Renzulli’s Triad Enrichment Model:

(adapted from The Enrichment Triad: A Guide for Developing Defensible Programs for the Gifted and Talented (Renzulli, 1977)

Joseph S. Renzulli developed a framework for organizing qualitatively different learning experiences for gifted and talented students known as the Enrichment Triad Model, which is summarized below:

Types of Enrichment


Type I General Exploratory Activities


Type II Group Training Activities


Type III Individual and Small Group


Investigations of Real Problems

The purpose of Type I activities is to motivate the student and "to bring the learner into touch with the kinds of topics or areas of study in which he or she may have a sincere interest." These experiences should be the kind, which could lead to more extensive research and involvement if the student wishes to pursue them.

In Type II Enrichment, the teacher uses methods, materials and instructional techniques that are concerned mainly with the development of higher level thinking and feeling processes. These processes include critical thinking, problem solving, and inquiry training. Thinking and feeling processes have been the focus of many programs for the gifted in the past since research shows that certain thinking and feeling processes provide students with skills and abilities that are applicable or transferable to new learning situations and other content areas. These skills or processes are useful in the changing world where knowledge is expanding continuously. Thus students are prepared to face new problem-solving situations.

Type III Enrichment includes activities designed to enable students to become real world investigators and problem solvers. It is essential that students or small groups of students be allowed to select their own Type III activities based on their own interests related to the subject area. The role of the student changes from learner to doer. Type III activities should take place over a long time period and involve the creation of a project or product.

In addition to the Triad Model, one of the other important concepts of Renzulli that is used in the Project CRITICAL curriculum is curriculum compacting. Every teacher and administrator is well aware that the greatest obstacle to adopting new innovations is time. In most content areas, particularly at the secondary level, teachers experience the problem of adequately teaching all the required existing course content and mandates within the school year. Renzulli’s curriculum compacting, as its name suggests, demonstrates to teachers how they can add new curricula, such as Project CRITICAL, and still meet all of their existing requirements.