She’s the girl in your fourth grade math class dabbling in calculus. He’s the boy on your high school field trip explaining nuclear physics to the tour guide. They are gifted and talented children: individuals whose aptitude and ability rank in the top 10 percent nationwide. And with a master’s degree specializing in gifted and talented education, you can learn how to teach them effectively.
Why Teachers Should Consider a Master’s Degree in Gifted and Talented Education
Gifted and talented students need special educational support from exceptional educators. With a master’s degree in gifted and talented education, you’ll be prepared to meet the needs of advanced learners as a teacher, administrator, or instructional designer. This degree is also ideal for those who seek to become advocates for gifted students: most degree programs in this area of study will teach you how to develop gifted programs based on your school’s needs, working within the district and along with school boards and parents.
Common Curriculum in Master’s of Gifted and Talented Education Programs
Gifted students often have unique learning curves, and with this in mind, master’s degree programs in this area of study frequently focus on how you can serve their specific needs. Coursework may cover theories in diagnostic teaching, differentiated instruction and curriculum development. Typical course titles include:
- Gifted Education Testing and Measurement
- Education for Special Populations
- Identification, Development, and Education of the Gifted Learner
- Instruction for Gifted Learners
Look for programs that incorporate a real-world internship or practicum to ensure that you’re getting an education that you can apply to the classroom.
Where You Can Earn a Master’s Degree in Gifted and Talented Education
Thanks to the Equity in Excellence Act of 2010, schools are more committed than ever to reducing the gap between high achieving, low-income students and their wealthier peers. That means that there are a number of online master’s programs available. Here are two to consider:
- The online master of education program focused on gifted education from the University of Cincinnati teaches integrated teaching methods designed specifically for gifted education to engage students in any setting. Along with core courses in research and theory, candidates complete a practicum consisting of 75 hours of field experience.
- Catering to all teaching levels, the University of Houston has developed an online master of education in gifted and talented education. Coursework on curriculum and content development, a mandatory practicum, and an optional thesis are all part of this program.
You may decide to tackle a particular school’s master’s degree program in gifted and talented education after you’ve completed an endorsement (licensure) program at the same university. Be sure to check to see if course credits from an endorsement program can be applied toward a graduate degree further down the road.
Careers in Gifted and Talented Education
Schools often look favorably upon educators with a master’s degree focused on gifted and talented education. With postgraduate training, gifted and talented teachers have the skill set to work almost anywhere, including pullout settings, self-contained classrooms, and special schools.
A graduate degree may also give you greater career flexibility. Professionals in gifted and talented education often serve as:
- school consultants
- education coordinators
- textbook contributors
- professional development specialists
- curriculum developers
Gifted and talented education professionals typically earn a median annual salary of $53,090, and enjoy a steady job outlook that’s particularly open to those with an advanced degree.
Earn a Master’s Degree in Gifted and Talented Education
Support gifted students with an excellent educational foundation: browse our database of online master’s degrees in gifted and talented education to find a program that works for you.