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Info-booklet:

Differentiation for

Gifted Learners in Practice ss e c o Pr ct u d o r P

Conce Issuepts/ Them s/ es Advanced Content

Info-booklet:

Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

ss e c o Pr t c u d o Pr

Conce Issuepts/ Them s/ es Advanced Content

Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

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Chapter 1 An Overview of the Integrated Curriculum Model and Its Linkage to Differentiation Features   

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE

SECTION

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Chapter 1 Introduction: An Overview of the Integrated Curriculum Model and Its Linkage to Differentiation Features

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Chapter 2 Differentiation with Advanced Content Dimension

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Chapter 3 Differentiation with Process - Product Dimension

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Chapter 4 Differentiation with Concepts/Issues/Themes Dimension

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References

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About the Authors

Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska and Dr. Kimberley L. Chandler The College of William and Mary, Center for Gifted Education

1.1 Introduction The Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM)1 (VanTassel-Baska, 1986) was developed as a framework specifically to address the curricular needs of gifted learners. The three components of the model: (i) advanced content, (ii) process-product elements, and (iii) concepts/issues/themes dimension, if included in curriculum materials, can help to meet the cognitive needs of high-ability students. The ICM provides a useful organiser for planning and structuring differentiated activities specifically designed for gifted students. More recent work in applying the ICM (see VanTassel-Baska, 2003, VanTassel-Baska & Stambaugh, 2006, and VanTassel-Baska & Little, 2012) extends the model to curriculum units of study in each subject area, at all grade levels, and provides scaffolds for learning in each content area and for major processes needed for effective implementation such as critical thinking and problem solving. VanTassel-Baska’s conception of the ICM evolved from what she described as “three relatively distinct curriculum models that have proven effective with gifted populations at various stages of development and in various domain-specific areas” (1986, p. 165). These models were: the content mastery model, the process/product research model, and the epistemological concept model. In her initial description of the ICM, she discussed the importance of synthesising these research-based and theoretical models in such a way that they could be used in practice to develop curricular materials. The ICM represents a model of research-based curriculum emphases or approaches. Each dimension is meant to address a key characteristic of gifted learner. The synthesis of the three dimensions into the ICM represents a comprehensive approach to curriculum development for gifted students and the appropriate differentiation of content, process, and concepts to address their needs. The use of the word integrated in the ICM’s title thus represents two ideas: 1) the way in which the three curriculum models have been combined; and 2) the nature of curriculum that has been developed to incorporate differentiated content, process, and concepts through a careful and systematic design process.

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Chapter 1 An Overview of the Integrated Curriculum Model and Its Linkage to Differentiation Features

Figure 1.1: Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM), reprinted with permission

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Process-Product Dimension The process-product dimension of the ICM represents multiple approaches to organising curriculum by higher order processes in which there is a focus on teaching the skills that help students to develop high quality products. This model is often collaborative in nature and puts the teacher in the role of facilitator as the students explore various topics through structured activities. This orientation to curriculum is also constructivist in nature and emphasises in-depth study of issues of interest either by individuals or groups. Models for teaching critical and creative thinking and problem solving provide important tools to implement this dimension of a curriculum.

Process-Product Dimension

Advanced Content Dimension

Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

Learner needs related to intensity. If students are interested in a given topic, they have the capacity to be engaged for long periods of time in the creative production of new information and products: Rather than repeating information memorised from a textbook, it becomes incumbent on the student to ask questions, find information, and synthesise it into something new. For this to occur, however, certain skills and processes must be taught and practiced in a systematic way. Included in this dimension are instruction in research skills and group process skills, and the use of frameworks such as problem-based learning and Paul’s Reasoning Model (1992). The process-product dimension addresses the differentiation of process.

