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Affective Development

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Exceptional Children's Educational Act (ECEA) Rules defines "Affective Development" as:

Social and emotional programming intended to:

  • assist gifted students in understanding themselves as gifted learners, and the implications of their abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment (intrapersonal skills); and
  • assist gifted students in developing and/or refining interpersonal skills. 12.01(3)(a-b)


Affective development pertains to the social-emotional needs of gifted children. 

ECEA Rules state AUs shall develop programming options to support the affective needs of students, provide affective and guidance support systems, develop an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) goal for affective development, and monitor and measure affective growth. 

Affective ALP goals are strength-based, measurable statements that reflect development of personal, social, communication, leadership and cultural competencies. 

As secondary students develop their Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP), one of the quality indicators listed below may take the place of an ALP affective goal.

Affective Competencies & Indicators

Personal Competence

  • Self-efficacy, awareness, advocacy
  • Confidence
  • Motivation
  • Resilience
  • Independence
  • Curiosity
  • Openness to risk-taking
  • Dealing with perfectionism
  • Stress management
  • Connection of effort to success
  • Reversing underachievement

Social Competence

  • Positive social interactions with peers
  • Appropriate peer relationships
  • Positive social skills with adults
  • Effective ways of requesting solitude
  • Effective ways of working in groups

Leadership Competence

  • Leadership in strength area
  • Flexibility
  • Listening skills
  • Presentation/speaking skills
  • Commitment
  • Self-efficacy and confidence
  • Goal-setting skills
  • Group communication skills
  • Social responsibility
  • Decision making skills

Cultural Competence

  • Positive regard for own language and heritage
  • Appreciation and sensitivity toward diverse backgrounds and languages of others
  • Collaborative skills in diverse groups
  • Effective communication with diverse peers
  • Positive social skills to address stereotyping
  • Positive social skills for confronting discriminatory behavior by others

Communication Competence

  • Effective use of interpersonal communication
  • Effective use of technical communication in area of strength
  • Effective use of creative expression in talent area
  • Understanding of different oral, written, and artistic communication strategies
  • Advanced development and maintenance of first and second language
  • Use of advanced communication tools, including assistive technologies to express higher-level thinking and creative productivity

Secondary ICAP Quality Indicator

  • Self-awareness
  • Career Awareness
  • Postsecondary Aspirations
  • Postsecondary Options
  • Environmental Expectations
  • Academic Planning
  • Employability Skills
  • Personal Financial Literacy

Indicators for Measuring Affective Goals

Monitoring and measuring affective growth is a key requirement within ECEA Rules.  

The term “affective growth” is often used in education as a broad term that encompasses observed growth in social and emotional behaviors and attitudes of students.

Affective goals are typically measured in two ways:


Student Self-evaluation:

  • Document a behavior (graph, chart, calendar, journal reflection);
  • Develop a portfolio (experiences, visits, action steps completed);
  • Complete a survey (rank or rate an experience, behavior or ability); or
  • Evaluate a performance (rubric, checklist, journal reflection).

Teacher, parent or expert evaluation:

  • Interview about goal attainment;
  • Observation of practice and/or mastery of goal; or
  • Review/rating of documents, portfolios and performances.

Resources for Affective Goals

Note: If you are not able to access the resources or need additional support, please contact the Office of Gifted Education Program Administrator.