn high school credit upon successful completion of the course(s).

 

Affective Learning Incorporating into the curriculum opportunities for students to address values, attitudes, and appreciations of self and others.

 

Anchoring An instructional strategy that provides meaningful and important independent activities with challenge levels ranging from remediated to accelerated in content and/or enrichment areas.  This is a type of differentiation.

 

At-Risk Students who may underachieve or who may drop out of school. Unmet economic, physical, emotional, linguistic, and/or academic needs may inhibit a student's ability to learn or attend school.

 

Alternative Assessment Procedures designed to reduce any assessment biases that may be inherent in other assessment methods used to evaluate the levels of services needed for high ability students. Also referred to as other forms of assessment.

 

Authentic Assessment Process of evaluating student learning using student products or performance instead of traditional standardized tests. It allows students to be evaluated with regard to their individuality and creativity.

 

Basic Inclusion  As used in Indiana, it refers to students randomly placed in classrooms without regard to their readiness levels, abilities, interests, and /or learning styles.

 

Behavioral Rating Scale/Checklist A checklist or scale that reports the frequency or extent to which an individual demonstrates specific actions or characteristics.

 

Broad-Based Planning Committee  In Indiana Administrative Code, “Broad-based planning committee” means a diverse group with representation from educators, parents, students, community members, and  other stakeholders; organized for the purposes of planning and development of programs for high ability students.

 

Cluster Grouping A method for organizing a heterogeneous classroom by purposefully assigning students with similar readiness levels, interests, learning styles, and/or abilities to the same classroom.

 

Collaborative Learning A teaching strategy whereby students are expected to share expertise and effort in order to create a common project/product.

 

Compliance This term is used when the Indiana Department of Education evaluates school corporation applications for grants for high ability programs.  It indicates agreement between the school corporation and State for the program components outlined in the Indiana Code and Administrative Rule 511 (Section 1 511 IAC 6-9.1). All items must be adhered to for compliance.

 

Constructivism This view of learning is based on the premise that all learners make sense of (construct) their worlds by synthesizing new experiences with what they already know and understand. Hence, students create as well as consume knowledge.

 

Content/ Process /Product The elements of curriculum. Content is the subject matter. Process is the skill included in the curriculum. Product is the output of learning or form of communication such as writing, illustrating, performing, debating, etc.

 

Cooperative Learning The practice of assigning a common task and/or project to a group of students with varying ability levels often reflecting the full range of student achievement and aptitude. The purpose of such learning is to prepare students to live in a democratic society; to help them understand group membership and group dynamics; and to allow them to practice both leadership and follower skills.

 

Core Curriculum The common knowledge and skills to be learned by all students of a particular grade; reading, writing, mathematics, history-social studies, and science make up core curriculum.

 

Creativity The human attribute of constructive originality. It is the process of combining what exists into something new. The something new could be procedure, idea, or product relative to the individual. Creativity needs to be nurtured in students to develop the abilities necessary to affect our society with new ideas and solutions to problems.

 

Critical Thinking The development of analytical thinking for purposes of decision making. This includes using specific attitudes and skills such as analyzing arguments carefully, seeing others' points of view, and reaching sound conclusions.

 

Cross-Grade Grouping Students from two or more grade levels with similar readiness levels, interests, and/or learning styles are placed together in a classroom.

 

Curriculum Compacting A process used to give students validation for what they already know. It allows students who demonstrate mastery to omit portions of assigned curriculum, or to move more quickly through curriculum than would be typical. Students are thus able to "buy time" which can be used to accelerate content or to pursue enrichment activities while the unit is being taught to other students.

 

Curriculum & Instructional Strategies Plan One of the five written levels of service program plans required for corporations participating in the State G/T Grant Program. The plan details how the curriculum and instruction are differentiated in breadth or depth to meet the needs of one or more high ability students within the corporation through activities such as compacting, acceleration, enrichment, and problem solving. It also indicates how the curriculum for high ability students is differentiated from the general education curriculum to promote such things as higher order thinking, decisions making, creative problem solving, and effective researching. 