Issues/Themes Dimension

(VanTassel-Baska, 1986)

Advanced Content Dimension The advanced content component of the ICM is derived from the content mastery model, which emphasises learning skills and concepts within a specific domain. In order for the content mastery model to be appropriate for gifted students, it must include a diagnostic-prescriptive approach in which the teacher assesses student readiness relative to the content and makes instructional decisions accordingly. The teacher must reorganise the content to emphasise higher level skills and concepts, as well as reduce the degree of skill-based work. Advanced content is necessary because high-ability students tend to exhibit advanced abilities in one or more curricular areas at earlier stages of development than is the norm. It is essential that they have the opportunity to work with advanced stimuli and prompts so that they have the opportunity to experience new learning (VanTassel-Baska, 1986). Instead of using the materials prescribed for a given form or grade level, the teacher should select above-level materials. Literature that is one or two years beyond what students typically read at a certain grade level is an example of an advanced stimulus. In science, students might work with content that is more in-depth than what they would normally study at a given level; for example, rather than simply studying the parts of the ocean floor, the gifted student may also research the causes and effects of coastal erosion. When a teacher addresses the advanced content dimension, they are responding to the more advanced level of functioning of gifted students.

Concepts/Issues/Themes Dimension The concepts/issues/themes dimension of the ICM is based on the epistemological concept model, which “focuses on talented students’ understanding and appreciation of systems of knowledge rather than the individual segments of those systems” (VanTassel-Baska, 1986, p. 168). This dimension is one that allows for the intra- and interdisciplinary exploration of important ideas related to a given domain. Several concepts have the capacity to relate to various domains of knowledge, such as change, patterns, systems, and models. These concepts provide important connectors for understanding underlying content areas and related skills if curriculum is organised to enhance their use. In the ICM, such concepts frame the intellectual work of a unit of study, thus elevating the learning to a higher plane. The concepts/issues/themes dimension addresses the high level and abstract thinking abilities of advanced students, including their ability to understand interrelationships among various ideas. An example of incorporating this dimension is an interdisciplinary unit about the concept of systems. In mathematics, students would explore different number systems, while in science they would study the human body systems. In language arts, students might research the family systems in a given novel. In the social sciences, the teacher would provide instruction related to government and economic systems. Such a unit would allow gifted students to work at a deep level of understanding and with an interdisciplinary focus, rather than studying only isolated skills and topics. The concepts/ issues/themes dimension provides an appropriate way to differentiate concepts for gifted students.

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1.2 Differentiation Features Differentiation involves adjusting curriculum, instruction, and assessment based on gifted students’ needs. In later work, VanTassel-Baska developed a set of specific strategies for differentiation that she called differentiation features (2003). The differentiation features are abstractness, depth, complexity, creativity, acceleration, and challenge. These differentiation features include specific task modifications that teachers can incorporate to make adjustments in concepts, content, and processes to meet the needs of gifted students. The value in VanTassel-Baska’s explication of these differentiation features is that it provides an operationalisation of terms that are too often used in gifted education with inadequate explanations of what they should look like in practice. In this chapter, the author has combined VanTassel-Baska’s ICM and differentiation features to provide a streamlined and all-inclusive approach to differentiation for gifted students that addresses both curriculum and instruction. The ICM serves as a framework on which each differentiation feature is juxtaposed upon one of the three dimensions. The purpose of the remainder of this chapter is to use the ICM as an organiser and way of thinking about differentiation for gifted students in terms of specific features. In subsequent chapters, more detailed descriptions, related strategies, and curricular examples will be provided.

Advanced Content Dimension: Acceleration and Challenge Acceleration and challenge are the two differentiation features that relate to advanced content and which can address the gifted learner characteristic of precocity or advanced development in a curricular area. Acceleration should include a diagnostic-prescriptive component in which the teacher pre-assesses students to determine their readiness relative to certain skills, and therefore may compact or compress new material at more advanced levels. In addition to this accelerative approach, teachers may choose to select off-level materials for use with advanced learners, and provide opportunities to learn with intellectual peers who may be older. Challenge is another differentiation feature that can be utilised to provide advanced content. Challenge includes using sophisticated content stimuli and providing advanced resources for student exploration. It also may include interdisciplinary work and tasks in which students must use reasoning skills to determine the implications for a given line of thought. In mathematics, an example of incorporating challenge is using problems that go beyond what students already know how to solve, even using problems from antiquity that have never been solved to help them focus on the act of real problem solving.

