Glossary (A - H)


Ability Grouping
Grouping students by performance or ability. Groups can be formed and reformed to meet varied instructional purposes
Above-Level Testing
Giving a test that was developed and normed for students who are several years older. It helps to differentiate the level and depth of knowledge for those students who score at the highest levels on grade-level testing device. Also called out-of -level testing or beyond-level testing
Faster presentation of content to more closely matches the speed at which gifted students learn. This can occur within the students' class in one or more subject areas (subject-matter acceleration) OR the student may need to work in one or more subject areas with a higher year group OR the student may need to move forward a whole year, sometimes two (grade-skipping). Please note that "grade-skipping" is only one of many ways to accelerate learning BUT does not equal to "acceleration"
Urging support for someone, something or a specific course of action. Parents of gifted children can be powerful advocates provided that they understand the system of education and know what is possible
Affective Education
The focus on person/social awareness and adjustment, and includes the study of values, attitudes, and self
Aptitude Tests
Used to predict performance in specific areas such as verbal comprehension, mathematical ability, or nonverbal reasoning ability. Distinguishable from intelligence tests in that aptitude tests have more specific content (i.e. they measure only one or a few abilities rather than a wide variety of abilities
A term generally used to refer to various methods of measuring students’ development. It helps students reflect their own learning progress including mastery and application of knowledge. It also provides information for identifying areas for improvements in learning and adjustments to teaching process
Asynchronous Development
Differing rates for physical, cognitive and emotional development. The gifted student may have a chronological age of 8 years, a mental age of 12 years and an emotional age of 5 years
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity). To be diagnosed with the disorder, a child must have symptoms for 6 or more months and to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age
Auditory Retention Problems
Refers to difficulties in maintaining/rehearsing information in the auditory/phonological loop of working memory
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
The autism spectrum, also called autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or autism spectrum conditions (ASC), is a spectrum of psychological conditions characterized by widespread abnormalities of social interactions and communication, as well as severely restricted interests and highly repetitive behavior. The three main forms of ASD are autism, Asperger syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), sometimes called atypical autism

It is regarded as an important strategy to help gifted learners to cope with social and emotional issues in life and develop their mental and emotional health. Through the use of thought-provoking questions about the characters in the books like biographies, gifted learners could use their advanced cognitive abilities to help themselves understand how other people think when faced with similar situations and then apply their problem solving skills accordingly
Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives

Cluster Grouping
A grouping assignment for gifted students in the regular heterogeneous classroom. Typically, five or six gifted students with similar needs, abilities, or interests are “clustered” in the same classroom, which allows the teacher to more efficiently differentiate assignments for a group of advanced learners rather than just one or two students
Cognitive Ability
Cognition is the scientific term for ‘the process of thought’; cognitive abilities are thus the capabilities that these processes potentiate
Collaborative Learning
A teaching strategy whereby students are expected to share expertise and effort in order to create a common project/product. Students in the collaborative group often have similar levels of ability. Some educators use the terms collaborative and cooperative learning synonymously
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.
Coping Strategies
The specific efforts, both behavioral and psychological, that people employ to master, tolerate, reduce, or minimize stressful events
Convergent Thinking
The kind of thinking that brings material from a variety of sources to bear on a problem, in such a way as to produce the "correct" answer.
Core Curriculum
The common knowledge and skills to be learned by all students of a particular grade as determined and specified by a national or local government authority
Creative Problem Solving
A model for solving problems through a step-by-step process which includes fact finding, problem finding, idea finding, solution finding, and implementation. Brainstorming and other strategies for the production of creative ideas are an integral part of the process
Creative Thinking
The ability to think and approach a problem, in any subject, in an original and/or flexible way
Critical Thinking
Using higher order thinking skills, eg analysis or evaluation, to gain understanding of complex problems or ideas
Curriculum Compacting
The process of identifying learning objectives, pretesting students for prior mastery of these objectives, and eliminating needless teaching or practice if mastery can be documented

Deficit Based View
A view or description of students that emphasizes their deficits, or weaknesses, rather than their strengths
Diagnostic Test
An assessment prompted by a perceived problem in a student’s learning to determine the current level of functioning. Test results are then used to prescribe a solution
The right of pupils to be taught in a way specifically tailored to their individual learning needs. The process of differentiation, consequently, is the adjustment of the teaching process to meet the differing learning needs of the pupils. It involves teachers having sufficient appropriate knowledge of the pupils, as well as the ability to plan and deliver suitable lessons effectively, so as to help all pupils individually to maximise their learning, whatever their individual situation
Divergent Thinking
The kind of thinking skill in broadly creative elaboration of ideas prompted by a stimulus, which results in novel, unique, or creative solutions, ideas or answers.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, is a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that includes all currently recognized mental health disorders
This is a specific learning disability involving innate difficulty in learning or comprehending mathematics, also known as Calculexia
The term for a deficiency in the ability to write, regardless of the ability to read, in no way due to intellectual impairment, also known as Agraphia
A neurological disorder of motor coordination usually apparent in childhood that manifests as difficulty in thinking out, planning out, and executing planned movements or tasks. The term dyspraxia derives from the Greek word praxis, meaning "movement process."
A learning disability that manifests primarily as a difficulty with reading and spelling. It is separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction

Early Entry
When a student is entered for an exam before the usual age of entry. Another form of Acceleration.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ/EI)
The ability, capacity, or skill to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of one's self, of others, and of groups
Deeper coverage of content often provided for gifted students (not to be confused with differentiation or acceleration). It involves activities that add or go beyond the existing curriculum. These activities may occur in the classroom or in a separate setting
Exceptionally gifted
gifted Please see "Levels of giftedness"

Fast Tracking
Any system that enables students to take qualifications earlier than other student in their year group
Flexible Grouping
An instructional strategy where students are grouped together to receive appropriately challenging instruction. True flexible grouping permits students to move in and out of various grouping patterns, depending on the course content. Grouping can be determined by ability, size, and/or interest

Gessel Development Observation (GDO)
The standard procedure used for direct observation of a child’s growth and development. This assessment is conducted by a trained examiner who makes discriminating observations of a child’s behavior and then evaluates these observations by comparison with normative patterns developed for each developmental age
Gifted Education Programmes
Special academic and social opportunities which try to meet the needs of gifted students. (see acceleration, ability grouping, enrichment, independent study, pull-out)
Grade Skipping
A form of acceleration where a student advances from the current grade level to placement at least one year higher. Students who grade skip show educational needs across all content areas that can be more easily met in the higher grade placement

Higher Order thinking
Thinking that focuses on the top levels of Cognitive Domain of the Bloom’s Taxonomy, i.e., analysing, evaluating and the creation of new knowledge