Program Models, Structures, and Organizations (page 2)
Administrative and Curricular
- For decades, enrichment, acceleration, and grouping have been used in various forms as administrative and curricular modifications to provide appropriate educational opportunities for gifted and talented learners at school.
- The evidence is clear that none of these modifications should be used alone in programming and in curriculum models designed for gifted learners.
- Enrichment is the modification most used in programs for gifted and talented learners at both the elementary and the secondary levels.
- Enrichment can refer to adding disciplines or areas of learning not normally found in the regular curriculum, using more advanced or in-depth material to enhance the core curriculum, or expanding the teaching strategies used to present instruction.
- However acceleration is implemented, it usually results in a student’s completion of formal schooling in less time than is typically required.
- Since the early use of acceleration by Terman in 1947, research has been almost uniformly positive in its results.
- Grouping alone is insufficient to have significant effects on achievement. The curriculum content and processes must also be modified so as to be more appropriate to gifted learners.
- Clustering gifted learners in an elementary classroom and differentiating their instruction in order to provide appropriate education constitute a grouping option that is growing in popularity.
- Clustering can work well for moderately gifted learners only if differentiation, flexible grouping, continuous progress, intellectual peer interaction, continuity, and informed teachers are provided.
- Gifted students in heterogeneously grouped classes may too often be asked to demonstrate mastery of fact-based information that was mastered years before. Such practices may result in mediocre performance by them and lack of challenge in their learning.
- Research on homogeneous grouping for high-ability students shows a significant positive effect on their academic achievement, allowing them to achieve significantly better than when placed in heterogeneously grouped classes.
- The use of gifted students as teachers’ aides, demonstrators, tutors, or record keepers for a good part of the school day prevents appropriate education for them and healthy social interactions with their classmates.
- Grouping in any form does not overcome poor teaching or an inappropriate curriculum, but without grouping, we can limit the effects of good teaching and the delivery of an appropriate curriculum.
Structures and Models
- One of the conceptualizations often used in gifted education, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Handbook I: Cognitive Domain, can be used to plan for learning experiences at many levels to meet the needs of a variety of learners.
- Opportunities to work at more advanced levels are crucial for the more able student.
- The students themselves, after becoming familiar with the taxonomic structure, can analyze and create experiences at each level to motivate their learning.
- Guilford’s Structure of Intellect (SOI) Model provided psychology with a multifactor view of intelligence to replace the single-factor view previously held and introduced creativity as a major part of the concept of intelligence.
- In addition to the Integrative Education Model introduced in Chapter 6, models often used in gifted education include the following:
- The Schoolwide Enrichment Model (Renzulli & Reis),
- The Grid (Kaplan),
- The Autonomous Learner Model (Betts & Kercher),
- The Multiple Intelligence Model (Gardner),
- The Triarchic Componential Model (Sternberg), and
- The Parallel Curriculum Model (Tomlinson et al.).
- Districts should be encouraged to find the elements in each model that best fit the conditions and limitations unique to their population and synthesize them into their own district’s plan for gifted education.
Program Organizations and Structures For Gifted Learners in Elementary School
- Our challenge is to find a place for children who may be 6 years old, read like a 10-year-old, write like a 6-year-old, solve mathematics problems like a 12-year-old, talk like a 15-year-old, and handle emotions and hurt feelings like a 4-year-old.
- As was true in the home, the responsive learning environment, in which the child is the guide for the pace and content of learning, is still the best means for optimizing learning at school.
- Some of the educational organizations and structures used with young gifted learners are early admission; nongraded or cross-age-grouped classes; individualized instruction; accelerated promotion (i.e., grade skipping); independent study; mentors; pullout or resource room programs; grouping by ability or need (e.g., clustering in the regular classroom); field trips; after-school, Saturday, or summer enrichment; tutorials; adjunct programs; internships; special classes; magnet schools; and special schools. There can be advantages and limitations to each approach.
- Each district would be well advised to have a wide variety of programs available for the continuum of services needed. Because no one structure can meet the needs of all the gifted learners in any district, providing a range of planned services would be the best practice.
- Individualized classrooms allow more flexibility for the learner and may be combined with clusters, pullout, and nongraded or cross-age grouping with even more effect. Special classes and special schools allow even more needs to be met, especially for the highly gifted students.
- Gifted students in any of the program structures suggested have higher achievement than do gifted students who are in regular classrooms and are not in gifted programs at all.
- It is important to find a way to individualize school learning experiences so that gifted individuals can have their atypical needs met continuously throughout their school career.
© ______ 2008, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
Washington Virtual Academies
Tuition-free online school for Washington students.
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- The Homework Debate
- Social Cognitive Theory
- First Grade Sight Words List
- GED Math Practice Test 1