Figure 1.2: Differentiation Features of ICM Components Process-Product Dimension: Depth, Complexity, and Creativity Depth, Complexity, and Creativity

Process-Product Dimension

Advanced Content Dimension

Issues/Themes Dimension

Abstractness

Depth, complexity, and creativity are the differentiation features that correspond to the processproduct dimension; they can be effective in addressing the gifted student characteristic of intensity, in terms of the ability to sustain focus on an area of interest. If a learner studies a topic in depth, the task demand should include conducting original research and ultimately developing a product. Learning something in depth also requires children to explore a topic through multiple means and multiple lenses, potentially including the development of their own resources, such as generating surveys or creating a product using data they have collected (VanTassel-Baska & Stambaugh, 2006). Complexity is a differentiation feature that relies on including multiple higher order thinking skills and multiple variables to study a topic. Using several of the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy or Bloom’s Taxonomy Revised (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001) for questioning or task demands is also a simple way to increase complexity. For example, students may be asked to analyse and evaluate a text, and then create a new one, using the same elements. The degree of complexity needed for a task demand depends on the needs of particular groups of learners and their level of functioning in a given subject area. Creativity is the third differentiation feature that relates to the process-product dimension; this curricular emphasis addresses the intensity of the learner through creative production. Incorporating creativity involves providing options for students in tasks, products, and assessments. According to VanTassel-Baska (2006), an important caveat about creativity must be made regarding the product:

Challenge and Acceleration

Adapted from ICM (VanTassel-Baska, 1986)

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“Creativity must include rigorous content as represented through some type of product. Simply asking students to create or make a product is not differentiation unless that product allows in some way for new advanced learning” .(p.38)

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Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

Chapter 2 Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

Differentiation with Advanced Content Dimension 

Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska

Concepts/Issues/Themes Dimension: Abstractness Abstractness is the differentiation feature that closely relates to the concepts/issues/themes dimension of the ICM. Including abstractness in curriculum means that there should be a focus on conceptual thinking about the macro-concepts (change, systems, cause and effect, etc.) that are intra- and interdisciplinary in nature. Abstractness requires moving students from concrete examples (subject area concepts) to abstract ideas (macro-concepts) about which they can form generalisations that are cross-cutting and universal. The provision of a heuristic such as the Taba Model for Concept Development (1962) may be used to address the abstract nature of a concept. Other strategies, such as the use of graphic organisers that require students to find and illustrate examples of the conceptual focus in content, are also effective in designing tasks that focus on the abstractness feature. Concepts also enhance complexity of thought, depth of understanding, and creative connections to multiple subject areas.

2.1 Acceleration and Advancement in Content Areas In the Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM), the first dimension for consideration is the one that requires teachers to assess students for their level of proficiency in a given subject area prior to instruction. Although a school’s programmes may include elaborations on basic materials and activities that enrich, expand, and enhance learning opportunities, it must be recognised that a student’s aptitude for accelerated learning is fundamental to the design of an appropriate curriculum. As an example, in a curriculum for primary-grade students reading at advanced levels, the following programme components would be appropriate. Teachers may use this list as a self-assessment on existing options for acceleration in the language arts.

1.3 Application to the Hong Kong Context There are several aspects of the gifted education (GE) programmes in Hong Kong that provide a basis for the use of the ICM in curriculum development. Curriculum at both primary and secondary levels covers a wide range of content, allowing the easy application of principles of differentiation to each area. Moreover, the Three-tier Model2 of programming (especially for Level 1, wholeclass GE programmes) in Hong Kong promotes in-class differentiation, a contextual variable that is amenable to using the ICM in relevant areas of the curriculum. For example, many GE programmes in Hong Kong stress the inclusion of critical thinking. The ICM provides a systematic way to ensure that critical thinking is embedded within the fabric of a curriculum area through the use of a model like Paul’s Reasoning Model and the instructional approach of problem-based learning. Options that are provided at Levels 2 and 3 of the Hong Kong operation mode in gifted education may also use the ICM for the organisation of instruction, especially to calibrate the level of curriculum needed and to integrate a course of study at a higher conceptual level. In sum, the ICM provides a coherent blueprint for adapting the curriculum as well as the learning and teaching for gifted learners.

