Students who excelled in special education programs were, according to Persson, Joswog and Balogh (1997), once again, separated from their above average co-learners and placed in programs designed for geniuses. The intent of this program was not simply the realization of gifted learners’ full potential but the development of future leaders.
The historical introduction offered in the preceding highlights a long-standing acknowledgement of the importance of designing special education programs which address the mental capacities, abilities and talents of gifted learners and function to both enable and guide them towards the realisation of their potential. Integral to the realization of potential of gifted students is, of course, curriculum and learning strategies. Within the context of the stated, therefore, curriculum development and learning strategies for gifted students assume unique importance and, accordingly, have been the focus of numerous research and studies. This paper shall review a number of these studies for the purpose of evaluating the variant curriculum development and learning strategies for gifted students.
In his analysis of gifted learners’ educational requirements, Shore (1988) argued that without a curriculum which is designed in response to their needs, the full potential of gifted learners will never be truly realized. Even while conceding that prerequisite to the design of such a curricular is the careful and critical evaluation of individual learner requirements and, possibly, the design of differentiated curricula within the context of a more general curricular framework, Shore (1988) defended his approach to curriculum development as optimally suited to the needs of individual gifted learners.
The development/design of a differentiated gifted learner curriculum is a complex undertaking insofar as it involves the design of both general and specific curricula.