Glossary of Terms
Accelerated Learning: Pacing students through the curriculum at a rate appropriate to their advanced ability. Students may or may not be formally identified as high ability to participate in some forms of accelerated learning.
Advanced Placement: Any of 33 classes endorsed by the College Board in which a secondary student can earn college credit by successfully meeting criteria established by higher education institutions on a nationally given and scored Advanced Placement examination. Students also earn high school credit upon successful completion of the course(s).
At-Risk: Students who may underachieve or who may drop out of school. Unmet economic, physical, emotional, linguistic, and/or academic needs may inhibit a student's ability to learn or attend school.
Authentic Assessment: Process of evaluating student learning using student products or performance instead of traditional standardized tests. It allows students to be evaluated with regard to their individuality and creativity.
Core Curriculum: The essential knowledge and skills to be learned by all students as designated by Indiana State standards.
Curriculum Compacting: A process used to give students validation for what they already know. It allows students who demonstrate mastery to omit portions of assigned curriculum, or to move more quickly through curriculum than would be typical. Students are thus able to "buy time" which can be used to accelerate content or to pursue enrichment activities while the unit is being taught to other students.
Differentiation: Adapting the curriculum to meet the unique needs of learners by making modifications in complexity, depth, and pacing. It may include selecting, rather than covering all the curriculum areas dependent on the individual needs of students. In Indiana Administrative Code, "Differentiated" means providing tiered levels of services for all educational needs.
Domain: As used in Indiana Code, "domain" includes the following areas of aptitude and talent, general intellectual, general creative, specific academic, technical and practical arts, visual and performing arts, interpersonal. Definitions for each domain are included in this glossary.
Dual/Concurrent Enrollment: Students earn credit at two levels while enrolled on one course. Why this is usually college credit and high school credit while enrolled in a course of study, it could also apply to receive high school credit for a course taken while in an earlier grade.
Early Entrance: Students begin their elementary school or college education prior to the designated chronological age of entrance.
Enrichment: Activities that supplement the curriculum. Such activities are generally not specified in the curriculum and are selected by the teacher and/or students in a given classroom.
Early Entrance: Students begin their elementary school or college education prior to the designated chronological age or entrance.
Enrichment: Activities that supplement the core curriculum. Such activities are generally not specified in the curriculum and are selected by the teacher and/or students in a given classroom.
Flexible Grouping: Grouping students by ability or readiness level. Groups can be formed and reformed to meet varied instructional purposes. Ability grouping is not synonymous with "tracking."
General Intellectual: One of the domains of high ability as listed in Indiana Code. According to Indiana Administrative Code, "General intellectual" mean understanding facts and concepts, developing skills and generalizations, and evaluating their relationships as they apply to a broad array of disciplines.
Gifted and Talented: There is no single definition of "gifted" or "talented." In Indiana, each school corporation may determine the identification criteria used to determine who will participate in programs it designs to serve students of high ability.
Grade Skipping: Students progress through grade level instruction skipping one or more grades.
Heterogeneous/Homogeneous Grouping: Grouping heterogeneously generally occurs by chronological age level and without regard for the diverse needs of students, their learning styles, or their interests. Homogeneous grouping is based on common criteria such as the students' interests, special needs, or academic abilities.
High Ability Student: I Indiana Code "high ability student" means a student who performs at, or shows the potential for performing at, an outstanding level of accomplishment in at least one (1) domain when compared to other students of the same age, experience, or environment, and is characterized by exceptional gifts, talents, motivation, or interests.
Honors Class: Classes at the middle school/junior high or high school level in which content, pace, or depth of instruction is accelerated criteria are accepted into these courses.
Indiana Code: The state statutes created by the Indiana General Assembly. After passing a statute, the legislature may delegate authority to a state agency (such as the DOE) or board to develop further rules (regulations) to carry out and implement the law. IC citation references are for the Indiana Code.
Independent Study or Self-Directed Study: Allowing students to follow individual or self-selected areas of interest and specific aptitude by designing and implementing their own study plans. Close monitoring by teachers is an essential component of independent study.
Individualization: Providing a specific program that meets the particular needs, interests, and/or abilities of an individual student for some part of his/her educational experience. It does not mean, however, that every child is working in isolation on a different subject at all times. It does mean that students are working on levels commensurate with their assessed ability, needs, and/or interests.
Intelligent Quotient (I.Q.): A measure of ability or aptitude at a given point in time, comparing children of the same chronological age. It is a test designed to measure one's potential for learning including abstract thinking and reasoning, knowledge acquisition, and problem-solving abilities. Originally, it was considered to be the sole way of measuring students.
Multiple Intelligences: The theory that intelligence can be expressed in a variety of ways and is not limited to the rational linear mode. The theory commonly associated with Howard Gardner identifies at least seven intelligences: linguistic, musical, spatial, logical-mathematical, bodily kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.
Nomination: A referral process for consideration of a student into a specialized program.
Norm-Referenced or Standardized Test: A test used to determine an individual's status with respect to the performance of other individuals on that test. A "norm" group is the large number of examinees who have taken a particular test and whose scores form the basis of the norms. Such a test may be based on national norms, state norms, or local norms. At every level of educational test usage, it is necessary to match the scope of the test with the purpose that test is supposed to perform.
Off-Grade Level Tests: A test one or more grade, or age, level(s) above the student's actual grade placement or age used to assess a student's ability or achievement.
Other Forms of Assessment: Procedures designed to reduce any assessment biases that may be inherent in other assessment methods used to evaluate the levels of services needed for high ability students. Also referred to as alternative assessment.
Performance-Based Assessment: Evaluating the performance of students involved in complex learning opportunities through the use of instruments, such as
- Standardized intelligence tests
- Standardized achievement tests
- Behavior rating scales
Program for High Ability Students: According to Indiana Administrative Code, "Program" means educational services differentiated in depth and breadth designed to meet the needs of one (1) or more high ability students through activities, such as compacting acceleration, enrichment, problem solving, and creative thinking.
Recommendation Forms: A process for placement in the high ability program that leverages qualitative means versus quantitative metrics. Teacher/Parent complete a portfolio to present to a modified committee for placement consideration.
Self-Contained Classroom: A programmatic term defining a homogeneous setting of students with common needs and/or abilities. The class can include multiple grades or ages.
Specific Academic: One of the domains of high ability as listed in Indiana Code. According to Indiana Administrative Code, "Specific academic" means understanding facts and concepts, developing skills and generalizations, and evaluating their relationships as they apply to specific disciplines, such as English language arts, social studies, foreign languages, mathematics, and sciences.
Underachieving: A discrepancy between recognized potential and actual academic performance.