1.4 Conclusion In this chapter, the author provided background information about VanTassel-Baska’s Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM) as a way of structuring curriculum for gifted students. The author also briefly introduced the differentiation features of abstractness, depth, complexity, creativity, acceleration, and challenge as a way of addressing the three dimensions with deliberate strategies in mind for developing curriculum and planning instructional activities. The next three chapters in this booklet will include more detailed explanations of the dimensions of the ICM, practical strategies and tips for incorporating the features, and examples drawn from practice as illustrations of how they meet gifted learner needs. Notes: 1. The Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM; VanTassel-Baska, 1986) has been the conceptual framework for curricula developed at the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. The materials developed in language arts, science, and social studies (and mathematics, to a much lesser extent), all include the three components of advanced content, process/product considerations, and an issues/themes dimension. For additional information, please visit the following website : http://education.wm.edu/centers/cfge/curriculum/index.php 2. Three-tier Model: For details of the description, please visit the EDB’s website : http://www.edb.gov.hk/cd/ge_e

Work from a programme for advanced grade levels Participate in an inquiry-based study of appropriate classical and contemporary literature Engage in a writing programme that encourages elaboration and incorporation of ideas from literature into stories Use supplementary materials for the development of vocabulary skills Read selected biographies and books in the content areas (including subjects dealing with multicultural issues) Have learning experiences in a world language of choice Use logic and critical thinking Learn spelling from both basal and literary reading selections Tell stories and read one’s own stories Pursue free reading based on individual interests

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Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

2.2 Strategies for Acceleration in Classrooms

Although the overall emphasis of the programme is whole language experience with a strong emphasis on enrichment of the basic curriculum, the underlying issue of appropriate level of instruction is stressed through careful assessment of reading-skill levels at various stages during the year, access to advanced reading materials—including basal and literature programmes, and a vocabulary and spelling programme that corresponds to the level of reading instruction. This list of interventions for gifted learners at primary school levels shows the scope of activities that acceleration should provide in setting the curricular pattern in every content area. Subject-matter acceleration in another content area also has clear importance for students in the primary grades. In mathematics, for example, there is the need to consider the following emphases beyond the pre-assessment. Again, teachers may use this list for self-assessment purposes.

The following set of four classroom strategies outlines important modifications that can be made by teachers to ensure effective education of the gifted through the use of an accelerative and advanced mode of instruction. Strategy #1: Selecting Differentiated Curriculum Materials The first strategy suggested for classroom adaptation of acceleration is the selection of materials already representative of advanced level content and other differentiation features. These materials have proven to be effective with gifted learners and suggest that real learning occurs when they are artfully employed by teachers (VanTassel-Baska, 2003). The idea of teachers’ selecting materials rather than creating them speaks to the limited time that teachers have to engage in direct curriculum development work. Many times, it is not feasible; thus existing curriculum materials become a very attractive alternative. In order to employ this strategy, a three step process is necessary.

Develop spatial skills and concepts through geometry and other media Engage in problem-solving skills with appropriately challenging problems

Step (1):

Use calculators and computers as tools in the problem-solving process Engage in learning mathematical concepts deeply and well Focus on logic problems that require deductive thinking skills and inference

Teachers should compile a list of potential materials for review by content area and grade levels. A school librarian should be helpful in this task. A list of materials that meet the appropriate standards for use with gifted learners is also a useful starting place.

Step (2): Once the materials are available and are ready for review, teachers may complete a criterion-based checklist to assess the appropriateness of the material for the concepts and standards to be addressed. Evaluation of the following issues should be considered: The level of the questions asked, the level of the student activities, the open-endedness of the activities/questions, the quality of the ideas for project work, and the coherence of big ideas introduced.

Apply mathematics in the real world through special projects Work on algebraic manipulations Work with statistics and probability Step (3):

Teachers implement the text material selected as suggested and engage in appropriate pre- and post-testing. Again, the accelerated mathematics curriculum is balanced with a strong enrichment element, but at the same time it allows for skills, concepts, and requisite materials to be at a challenging level for the child rather than geared to grade-level considerations. While other subject areas would also require similar approaches to accelerated study, the areas of reading and mathematics as tool skills begun and emphasised strongly in the primary curriculum in all schools suggests that these areas need special attention.

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Strategy #2: Diagnostic-Prescriptive Instruction

Step (2): Cluster Grouping

The use of classroom-based acceleration practices could be one of the possible options for making learning meaningful for the majority of gifted and high-ability learners in school. In the 1970s, Julian Stanley developed a system for diagnosing and prescribing the appropriate level of instruction for these learners. It has been used worldwide in programmes for the gifted ever since (Benbow & Stanley, 1983; VanTassel-Baska, 2003).

