Two classroom organizational strategies that are frequently used in educating the gifted include the special class model, where gifted students are placed in self-contained, homogeneous, segregated classrooms or schools, and the mainstreaming model, where gifted students are served in their regular, heterogeneous classrooms.

Those educators claim that gifted students left in their regular classes may become under achievers, manifest behavior problems, and may not be able to develop their talents

The students demand high standards of themselves and of their classmates and have to work hard for their grades. In the view of some researchers, gifted children in heterogeneous classrooms are often held back and possibly thwarted in their intellectual growth by learning situations that are designed and geared toward the average student.

A gifted child is put into a special class where learning is not easy for him, and where he is only average among a group of gifted. Thus, feelings of incompetency to cope with the increased competition may arise, which can dis courage and reduce achievement.

The gifted children, no longer exhausted by the pressure to complete assigned learning tasks, had energy to branch out and broaden their interests and understanding.


I found an interesting study that examined boredom of gifted students in regular vs gifted classes. They found that gifted students in "special" classes reported higher levels of boredom due to being overchallenged (ie. bored in the subjects they didnt excel in) but had higher levels of boredom due to being underchallenged when in regular classes. I don't know how to add references (like Natalie did above) so I am just typing in the reference here:

Preckel, F., Gotz, T., & Frenzel, A. (2010). Ability grouping of gifted students: Effects on academic self-concept and boredom. The British Psychological Society, 80, 451-472.


  1. ^ Assessing the Status of Information on Classroom Organizational Frameworks for Gifted Students
    Author(s): Ellen B. Goldring
    Source: The Journal of Educational Research, Vol. 83, No. 6 (Jul. - Aug., 1990), pp. 313-314