Innovative Curriculum and Teaching Practice for Advanced Learners

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Curriculum and Instruction".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 465

Special Issue Editor

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Gifted Education, William & Mary School of Education, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA
Interests: Gifted education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,


This special issue addresses the needs of academically talented students, at a time of limited resources, and support for their academic development.  Many schools have limited their gifted programs, some have eliminated them, and others have merely neglected them in the face of political interventions in school curricula and limited money to run effective operations. Talented learners also experienced a decrease in test scores during the pandemic, yet no one has mentioned the importance of this fact in respect to their learning.  We hope that this special issue will renew concerns about the academic progress of these learners, even in the face of public apathy.

The field of gifted education and talent development has experienced periods of intense activity (1974–1985) and periods of less intense engagement or support  (2010–current).  However, research efforts have grown and longitudinal studies have been conducted that verify the characteristics, predilections, and life trajectories of these learners. Research on the effectiveness of all forms of acceleration has continued to grow. Smaller studies have suggested other intervention pathways that have been successful.  Research on programmatic approaches including special schools has been ongoing. 


This special issue has several purposes: 

-To address the issue of talent development in schools;

-To demonstrate innovative pathways for schools to address the needs of talented K-12 learners;

-To explore differentiated learner needs, based on their profiles of strengths. 


The audience for this special issue will be educators at all levels from K-12 through college, parents, and politicians, including school board members, who want to gain insight into this special needs population. 

Outline of the Special Issue 

In keeping with the theme of innovative practices, the chapter’s authors have been selected to address areas of their current research that speak to such practices in their work with talented students and their teachers. 

The outline of the special issue has been organized to reflect an overview of the concept of talent development, a brief review of research supporting it, and a few models that have addressed it. This chapter is followed by one that focuses on finding talent in all of its forms and domains and the individuals most likely to access the tools necessary to uncover it at different stages of development. Three chapters on domain-specific talent areas follow that attempt to lay out the interventions that have proven to be effective with students who possess talent in the verbal, mathematical, and spatial domains.  These are also the domains that schools typically address in school curricula. The next two chapters focus on underrepresented populations in schools’ gifted programs, students who are twice-exceptional, and the gifted and disabled; students from poverty; and students who are not yet proficient in English. One chapter focuses solely on Black students. Taken together, these two chapters highlight the evidence of success in finding and serving these students in gifted programs. Next, two chapters emphasize the research-based approaches to both the curriculum and instructions across content areas, one addressing curriculum models and the other focusing on innovative instructional approaches that assist teachers and parents in developing talent.  The Specia Issue concludes with a glance to the future, where the arc of talent development needs to advance in order to best serve these deserving students in the future.  

The suggested authors have extensive experience in teaching and administering gifted programs for talented learners at K-12 levels as well as working in state agencies and universities to prepare teachers and others to be effective with them in classrooms.  They also have research expertise in studying the processes of talent development in selective domains.  

References (recent) 


 VanTassel-Baska, J. & Little, C. eds. (2023) Content-based curriculum for gifted learners 4th ed.Routledge. 

 Johnsen, S. & VanTassel-Baska, J. eds. (2022) Handbook on assessment: Identification, learning progress, and evaluation. Routledge. 

VanTassel-Baska, J. Ed. (2021) Talent development: Theory, Research, and Practice. Routledge. 

VanTassel-Baska, J. & Baska, A. (2020) Curriculum planning and instructional design. 3rd edition.  Prufrock Press. 

Refereed Articles and guest editorships* of proposed editor 

VanTassel-Baska, J. (2023). The Case for Content-Based Curriculum for Advanced Learners. Gifted Child Today, 46(2), 142–145. 

VanTassel-Baska, J., & Brown, E. (2022). An analysis of stakeholder perceptions of gifted programs: A report card on gifted program performance. Gifted Child Today, 45(3), 160-175. 

*VanTassel-Baska, J. & Videgor, H. (2020) From the guest editors, a special issue on curriculum, Roeper Review, 42, (3). 

VanTassel-Baska, J., Hubbard, G., & Robbins, J. (2020) The role of teacher behaviors in differentiating instruction. Roeper Review, 42,(3). 

*VanTassel-Baska, J. (2019) Introduction to special issue on evaluation, From the editor’s perspective. Gifted Child Today, 42,(4).

VanTassel-Baska, J. (2019) A coordinator’s perspective on the utilization of gifted program evaluation. Gifted Child Today, 42, (4).

VanTassel-Baska, J. & Hubbard, G. (2019) An evaluation of eight gifted programs, using the NAGC program standards. Gifted Child Today, 42, (4).

VanTassel-Baska, J. (2019) Are We Differentiating Effectively for the Gifted or Not? A Commentary on Differentiated Curriculum Use in Schools. Gifted Child Today, Column, 42, 3, 165-167. 

VanTassel-Baska, J. (2018) Achievement unlocked: Effective curriculum interventions with low income students. Gifted Child Quarterly.  Special issue on gifted students from low income households, 62, (1) 68-82. 

*VanTassel-Baska, J & Stambaugh, T. (2018) Introduction to the special issue on gifted students from low income households. Gifted Child Quarterly, 62, (1) 3-5. 

