Skip to main content

Dr. Susan K. Johnsen (Baylor) answers: Is Gifted Education killing Gifted Education in Texas


The question I asked Dr. Johnsen:

Has the lack of mandatory Gifted and Talented teacher certification in Texas reduced or eliminated the number of Gifted and Talented courses and programs at Baylor University?

I wouldn't be surprised if that is the case. At Baylor, we have very few applicants for master's level programs in gifted education. Maybe one every three years. We do have an undergraduate program that offers a dual certificate (GT and elementary certificates) and have about 11-15 students who graduate from that program each year. Our undergraduate program is nationally recognized by NCATE, and our graduates often receive outstanding teacher awards in their school districts.

Teachers in Texas only have to have a 30 clock-hour certificate with only minimal topic requirements. In Louisiana, teachers are required to have a master's degree in gifted education and 18 hours of coursework. They have strong university programs.

The requirements in Texas do not allow teachers to meet national standards and ultimately affect not only courses offered at universities but also the quality of the education of gifted students.

Thanks for asking the question,

Susan K. Johnsen, Ph. D.
Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
School of Education
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97301
Waco, TX 76798

See other comments:

Dr. F. Richard Olanchak (Univ. of Houston) answers the question: Is Gifted Education killing Gifted Education in Texas?

Dr. Joyce Juntune (Texas A&M) answers: Is Gifted Education killing Gifted Education in Texas?

Dr. Kathy Hargrove (SMU) answers: Is lack of Gifted and Talented teacher certification killing Gifted Education in Texas?

“By…(selecting) the youth of genius from among the classes of the poor, we hope to avail the State of those talents which nature has sown as liberally among the poor as the rich, but which perish without use if not sought for and cultivated”.   Thomas Jefferson, 1772

We did not listen then.  Will we now?

Dick Kantenberger
Gifted Education Writer
(713) 206-9343