The Highly Capable Technical Working Group (HCPTWG) has had four meetings since August and has started to publish some of its recommendations for public comment. The first documents available pertain to the definition of highly capable, and to the identification of students who would be served by highly capable programs. The definition proposed is:
Highly Capable learners (K12) are present in all cultural and linguistic groups, across all socioeconomic strata, coexist with all manner of disabling conditions both visible and invisible, and manifest across all areas of human endeavor. Highly Capable learners perform, or show potential for performing, at significantly advanced levels when compared with others of their age, experience, or environments.
Outstanding capabilities are seen within students’ general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, creative productivities within a specific domain, and/or leadership skills. No single criterion should prevent a student’s identification as Highly Capable. However, any single criterion, if strong enough, can indicate a need for services.
The basic education of Highly Capable learners requires supports and services that often go beyond those ordinarily provided as part of general education.
Further, the nurturing of potential and social/emotional well-being of Highly Capable learners is a lifelong process and is a shared responsibility among educators, families, and community members.
Gayle Pauley asked this of those reviewing the proposed recommendations:
As you reflect on the attached definition of what a Highly Capable student is, please keep the questions below in mind as you provide feedback.
1. Any errors of commission: Have we included things that are not needed or will be “red flags?”
2. Any errors of omission: Have we left out any key on essential ideas, concepts, things?
3. Unintended consequences: Do you foresee any unintended consequences or difficulties that will emerge as a result of this?
4. Any additional advice you have for the HCP Technical Working Group?
The HCPTWG also published recommendations for the identification of highly capable learners. Those reccommendations can be viewed here. The Coalition is well represented on the HCPTWG and welcomes your feedback. If you have any questions or comments about the proposed definiiton, you can send them directly to the HCPTWG (most preferred option), comment here or e-mail the Coalition.