 

Differentiation Adapting the curriculum to meet the unique needs of learners by making modifications in complexity, depth, and pacing. It may include selecting, rather than covering all, the curriculum areas dependent on the individual needs of students.  In Indiana Administrative Code, “Differentiated” means providing tiered levels of services for all educational needs.

 

Domain  As used in Indiana Code, "domain" includes the following areas of aptitude and talent: general intellectual, general creative, specific academic, technical and practical arts, visual and performing arts, interpersonal.  See definitions for each of the domains in this glossary.

 

Dual/Concurrent Enrollment Students earn credit at two levels while enrolled on one course.  While this is usually college credit and high school credit while enrolled in a course of study, it could also apply to receiving high school credit for a course taken while in an earlier grade.

 

Early Entrance Students begin their elementary school or college education prior to the designated chronological age of entrance.

 

Elitist Advocating the selection and treatment of people as superior in some way and therefore favored.

 

Enrichment Activities that supplement the core curriculum. Such activities are generally not specified in the curriculum and are selected by the teacher and/or students in a given classroom.

 

Equity Fair and impartial learning opportunities and access to good teaching for all students. In order to meet educational needs at all levels of development, these opportunities should encourage and enable all students to develop to their fullest potential.

 

General Creative  One of the domains of high ability as listed in Indiana Code.  According to Indiana Administrative Code, “General creative” means understanding facts and concepts, developing skills and generalizations, and evaluating their relationships as they apply to activities, such as problem finding, divergent thinking, flexibility, elaboration, and originality.

 

General Intellectual  One of the domains of high ability as listed in Indiana Code.  According to Indiana Administrative Code, “General intellectual” means understanding facts and concepts, developing skills and generalizations, and evaluating their relationships as they apply to a broad array of disciplines.

 

Gifted and Talented There is no single definition of “gifted” or “talented.”  In Indiana, each school corporation may determine the identification criteria used to determine who will participate in programs it designs to serve students of high ability.

 

Grade Skipping Students progress through grade level instruction skipping one or more grades.

 

Grading The evaluation of student work by teachers; usually recorded in letter grades or in percentages.

 

Guidance & Counseling Plan  One of the five written levels of service program plans required for corporations participating in the State G/T Grant Program. The plan outlines the services within the corporation to meet the social-affective needs and educational career plans of the high ability students.  It may include topics such as:

(1)       academic program planning

(2)       career & life planning

(3)       organization & management skills

(4)       stress management

(5)       bibliotherapy

(6)       individual-, small-, or large- group counseling sessions

 

Heterogeneous/Homogeneous Grouping Grouping heterogeneously generally occurs by chronological age level and without regard for the diverse needs of students, their learning styles, or their interests. Homogeneous grouping is based on common criteria such as the students' interests, special needs, or academic abilities.

 

High Ability Student In Indiana Code "high ability student" means a student who performs at, or shows the potential for performing at, an outstanding level of accomplishment in at least one (1) domain when compared to other students of the same age, experience, or environment; and is characterized by exceptional gifts, talents, motivation, or interests.

 

Honors Class Classes at the middle school/junior high or high school level in which content, pace, or depth of instruction is accelerated.  Traditionally, students who meet prerequisite criteria are accepted into these courses.

 

Independent Study or Self-Directed Study Allowing students to follow individual or self-selected areas of interest and specific aptitude by designing and implementing their own study plans. Close monitoring by teachers is an essential component of independent study.

 

Individualization Providing a specific program that meets the particular needs, interests, and/or abilities of an individual student for some part of his/her educational experience. It does not mean, however, that every child is working in isolation on a different level or a different subject at all times. It does mean that students are working on levels commensurate with their assessed ability, needs, and/or interests.

 

Instructional Scaffolding An apprenticeship approach to instruction which places the teacher in a collaborative, interactive role with students by providing carefully structured and sequenced support as they undertake new and more difficult tasks. Emphasis is on teacher modeling, extension, rephrasing, questioning, praise, and correction rather than on the teacher as evaluator.

 

Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.) A measure of ability or aptitude at a given point in time, comparing children of the same chronological age. It is a test designed to measure one's potential for learning including abstract thinking and reasoning, knowledge acquisition, and problem-solving abilities.  Originally it was considered to be the sole way of measuring student ability. Current thinking now accepts I.Q. as one of the many ways to measure a student's academic potential.

