Department of Education

Enrichment Triad

Renzulli's Enrichment Triad

One of the more influential theorists on program delivery today is Joseph Renzulli. Renzulli's early work focused on a triad of attributes, above average ability, task commitment and creativity.

His later model, the school wide enrichment model, became popular because it is inclusive, affecting many students in the school, while being highly effective with gifted students. It provides gifted students with an enhanced educational model.

Renzulli describes an organisational and service delivery model, which has three components: Type I enrichment (general exploratory experiences), Type II enrichment (group training activities), and Type III enrichment (individual and small-group investigations of real problems).

Organisational elements include enrichment-planning teams, needs assessments, staff development, materials selection, and program evaluation. Some of the service delivery components are lessons to promote development of thinking processes, procedures to modify the regular curriculum, and curriculum compacting.

Joseph Renzulli (Renzulli, Sand and Reis, 1986) created this model specifically for the education of gifted students so that teachers could provide programs that are qualitatively different.

The Enrichment Triad Model consists of three types of enrichment:

  • TYPE I - General Interest / Exploratory Activities

These activities are designed to provide students with as wide a range of experiences as possible, and include excursions, club, interest centres, visiting speakers and brainstorming sessions.

  • TYPE II - Group Training Activities / Skills Development

These activities are designed to develop thinking and feeling skills and students are involved in designing, experimenting, comparing, analysing, recording and classifying. Skills to be developed include creative and critical thinking, learning how to learn, using advanced level reference materials and communicating effectively.

  • TYPE III - Individual and Small Group Investigation of Real Problems

Students apply the knowledge and skills they have developed while working through Type I and Type II activities. They become investigators of real problems, working on specific areas of study towards presentation to a real audience. Activities include researching, debating, surveying, making a presentation, writing a journal article or producing a book or play.

A significant feature of Renzulli's Enrichment Triad model is that all students can work at the first two levels, and the activities generated within these levels support the third level. Type III activities are more appropriate for gifted students, as they allow for the generation of creativity.


Maker CJ (1982). Teaching models in education of the gifted. Rockville, Maryland: Aspen Publications.
Renzulli, J, Sand, J and Reis S S (1986). Systems and models for developing programs for the gifted and talented. J S Renzulli (Ed). Mansfield Centre, Connecticut: Creative Learning Press.

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Enrichment Triad

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