A major shift in the curriculum design for the gifted was introduced by Van Tassel-Baska and Little when they suggested that the curriculum design should be a performance-based model which gives emphasis on the level of functioning of the individual to determine whether he is ready to go up the next level (Chapter 1 - Curriculum for the gifted: Past, present and future directions). This new development changed the view that the curriculum should have an optimal match with the characteristic of the gifted learner. With this new approach therefore, the curriculum design becomes more responsive to the needs of the gifted learner.
There are several issues in developing a curriculum for gifted learners. A major issue which confronts a teacher in developing a curriculum for the gifted is that not all gifted learners are alike with regards to their characteristics and needs (Chapter 2 - Curriculum design issues in developing a curriculum for the gifted). The background of the student, like income level, must be taken into consideration so that the curriculum can be adapted accordingly.
Another issue that faces the curriculum developer is the choice of content and the process design (Chapter 2 - Curriculum design issues in developing a curriculum for the gifted). A decision has to be made on whether the topic will be of interest to the gifted. The content should be meaningful and challenging enough so that the students will be interested to explore it. The teacher who will be discussing the topic must be appropriately knowledgeable of the topic, else the gifted student might lose interest in it. The strategy to be used in teaching the content is another issue that must be tackled by the instructor of gifted individuals. A single strategy may not work for all learners. The issue is determining what combination of strategies must be applied so that the gifted learners get the maximum benefit from the curriculum (Chapter 2 -