VanTassel-Baska, J. (2018) American gifted education policy. Gifted Child Today, 41,4. 

*VanTassel-Baska, J & Coleman M. R. (2018) Introduction to special international issue on policies in other countries in gifted education. Gifted Child Today, 41,4. 

VanTassel-Baska, J. & Hubbard, G. F.  (2016) Rural gifted curriculum.  Journal of Advanced Academics. 

Prof. Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • talent development
  • spatial ability/aptitude
  • verbal ability/aptitude
  • mathematical ability/aptitude
  • content-based curriculum
  • advanced learning
  • instructional strategies
  • critical thinking
  • creative thinking/innovative thinking
  • problem-solving
  • independent thinking
  • innovation
  • creativity
  • open-ended questioning

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Contributions Of Music Education To The Development Of Technological-Musical Practices And Applications (Creation And/Or Adaptation) In A Stage-School Context

Abstract: Over the course of a two-year period, MILMESA (Interdisciplinary Method for Musical Literacy, Education and Artistic Awareness) was used to develop a battery of documents and preliminary and diagnostic listening guides for 256 students undergoing initial training in arts/artistic education, so that, through the methodological approach of action-research with a self-evaluative, cyclical, emancipatory and critical matrix, many other perspectives and artistic-musical experiences could be developed and converted into final public presentation projects based on the data collected each year. The area of work was confined to the inter-arts level, particularly in the specific area of music applied to the scenic context (theatrical and audiovisual). This resulted in a clear improvement in artistic practice and conceptual preparation in the conception and execution of 12 public presentation projects (performances, shows or scientific events of a pedagogical-didactic nature) within the conceptual framework of DEP (Proximal Expressive Didactics), which provides for a tutelary collaborative regime and dynamic, including festivals, congresses, symposia and interdisciplinary and thematic forums of regional, national and international importance.

Title: Exploring Curriculum and Teaching Strategies for Gifted Pupils in Primary Education: A Systematic Review

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to review recent literature on curriculum and instruction for gifted pupils in primary school. This systematic review was based on the Cochrane Rapid and Scoping Reviews Method Group (Garrity et al., 2020) methodology and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol (Page et al., 2021). I conducted it to examine the extent, range, and nature of research activity on the topic of Curriculum and Teaching Strategies. I used a 15-point checklist of criteria for good thematic analysis (Braun & Victoria, 2006). Data sources were electronic databases covering the area of education. The two databases utilised in this study were the Web of Science and the SCOPUS database, allowing for a comprehensive overview of the available literature regarding education. The choice of these data stemmed from their prestige and worldwide recognition, as well as the amount of literature they contain about the field of social science and education issues, which is considerably large (Chadegani et al., 2013). Eligible studies were limited to scholarly, peer-reviewed articles reporting empirical research published in English between 2010 and 2023. In the database, an initial search was performed against article abstracts using the Boolean search term ((((TS=(child* OR pupils*)) AND TS=(primary school*)) AND TS=(Curriculum* OR instruction* OR Educational Methods* OR Educational Practices)) AND TS=(gifted* OR talented*). The 535 articles identified from those databases will be analysed after acceptance of the abstract. RQ: • What are the most effective curriculum design strategies for enhancing the learning outcomes of gifted pupils in primary education?" • How do contemporary teaching methodologies impact the academic and social-emotional development of gifted pupils in primary schools? • In what ways do curricular adaptations for gifted pupils in primary education influence their long-term academic achievement and career aspirations?

Title: Developing Mathematical Expertise, Innovation, and Engagement: Lessons from over Fifty Years of Research and Experience

Abstract: It is critical for society in general as well as for the students themselves that we identify, create, support and develop the brightest and most creative problem posers and problem solvers to become the vanguard of scientific and technological innovations and ratiocination. Creative and critical mathematical reasoning is an essential component in all these endeavors and must be developed in everyone from children to the highest level of policymakers. We want all students to enjoy, innovate, reason, question, communicate, collaborate, and make sense of mathematics, building a solid foundation and setting the course for the highest levels. We must ensure that high-performing mathematics students continue to progress, building enthusiasm, skills, and creativity as well as set a wide range of additional diverse students along that path. Building on over fifty years of practice and research, this article will include tips for stakeholders from policymakers, educators, researchers, and families to students themselves.

Title: Examining the effect of a compassion-based program on gifted junior high school students' emotional styles, self-compassion, empathy, and well-being

Abstract: This study investigated the impact of compassion-based programs on gifted students' emotional style, self-compassion, empathy, and well-being. The study conducted a quasi-experimental study with 30 academically gifted junior high school students in the eighth-grade in Taiwan. 17 students comprised the experimental group, and 13 students comprised the control group. The study adopted emotional style scale, self-compassion scale, empathy scale, and well-being scale. Analysis of Covariance was used to analyze the data. The results found that the students in the experimental group scored significantly higher than students in the control group on some subscales and total scores of four tests in part. Students have also learned more information about themselves, identify and adjust cognitive pattern, communicative skills, and so on from their feedback. The results provide some suggestions about the curriculum design, instruction, and counseling based on positive psychology in the future.

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