Follow-up instructional intervention must then be based on the diagnostic results. These results should be analysed for patterns within and across student profiles. Students who are reasonably close in scores (i.e., within 10 percentile points) should be cluster-grouped for advanced instruction. These groups may range from two to five students in number. If a teacher has only one student who is very advanced, that student should be cluster-grouped with other students at a comparable level, either at the same grade level or at the next grade level for instruction in reading, mathematics, or both. It is not appropriate to have gifted students working independently throughout the year in a core area of the curriculum when they could be working with intellectual peers and learning more.

The core steps of this diagnostic-prescriptive approach are (Van Tassel - Baska & Sher, 2011, P..52, 53) : Step (1): Diagnostic Assessment Perhaps the central strategy that is called for is effective diagnostic assessment of those learners who a teacher suspects of having advanced abilities in the core areas of learning: reading and mathematics. This diagnostic assessment should be buttressed by the previous year’s achievement data and other records. Utilising multiple sources of data for making decisions is important. Possible sources of diagnostic data include the following: • End-of-year assessments to be employed at your grade level. In September, give your students the end-of-year reading comprehension test, the spelling test, and the English usage test in language arts; in mathematics, give them the end-of-year computation, measurement, and number theory assessment. In each of these areas, your highability learners are likely to score 85% or higher, necessitating the need for compressed instruction and advanced work on other aspects of the language arts and mathematics curricula.

Step (3): Differentiation with Curricular Materials Beyond the instructional grouping decision lies the issue of a differentiated instructional plan for these students, especially in reading and mathematics during the elementary years. The combinatory power of diagnostic assessment, cluster grouping based on results, and follow-up differentiation would be a major improvement in all classrooms and ease the concerns of parents of the gifted whose children feel trapped by grade-level work.

• Formal diagnostic instruments. Give your students a diagnostic reading test and/or mathematics test to assess functional level in these skill areas. Teachers may also administer an individual achievement test in these key areas of learning. • Chapter tests that cluster items across topics in mathematics. Because of the incremental nature of mathematics study, you may want to assess students on more discrete aspects of the curriculum as the year progresses. While this approach inhibits overall accelerative practices, it does allow students to avoid being remediated. Such diagnostic assessment is a crucial first step in finding students who need advanced instruction in basic areas of the curriculum.

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Strategy #3: Curriculum Re-organisation

Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

Step (3):

Teachers need to administer the pre-test and score it for levels of performance. Students who perform well (at or above 85%) on the pre-assessment may compact out of the curriculum content topic and be assigned advanced work in some form. For students at different levels of mastery, teachers can now streamline the teaching for them, covering only the material they do not know and doing so at a more rapid pace.

Step (4):

For targeted students who have compacted out, teachers may provide a set of options which could include: (i) accelerating to the next topic in the core curriculum area or (ii) selecting a special project of interest to complete during the same timeframe that the topic will be treated in class.

Step (5):

After completing one of the options provided, students may now take the post-test with the rest of the class, bringing to an end one compacting episode. Teachers will need to document the level of performance on the post-test and assess the relevant alternative option as well (e.g. project or advanced study on another content topic).

Step (6):

A new cycle of compacting may begin, using another topic.

A third classroom strategy that allows students to accelerate appropriately is a re-organisation or compression of content around higher order skills and concepts. This approach has been used effectively in teaching mathematics and science. It calls for teachers to have strong content knowledge and understand the standards in their relevant area of study. This strategy may also be broken down into specific stages: Stage I

Teachers need to review their text materials and outline the scope and sequence of topics to be taught. They need to think through each topic in respect to grade standard segments and fill in missing topics. Once this task has been completed, teachers may wish to consider ways to combine topics, synthesise them, or reduce/amplify particular emphases, based on knowing the characteristics of gifted students for quick recall and logical thinking.

