CAG Position Paper

University and District Sponsored Certificate Programs

The California Association for the Gifted (CAG) periodically publishes position papers that deal with issues, policies, and practices that have an impact on the education of gifted and talented students. All position papers approved by the CAG Board of Directors are consistent with the organization’s philosophy and mission, and the current research in the field.

The position papers support the organization’s belief in the value and uniqueness of all individuals, its respect for diversity present in our society, and its commitment to honoring the similarities and differences among all students. CAG encourages the provision of educational opportunities that are appropriate to challenge and nurture the growth of each child’s potential. The organization is especially mindful of the need for advocacy for individuals who have developed or show the promise of developing intellectual abilities and talents at high levels.

There is an ever-present need for professional development opportunities for educators responsible for teaching gifted students. A body of literature exists, including the results of important educational research, that can contribute to the knowledge about gifted learners and how programs might best be designed, developed, and delivered to serve them. CAG supports professional development programs that are aligned to the California GATE standards and utilize learning experiences that include advanced concepts in content areas and mastery of the research and knowledge base in the field of gifted education.

It is the position of the California Association for Gifted that certificate programs sponsored by school districts or universities should employ instructors who have broad knowledge of the field of gifted education including the current research and the recognized classic literature in the field. Instructors should have references that give evidence of their expertise in the field and their ability to teach their subject matter. Instructors should include the practical elements of curriculum, instruction, and program development both in how they teach and in what they teach. The importance of social and emotional needs and strategies for meeting them should also be included along with skills for working with parents.

CAG believes that courses in any certificate program should be based on building professional competencies and include research, theory, and practice in the education of gifted students. Demonstrated skill in translating theory into practice should be the focus of the preparation program and form the basis for the assessment of each teacher as a professional educator of gifted learners. Certificate programs should not simply be the accumulation of units of credit without evidence of application. Assessments through performance of proficiency should be an integral part of each certificate program.


Clark, B. (2002). Growing up gifted (6th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Lassig, C. (2015). Teachers’ Attitudes Towards the Gifted: The Importance of Professional Development and School Culture. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 24(2). doi: 10.21505/ajge.2015.0012

Vidergor, H. E., & Eilam, B. (2011). Impact of Professional Development Programs for Teachers of the Gifted. Gifted and Talented International, 26(1-2), 143–161. doi: 10.1080/15332276.2011.11673598