Nomination of Gifted Children

Part 1 of 3 of the Gifted Nomination, Gifted Screening, and Selection for Gifted Services.

When starting the process of finding gifted children for gifted services you start with the nomination process. The nomination process is an important aspect of gifted education. There are a few ways a student can be nominated for gifted testing:

  • Parents can ask regular classroom teachers, gifted intervention specialists, or school psychologists to have their child tested if they believe they see some gifted characteristics in their children.
  • Teachers can ask gifted intervention specialists, or school psychologists to have their students tested because they feel that student or students are achieving above other students, or they feel they that student is learning faster than the average student.
  • Students can nominate themselves if they feel they need to be tested for gifted services. This is called self-advocacy.

All students who exhibit some, or little gifted tendencies should be considered for gifted services. Every student has the right to be tested for gifted services. Students from every group, and subgroup should have access to gifted education nomination for testing. Students in regular education and special education should be included. This process can be started any day of the year, and for every grade.

Just as a side note: every year in our district we test every 2nd and 5th grader in order to find students who would be able to qualify for gifted services.

Here is a great resource (below as a .pdf file) for testing and identification  from the book Identifying Gifted Students: a practical guide by Susan K. Johnsen: office-for-civil-rights-checklist-for-assessment-of-gifted-programs.

Research shows that parents are the resource when trying to identify gifted children. They know their children, and see them in multiple settings where they can show their giftedness. The next best resource is the regular education teacher. Research shows when regular education teachers have professional development on the characteristics of gifted children they are twice as likely to nominate children for gifted services. (Which is why the gifted department is trying to help educate regular education teachers on gifted education.)

When a student is nominated the instruments used should be fair and culturally appropriate. To be culturally appropriate means that the instrument ensures the student understands the purpose and nature of the test; minimizes language; include practice items; and present novel problems instead of narrow school related information.

Finally when nominating a child for gifted testing it is good to use as multiple sources. Teachers should be getting information for their own curriculum through tests, and quizzes; from parents who see their students acting differently from the school setting; and from the student themselves. Let the student tell the teacher some reasons why they feel they need to be tested for gifted services.


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