Stage II Teachers now may wish to consider the list of higher order concepts and skills employed frequently in gifted programmes. Selecting one concept and three skills to use as re-organisers may be enough to tackle at one time. Or teachers may merely want to use specific content-based concepts for re-organisation of topics. In science, the concepts of change and systems fit well with teaching the science standards in many states in U.S.A. and other countries, for example. Stage III Teachers now need to develop activities and questions to guide student learning in the re-organised content area. Use of scaffolds for learning may be helpful at this level. Strategy #4: Curriculum Compacting Another strategy for teachers to accelerate learning for gifted students is through the compacting process. If the teacher desires to compact instruction in only one area and do so in a piecemeal fashion (chapter topic by chapter topic), then curriculum compacting may be the answer. The purpose of compacting also is different in that it is used most frequently to remove gifted students from studying the given content area and place them instead in teacher-student mutually agreed upon project work. Such a shift in emphasis necessitates a careful calibration of compacted material. Again, a set of steps may be followed to accomplish curriculum compacting (Renzulli, Smith, & Reis, 1982) : Step (1):

Teachers need to examine their content standards for potential topics that might be compacted for a few advanced students. Areas for easy compacting might be computational procedures in mathematics, grammar and usage in English, and science principles.

Step (2):

Teachers now may make decisions about the pretest and post-test to be employed. Many teachers use review tests for the pre-assessment and the chapter test for the post-assessment. Teachers may also construct their own test or use others that are both applicable to the topic and available.

An Example of Lesson Plan Using Compacting Instructional purpose: To assess the level of student functioning in statistical application. Activities: 1. Pre-assess students on the end of chapter test in statistics. Students who score 85% or higher are grouped together for streamlined instruction on material not mastered. 2. Now have the top group begin to use real world data bases to explore the representation of statistics in tables and graphs. 3. Have students present data tables and graphs that explain 5-year trends in specific areas of society such as career preferences, car sales, and types of books read. Ask them to compare the data obtained for males and females, people aged 16-25 (adolescents), 26-39 (young adults), 4055 (adults), 56-71 (older adults), and 72-90 (the aged). Ask students to describe their findings.

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4. Discuss the following questions with the class after the presentations: • What approaches did you use to obtain your data? • What criteria did you use to decide on the data table you displayed? • How would you predict the trend for different demographic profiles over the next five years? Assessment: Product assessment, judged on the criteria of organisation of data, appropriateness of the statistics employed for analysis, aptness of the representation of data. Presentation judged on the articulation of the analysis of the data, conclusions, and implications drawn.

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Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

2.3 An Acceleration Case-Study Application In order to assess the connection among acceleration theory, research, and practical ideas, it may be necessary to think through the ideas presented thus far in relationship to a real gifted child. The hypothetical John has been selected as a model because his age, his uneven profile of functional development, and his gender may impact our thinking about accelerative options. John is a 6-year-old boy who shows extraordinary ability and interest in mathematics, topping out on in-grade achievement measures and scoring at the level of fifth graders on an individual achievement test in mathematics concepts. He enjoys doing mathematics at home on Saturdays. His father is an engineer, and his mother is a teacher. They support his interest in mathematics. John also enjoys “playing around” with mechanical objects in his spare time. His reading abilities are at the level of a second grader. His record in other first-grade subjects is excellent. His kindergarten and first-grade teachers perceive John to be very able, and they have been commented on their inability to challenge him sufficiently in mathematics. John, however, is small for his age and has displayed inappropriate social behaviour in the classroom. His organisational skills are not remarkable, and he is frequently inattentive.

The following data suggest that some accelerative option would be appropriate: 1

John is highly advanced in one academic area (i.e. mathematics).

2

John’s other academic performance is above average.

3

John’s interests are in the direction of his apparent strengths.

4

John’s parents are supportive of his learning, particularly in mathematics.

On the other hand, some factors suggest that some acceleration options may not be appropriate. 1 John has not managed to develop socially appropriate responses to the classroom demands for compliance and self-discipline. 2

Although he is a good student, John’s precocity in mathematics is not evenly matched by his performance in other academic areas.

3

John is only 6 years old. He has only just begun first grade so his adjustment to the school routines and demands is only beginning to develop.

4

John is small for his age.

After an examination of the evidence both for and against accelerating John, it may be useful to raise related issues concerning his candidacy for acceleration. As reasonable questions, one could pose the following:

1

Which acceleration options would be most profitable for John? Although a case c o u l d b e m a d e f o r g r a d e s k i p p i n g, t h e e v i d e n c e c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e s t h a t acceleration in mathematics is a more appropriate option.

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Does it appear likely that John would progress rapidly in all academic areas i f g i v e n a p r o g r a m m e t h a t w o u l d a l l o w s u c h o p p o r t u n i t i e s ? Pe r h a p s a telescoped option is preferable. John would be able to move through secondand third-grade curriculum skills in all areas, based on his readiness to do so.

