Summer 2020 - EDUC 428W D100

Nature and Nurture of Gifted Students (4)

Class Number: 1394

Delivery Method: Distance Education


  • Course Times + Location:

    9:30 AM – 3:20 PM

    9:30 AM – 3:20 PM

    9:30 AM – 3:20 PM

    9:30 AM – 3:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    EDUC 401/2 or EDUC 403. Students must successfully complete an SFU Criminal Records Check.



Conceptions and misconceptions related to the nature and education of individuals with extraordinary abilities will be introduced. Implications for teaching and learning will be examined. The nature and feasibility of curriculum differentiation, flexible pacing, and other educational options for these students will be critiqued. Grading will be on a pass/fail basis. Writing.


For the summer semester, all instruction at SFU will be conducted remotely. As a result, the format of EDUC 428W has had to change. The four Saturday class meetings will move online to videoconferences and will be reduced from 6 hours to 3 hours in length. Online learning between those sessions will now include pre-recorded lectures and additional online learning experiences (individual and group). The assignments will be modified to accommodate the new, remote format. The dates of the class meetings, grading and readings are unchanged.

Who is gifted? In what ways are “gifted” students, or those with high potential, similar to and different from their peers? How can you support their learning and their peers’ too? These questions and more will be addressed in the readings, discussions, and assignments in this course.

We will examine definitions, controversies, research and practices surrounding the identification, development and education of highly able learners. Understanding these students, as well as differentiating curriculum with and for them, will be the major themes.

The course will involve a variety of synchronous and asynchronous online, self-directed, and collaborative learning experiences. Written assignments and online written discussions based on assigned readings will be required between each online class meeting. This writing will become the basis for in-class activities. Students will be expected to meet at least once with each other and/or the instructor between classes. Days and times of each between-class session will be determined by the participants to accommodate their schedules.


Students in this course will increase their:

  • Understanding of past and current definitions and conceptions of “giftedness”;
  • Ability to recognize highly able, gifted and creative students;
  • Ability to find, modify and/or design learning experiences appropriate for highly able, gifted and creative learners;
  • Understanding of the instruments and processes used to identify/select students for differentiated programs;
  • Understanding of issues related to the education of students with extraordinary abilities.


  • Weekly assignments (an interview with a “gifted” individual, responses to readings, online discussions, etc.)
  • A Case Study of a gifted or high ability learner in which you’ll develop differentiated learning activities
  • An Inquiry Project addressing a question of interest to you that is focused on the nature and/or nurture of gifted/high ability learners
  • Growth Portfolio in which you provide evidence of your learning


This course is graded on a Pass-Fail basis.

Class will meet online from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm on the same four Saturdays (May 9th, May 30th, July 4th, and July 25th). A link to the videoconference for these class meetings will be provided to registered students via email in the beginning of May.

Students must attend and fully participate in all four of the online class meetings and the between-class sessions in their entirety, participate in all activities in and between classes, and pass all assignments to pass the course.



For this course, a computer or tablet and stable internet connection are required to participate in our real-time online classes and between-class meetings. They will also be necessary to access recorded lectures, course materials, participate in required course activities, and communicate with classmates and the instructor throughout the semester.


Chapters and articles will be selected to address the course content and based on the needs and interests of students enrolled in the course. Links to them will be posted on the course website.

Chapters from the Tool Kit for High End Curriculum Differentiation (Kanevsky, L., 2017; free download will be provided)

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Please note that all teaching at SFU in summer term 2020 will be conducted through remote methods. Enrollment in this course acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.