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NAGC Position Statements: Competencies Needed by Teachers

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Position Statements


The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) periodically issues policy statements dealing with issues, policies, and practices that have an impact on the education of gifted and talented students. Policy statements represent the official convictions of the organization.

All policy statements approved by the NAGC Board of Directors are consistent with the organization's belief that education in a democracy must respect the uniqueness of all individuals, the broad range of cultural diversity present in our society, and the similarities and differences in learning characteristics that can be found within any group of students. NAGC is fully committed to national goals that advocate both excellence and equity for all students, and we believe that the best way to achieve these goals is through differentiated educational opportunities, resources, and encouragement for all students.

NAGC believes that all children deserve the highest quality of instruction possible and that such instruction will only occur when teachers are aware of and able to respond to the unique qualities and characteristics of the students they instruct. Gifted and talented students present a particular challenge and often experience inadequate and inappropriate education. To provide appropriate learning experiences for gifted and talented students, teachers need to possess:

  • a knowledge and valuing of the origins and nature of high levels of intelligence, including creative expressions of intelligence;
  • a knowledge and understanding of the cognitive, social, and emotional characteristics, needs, and potential problems experienced by gifted and talented students from diverse populations;
  • a knowledge of and access to advanced content and ideas;
  • an ability to develop a differentiated curriculum appropriate to meeting the unique intellectual and emotional needs and interests of gifted and talented students; and
  • an ability to create an environment in which gifted and talented students can feel challenged and safe to explore and express their uniqueness.

NAGC believes that these competencies, in addition to those required for good teaching and learning in general, such as modeling openness, curiosity, and enthusiasm, are necessary for teachers of gifted and talented students. NAGC also believes that educational experiences through comprehensive programming must be available for teachers to develop these competencies.

Approved 6/94

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