 

Interdisciplinary Curriculum A curriculum that is structured to study a topic or concept by gathering and relating information and ideas from multiple disciplines.

 

International Baccalaureate (IB) A rigorous international pre-university course of study, leading to examinations, that meets the needs of highly motivated and academically superior secondary school students. IB has a comprehensive classics curriculum (languages, sciences, mathematics, and humanities) that allows its graduates to fulfill education requirements of various nations. Only schools approved by the IB organization may offer the program. Also, school fees are charged by the IB organization.

 

ICAN (Individualized Curriculum & Assessment Notebook)  A web-based software system that manages individualized curriculum, assessment, and analysis through standards-based accountability. Some features ICAN offers include standards lists, curriculum manuals, lesson plan books, project planners, skills checklists, assignment/assessment reports, electronic portfolios, term report cards, permanent progress records, and graphs/charts to analyze progress.

 

Indiana Administrative Code (IAC) The rules developed by the State Board of Education which are most frequently contained in Indiana Administrative Code 511.  They are the State School Board’s interpretation of the statutes passed by the Indiana General Assembly. (Also known as Rule 511)

 

Indiana Association for the Gifted IAG is a united body of parents, educators and concerned citizens committed to the advocacy and advancement of educational practices and resources which will meet the unique learning needs of gifted/talented students.

 

Indiana Code (IC) The state statutes created by the Indiana General Assembly. After passing a statute, the legislature may  delegate authority to a state agency (such as the DOE) or board to develop further rules (regulations) to carry out and implement the law.

 

Interpersonal One of the domains of high ability as listed in Indiana Code.  According to Indiana Administrative Code, “Interpersonal” means understanding facts and concepts, developing skills and generalizations, and evaluating their relationships as they apply to areas, such as leadership, mediation,  counseling, and communication.

 

Learning Styles A student's preference for a mode of learning and/or a type of learning environment. For example, a student could favor auditory learning in an independent learning environment.

 

Levels of Services Program Plan The plans developed outlining the educational programming differentiated in depth and breadth to meet the needs of one or more high ability student through activities such as

(1)       Compacting

(2)       Acceleration

(3)       Enrichment

(4)       Problem-Solving

(5)       Creative Thinking

 

Magnet School or Magnet Program Many school districts, especially those with large student enrollments, select individual schools to emphasize particular programs or services. Some magnet programs focus on specific learning areas such as math, science, or performing arts. Others are designed to serve a specific student population such as highly gifted or gifted and high ability students. Since space is usually limited, special entrance requirements may apply.

 

Mandated Program A legally required program or action authorized by law.

 

Mentor An adult member of the community who can provide expertise and/or advice in a field of study or other community endeavor when matched with a student on a one-to-one basis.

 

Multifaceted Assessment According to Indiana Administrative Code, “Multifaceted assessment” means collecting and analyzing data to identify the educational needs of high ability students through the following:

(1)       Performance-based assessment, which includes evaluating the performance of students involved in complex learning opportunities through the use of instruments, such as rating scales, observation or interviews, portfolios, structured observations or interviews.

(2)       Potential-based assessment, which includes evaluating the potential performance of high ability students through the use of instruments, such as standardized intelligence tests, standardized achievement tests, behavior rating scales.

(3)       Other forms of assessment, which include using procedures designed to reduce any assessment biases that may be inherent in other assessment methods used to evaluate the levels of services needed for high ability students.

 

Multifaceted Assessment Plan One of the five written levels of service program plans required for corporations participating in the State G/T Grant Program. It outlines the instruments used to identify the needs of high ability students and measure their progress and must include at least one performance-based measure, one potential-based measure, and one other form of assessment.

 

Multiple Intelligences The theory that intelligence can be expressed in a variety of ways and is not limited to the rational linear mode. The theory commonly associated with Howard Gardner identifies at least seven intelligences: linguistic, musical, spatial, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.

