The authors begin by boldly announcing that their approach differs radically from gifted education as currently practiced, so radically that they give it a different name: advanced academics. Identification of the cognitive, motivational, and personality traits that might uniquely characterize gifted learners is left for psychologists to investigate and debate. For practitioners, identification should refer to "a formalized system that sets out to determine which students have needs that are not being met by the standard curriculum of a given school or district" (page 15).
Therefore, instead of asking, "Who is gifted?," we ask, "Who can thrive in the advanced academic programs we've designed?" (pg. 2). Supplementary advanced academic services should focus on needs that are not being met as part of the general curriculum..." (pg 9).
"Replacing the concept of giftedness with the much more contextual notions of academic need and advanced academic programming removes an invisible intellectual straightjacket that has tied our hands and blinded our eyes to obvious changes our schools must make to support high-achieving or potentially high-achieving students" (pg 13).
Advanced academics, therefore, is a completely needs-based and school-based construct that stems directly from historical conceptions of gifted education with their focus on student need.
The term enrichment encompasses a wide variety of programming. However, generally, enrichment entails the coverage of topics not usually encountered in the usual curriculum, frequently through individualized or small group instruction or independent study, and often involving open-ended projects leading to products or performances (pg 18).
Peters, S., Matthews, M, McBee, M., McCoach, B. (2014) Beyond Gifted Education. Texas: Prufrock Press.