The main approaches to gifted education are enrichment and acceleration. An enrichment program teaches additional, related material, but keeps the student progressing through the curriculum at the same rate. For example, after the gifted students have completed the normal work in the curriculum, an enrichment program might provide them with additional details about a subject in the the plan of work with gifted children teachers of mathematics. There is no standard global definition of what a gifted student is.
Multiple definitions of giftedness are used by different groups. Most of these definitions select the students who are the most skilled or talented in a given area, e. Gifted and talented education dates back thousands of years. One of the earliest Western studies of human abilities was conducted by Sir Francis Galton, who between 1888 and 1894 developed and compiled measurements of over 7,500 individuals to gauge their natural intellectual abilities.
After the war, Terman undertook an extensive longitudinal study of 643 children in California who scored at IQ 140 or above, the Genetic Studies of Genius, continuing to evaluate them throughout their lives. A professional colleague of Terman’s, Leta Hollingworth was the first in the United States to study how best to serve students who showed evidence of high performance on tests. Although recognizing Terman’s and Galton’s beliefs that heredity played a vital role in intelligence, Hollingworth gave similar credit to home environment and school structure. The impact of the NDEA was evident in schools for years after, but a study on how effective education was meeting the needs of gifted students was initiated by the United States Department of Education in 1969.