 

National Association for the Gifted (NAGC) An organization of parents, teachers, educators, other professionals and community leaders who unite to address the unique needs of children and youth with demonstrated gifts and talents as well as those children who may be able to develop their talent potential with appropriate educational experiences. They support and develop policies and practices that encourage and respond to the diverse expressions of gifts and talents in children and youth from all cultures, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups. NAGC supports and engages in research and development, staff development, advocacy, communication, and collaboration with other organizations and agencies who strive to improve the quality of education for all students.

 

Nomination A referral process for consideration of a student into a specialized program.

 

Non-Traditional Identification An alternative means of identification using instruments and procedures that provide an assessment of students that is not norm-referenced or standardized.

 

Norm-Referenced or Standardized Test A test used to determine an individual's status with respect to the performance of other individuals on that test. A "norm" group is the large number of examinees who have taken a particular test and whose scores form the basis of the norms. Such a test may be based on national norms, state norms, or local norms. At every level of educational test usage, it is necessary to match the scope of the test with the purpose that test is supposed to perform.

 

Off-Grade Level Tests A test one or more grade, or age, level(s) above the student's actual grade placement or age used to assess a student's ability or achievement.

 

Open-Ended Question Provides opportunities for more than one "right" solution or answer. Student response is judged by the logic by which the response is explained or defended. Students must be able to recognize tasks without a label, draw upon prior knowledge, generate relevant approaches on their own, and articulate their reasoning.

 

Other Forms of Assessment Procedures designed to reduce any assessment biases that may be inherent in other assessment methods used to evaluate the levels of services needed for high ability students. Also referred to as alternative assessment.

 

Outcome-Based Education (OBE) The underlying principle of OBE is that decisions about curriculum and instruction should be based on desired competencies students would demonstrate at the end of their formal education.

 

Peer Grouping A practice which indicates voluntary or assigned matching of students by shared characteristics such as age, ability, need, and/or interest in order to affect teaching and learning.

 

Performance-Based Assessment Evaluating the performance of students involved in complex learning opportunities through the use of instruments, such as

(1)       Rating scales

(2)       Observation or interviews

(3)       Portfolios

(4)       Structured observations or interviews.

 

Portfolio Assessment A collection of student products used to measure student progress and achievement. A collection of student products is often used to evaluate abilities to determine the appropriateness of placement in a program such as visual and performing arts. This practice allows students to demonstrate a wide variety of abilities and talents that traditionally are not measured well by standardized tests. Material in a portfolio may be student selected. (See also Authentic Assessment.)

 

Potential-Based Assessment  Evaluating the potential performance of high ability students through the use of instruments, such as

(1)       Standardized intelligence tests

(2)       Standardized achievement tests

(3)       Behavior rating scales.

 

Problem-Based Curriculum Problem-based curriculum is a model that enables the learner to solve a problem using knowledge and skills across the disciplines. It enables gifted students to practice critical and creative thinking while researching information and organizing ideas to solve a real-world problem.

 

Productive Thinking The set of skills and/or processes that make up higher order thinking such as creative problem solving and critical thinking.

 

Professional Development Plan One of the five written levels of service program plans required for corporations participating in the State G/T Grant Program. The plan describes the opportunities provided by the corporation to promote professional growth in all areas of high ability services. This plan may include:

(1)       corporation in-services for teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, volunteers

(2)       staff release time for attending workshops, seminars, conferences, etc

(3)       resources within the corporation

(4)       study groups within the corporation

 

Program for High Ability Students According to Indiana Administrative Code, “Program” means educational services differentiated in depth and breadth designed to meet the needs of one (1) or more high ability students through activities, such as compacting, acceleration, enrichment, problem solving, and  creative thinking.

 

Pull-Out Program Students with similar readiness levels, interests, and /or learning styles are pulled from their classrooms on a regular basis to work with each other and a resource teacher to facilitate accelerated and/or enriched learning experiences.

 

Rubric A rubric or scoring guide is an assessment scale. Each interval along the scale represents a specific level of learning from the novice to expert. The levels of learning are accompanied by specific descriptors of the type and quality of work.

 

School Improvement Plans According to Indiana P.L.221, all schools have a School Improvement Team which develops a School Improvement Plan.  This plan, reviewed and revised annually, establishes achievement objectives of the school for a three year period.  These achievement objectives must be consistent with academic standards and include improvement in (at least) attendance, percentage of students meeting academic standards under the ISTEP program, and for a secondary school, graduation rate.

