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School of Education - George Mason University
Students pursuing this concentration will explore the forms and manifestations of giftedness across student populations, focusing on culturally diverse, multilingual, twice exceptional, and traditionally defined gifted students.

Mason’s Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning (ASTL) concentration in gifted education provides advanced professional development for teachers of gifted students. It meets graduate standards set by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

The ASTL M.Ed. program is for educators with one or more years of teaching or education-related experience who want to continue to grow professionally. Coursework is field-based, and students are encouraged to consider their classrooms as learning laboratories as they inquire into their practices.

The courses, aligned with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, help teachers think and practice as board-certified teachers. The program develops teacher leaders who practice critical reflection through inquiry and utilize deep knowledge of pedagogy and content.

Why Is Gifted Education Unique?

Gifted learners need content relevant to their lives, activities requiring them to process important ideas at a high level, and products that cause them to grapple with meaningful problems and pose defensible solutions.

Our gifted education concentration prepares educators to:

  • Enact challenging, differentiated pedagogical practices
  • Address the social and emotional needs of gifted learners
  • Critique and compare gifted identification and assessment methods
  • Advocate for students who have traditionally been under-identified as gifted

Who Will Benefit from This Concentration?

This concentration is for teachers and other educators interested in gifted education who have one or more years of teaching or education-related experience and want to continue to grow professionally. This is not an initial licensure program.

Graduates can grow their career with the advantages of a master’s degree, which include the possibility of increased pay and opportunities to be curriculum leaders in their schools.

Four of the courses (EDCI 621, EDCI 622, EDCI 623, and EDCI 624) can be applied to partially fulfill Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) requirements for an add-on endorsement in gifted education. We also offer a practicum course for teachers who need to fulfill the teaching hours requirement for the VDOE endorsement.

Can I Use Graduate Credits from Other Universities to Reduce my Course Load?

Possibly! University policy allows for up to 12 credits (depending on the program) that have not been previously used to complete a degree to be transferred from another accredited graduate program. Consultation with an ASTL advisor is necessary to determine if and which courses may be acceptable to a specific concentration. The literacy: K-12 reading specialist concentration does not allow for substitutions. Substitutions cannot be made for the five core courses of the ASTL program (EDUC 612, EDUC 613, EDUC 614, EDUC 606, EDUC 615). Course work that is older than six years will not be accepted, even if the courses were taken at Mason.