Educational Programming for Highly Able Learners

EPSE 408 (3.0) Online – Course Outline


  • Weekly Learning Journal Reflections or posts to the Discussion Forum
  • One group/individual assignment: Matching learning strategies to strengths for gifted learners
  • Four individual assignments: Curriculum transformation; Personal inquiry project proposal; Personal Inquiry project (including self-evaluation); Response to peers’ personal inquiry projects

This course is eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading. To determine whether you can take this course for Credit/D/Fail grading, visit the Credit/D/Fail website. You must register in the course before you can select the Credit/D/Fail grading option.


Planning elementary and secondary level programs for highly able learners. (UBC Calendar)

This online course provides a survey of programming options and curriculum for highly able learners from Kindergarten to Grade 12. It includes strategies with which to match abilities and needs to curriculum and covers a variety of program delivery models. Course participants will be invited to explore areas of interest in designing appropriate learning experiences for highly able learners.

It is recommended that students have their teaching certificates. Students should take this course in conjunction with the online course EPSE 303 offered in September of each year. EPSE 303 and EPSE 408 are complementary courses, providing background in understanding the characteristics and needs of highly able learners followed by in-depth consideration of how to meet those needs in the inclusive classroom.


  • Recognition of the cognitive and affective characteristics of advanced development, the learning profiles of highly able learners and their curricular implications
  • Understanding of general principles for planning appropriate educational experiences that optimize the development of giftedness and creativity
  • Application of the foundational principles of curriculum planning for highly able learners
  • Acquiring a repertoire of curriculum planning and programming strategies


This course will be offered online on Canvas –

1 Programming Options for Higher Ability Learners

  • Premises of gifted programming
  • Responding to the needs of gifted learners
  • Guidelines for curriculum compacting
  • Acceleration
2 Students with artistic, athletic and musical gifts

  • Considering prevailing notions of giftedness
  • Supporting knowledge and creativity in talented students
3 Designing Curriculum for Engagement and Challenge

  • Understanding by Design as a framework for robust curriculum
  • Crafting critical questions
4 Specific Strategies for Differentiating Curriculum

  • Effective frameworks for differentiating curriculum
  • Units designed around a global theme
  • Units designed using a process/product/process matrix
5 Interventions and Individual Educational Plans

  • Role of the school-based team
  • Guidelines for developing an Individual Educational Plan
  • Matching strategies to strengths for gifted learners
6 Principles in Designing Literature and Writing Experiences for Highly Able Learners

  • The developmental course of reading and writing
  • Criteria for selecting appropriate resources
  • Assessing reading and writing in highly able learners
7 Principles in Designing a Mathematics Curriculum for Highly Able Learners

  • Identifying mathematical talent
  • Principles of curriculum design for mathematically talented students
8 Critical Thinking – Its Process and Application

  • Elements and standards of critical thinking
  • Teaching philosophy to children
  • Future problem solving
9 Designing Qualitatively Different Curriculum

  • Theories and principles of problem based learning
  • Guidelines for creating a problem based learning unit
10 Mentorship: Supporting Independent Learning

  • Principles and guidelines for developing a mentorship program
11 Researching Our Practice and Evaluating Curriculum

  • Models of Mind
  • Teacher as researcher
  • Guidelines for evaluating our practice
12 Personal inquiry project submissions and responses


Required readings will be made available through UBC Library’s e-journal system. It is expected that you will supplement the assigned readings with readings relevant to your own interests. Additional references are included in the course modules.

There is no textbook required.


This is an online course. Students are required to have a computer, access to the Internet, and a Campus Wide Login ID and password to access the course website.


Your EZproxy connection will allow you to access library resources from your computer on or off campus. For more information, go to


Telephone: 604.822.2013, or toll-free in North America: 1.888.492.1122

Latest Revision on: October 25, 2018