School of Choice Opportunities for parents and students to select a school of attendance.

 

Self Contained Classroom A programmatic term defining a homogeneous setting of students with common needs and/or abilities. The class can include multiple grades or ages.

 

Senate Bill 292 Legislation passed during the 2002 legislative session. It requires

(1)   the education roundtable to include a representative of education programs for exceptional learners (children with disabilities and high ability students)

(2)   the department of education to provide grants to school corporations to carry out plans for high ability students in kindergarten through 12th grade (timeline for implementation to be established) in the core curriculum areas.

a.      Language Arts

b.      Math

c.      Science

d.      Social Studies

(3)   a school corporation's strategic and continuous school improvement plan to address the needs of all students, including exceptional learners

(4)   a school corporation to review its programs to determine whether certain practices have the effect of systematically separating students by race, color, creed, national origin, or socioeconomic class

 

Site-Based Management A current school restructuring model by which local autonomy is given to schools for planning and decision making. Also known as school-based management. A team of educators and community members assume responsibility and accountability for all education programs in a school, striving to assist all students to reach their fullest potential. (See School Improvement Plans.)

 

Specific Academic One of the domains of high ability as listed in Indiana Code.  According to Indiana Administrative Code, “Specific academic” means understanding facts and concepts, developing skills and generalizations, and evaluating their relationships as they apply to specific disciplines, such as English language arts, social studies, foreign languages, mathematics, and sciences.

 

Standards Content standards means the specific academic knowledge, skills, and abilities that all public schools in this state are expected to teach and all pupils are expected to learn in each of the core curriculum areas, at each grade level.  Performance standards are standards that define various levels of competence at each grade level in each of the curriculum areas for which content standards are established. Performance standards gauge the degree to which a student has met the content standards and the degree to which a school or school district has met the content standards.

 

State Gifted/Talented Grant Program The state resources program established by the IDOE (IC 20-10.1-5.1-3 Sec. 3) to award grants to school corporations and others to

(1)   support school corporations in the development of local programs for high ability students

(2)   enable educational opportunities that encourage high ability students to reach the highest possible level at every stage of the students' development

(3)   provide state integrated services that include, but are not limited to:

a.      Information and materials resource centers

b.      Professional development plan and programs

c.      Research and development services

d.      Technical assistance that includes the following:

                                                              i.      Student assessment

                                                            ii.      Program assessment

                                                          iii.      Program development and implementation.  

 

Systematic Program Assessment Plan One of the five written levels of service program plans required for corporations participating in the State G/T Grant Program. The plan shows the procedures for assessing the effectiveness of the corporation's program for high ability services. It may include topics such as:

(1)       schedule for reviewing and updating the current program

(2)       instruments and methods for evaluating program effectiveness

(3)       procedures for data collection

(4)       plans for action research

 

Technical and Practical Arts One of the domains of high ability as listed in Indiana Code.  According to Indiana Administrative Code, “Technical and practical arts” means understanding facts and concepts, developing skills and generalizations, and evaluating their relationships as they apply to disciplines, such as  vocational-technical education, business technology education, family and consumer sciences, and  technology education.

 

Thematic Curriculum A curriculum which focuses on the study of a topic or concept that is specific, such as "animals," or global, such as "change." The theme serves as an organizing element to provide continuity and "connectedness" for learning.

 

Tiering Providing assignments varying in level of complexity/challenge while focusing on the same basic concept or learning experience.  This is a type of differentiation.

 

Tracking Fixed groups that are rigidly maintained over time. This word is NOT synonymous with grouping and does not preclude opportunities for special needs groups for any learner at some time.

 

Underachieving A discrepancy between recognized potential and actual academic performance. The causes of underachievement may be social, emotional, physical, and/or academic.

 

Visual and Performing Arts One of the domains of high ability as listed in Indiana Code.  According to Indiana Administrative Code, “Visual and performing arts” means understanding facts and concepts, developing skills and generalizations, and evaluating their relationships as they apply to disciplines, such as art, dance, music, and theater arts.