Gifted Instruction » Diff Gen Ed Programming

Diff Gen Ed Programming

What does this mean?

Within the definition of intellectually gifted, there are several terms that may require further explanation: 

  • Differentiated general education programming
  • Adverse effect
  • Economic strata
  • Twice exceptional (2e)


Differentiated General Education Programming

When a child’s needs exceed differentiated general education programming, the general curriculum alone is inadequate to appropriately meet the student’s educational needs. The general curriculum should follow the Tier I framework of the RTI2 manual which, depending on the grade level, may include scaffolding, strategic instructional grouping in both whole group and small group settings, formative assessments to determine instructional needs, and goal setting based on multiple sources of data. Lesson activities, materials, assessments, and student work are planned explicitly to match rigor of state and district goals while accounting for students’ individual needs. 

Differentiated instruction is an instructional approach that encompasses several learning strategies, addresses individual student needs, and helps all students access core instruction. Differentiation takes place within the classroom environment, content, process, and product. The premise of differentiated instruction is having high expectations for all students, and through the practice of differentiation, all students can achieve those high expectations. Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. Whether teachers differentiate content, process, products, or the learning environment, the use of ongoing assessment and flexible grouping make this a successful approach to instruction. Differentiated instruction is a teacher’s proactive response to a learner’s individual needs; it is an instructional approach that simultaneously encompasses several learning strategies. Differentiated instruction helps the student access core instruction (Tier I). Differentiated instruction is guided by principles of differentiation: environment, quality curriculum, assessment that informs teaching and learning, instruction that responds to student variance, and the leading students and managing routines. Differentiation is based on the following: 

  • Readiness – a student’s proximity to specified learning goals
  • Interests – passions, affinities, and kinships that motivate learning

Successful differentiation is based on individual student strengths, needs, and areas of deficit. First, educators should determine what the student requires to access core instruction, and then effectively plan to meet their need(s). Educators should consult the Differentiation Inventory for Classroom Observation to help assess differentiation in the classroom. (The Differentiation Inventory for Classroom Observation can be found in the RTI² Implementation Guide.)