3

What should be reasonable expectations for performance and achievement? If acceleration is limited to instruction in mathematics, then a more radical departure from the per formances of age -level peers would be a reasonable expectation. On the other hand, if the instructional programme provides for accelerated learning in all academic areas, then perhaps more modest goals should be expected.

Given the facts of this case, it is justifiable to provide some form of acceleration for John and it would be unconscionable to ignore his abilities and achievements. Definitely, content acceleration in mathematics is required through one of the techniques described in this chapter. A diagnosticprescriptive approach should be tried first, with possible testing out at relevant stages of development. The use of well-designed and advanced mathematics materials would also be appropriate to employ with John. Finally, working with a content expert in mathematics might lead to a re-organisation of mathematics material to make it more efficient and gratifying for John. Thus three of the strategies suggested might be implemented together over time to meet John’s on-going needs for advanced mathematics.

ed c n va nt d A For further information on the practices of acceleration in Hong Kong, please terefer to the Reference n o Manual for Implementing Gifted Education in School: Acceleration Programmes developed by the C

A helpful guide to thinking through accelerative options is the Iowa Acceleration Scale, designed to help schools make similar decisions to the case of John (Assouline, et al. 2003).

Education Bureau (EDB, 2008). The manual is available at the EDB website: http://resources.edb.gov.hk/gifted/ge_resource_bank/files/Policy/acceleration/Acceleration.htm

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2.4 Examples of Curriculum and Instructional Modifications, Using the ICM The examples that appear in Chart A-1 demonstrate the ways in which accelerated learning may be promoted in each major subject area as a part of successfully implementing the ICM. For each subject area, at least three examples are provided that teachers may use to accelerate or advance the curriculum for top students who exhibit readiness for greater curricular challenge.

Chart A-1: Content-specific Applications of the Advanced Content Dimension of the ICM Content Area/Topic

Accelerative/Advanced Approaches

Science: Study of botany

• Pretesting and compacting • Study of botany at primary level (earlier than it is typically offered as a topic)

Language Arts: Study of the lives and works of writers

• Reading selections calibrated two grade levels above grade level • Vocabulary and spelling opportunities matched to reading level, • Use of writing pre-assessment sample to judge readiness for advanced forms of instruction and product development, and • Pre- and post-assessment of grammar and usage principles annually.

Mathematics: Study of animal populations

• Use of challenge problems that are non-algorhythmic • Advanced mathematics skills in graphing, statistics, and estimation at earlier stages of development, • Pre-assessment of basic mathematics skills as a prelude to advanced work in selected mathematics strands, and • Focus on higher level mathematics skills such as reasoning and problem-solving.

Social Studies: Study of ancient civilisations

• Emphasise the systems of ancient civilisations that made them great, • Organise ancient civilisation study according to the concept of change and how timelines reflect important events within a civilisation, and • Develop generalisations that may apply to all ancient civilisations and teach to them (e.g. Ancient civilisations developed systems of thought that we employ today. Ancient civilisations created structures to improve the quality of life and to beautify their surroundings.).

Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

2.5 Conclusion Acceleration and advanced learning opportunities for gifted students throughout the schooling process is a basic right to an appropriate education for them, a key aspect of best practice. It also is the first and most critical aspect of the Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM). Teachers must embrace the need to find instructional level of gifted students first before they adapt curriculum for them. By their very nature, these students will evidence advanced levels of proficiency in given areas of the curriculum. This chapter has suggested approaches for providing classroom-based responses to this reality and specific teacher strategies to use for content acceleration in reading and mathematics at the primary level. The chapter concludes with a chart of possible advanced opportunities in each subject area at all stages of development.

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Chapter 3 Differentiation with Process-Product Dimension

Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

Chapter 3 Differentiation with Process-Product Dimension



Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska

3.1 The Process-Product Approach The second dimension of the ICM revolves around the importance of integrating higher level thinking and problem-solving approaches into a differentiated curriculum for gifted learners that leads them to produce an original piece of work in some area. Thus, this dimension of the model also promotes the development of creativity as it applies to a given domain of learning. Learning for what? This is a common lament, heard from gifted students around the world as they face another boring day at school. Too often the nature of learning in school is hard for them to connect to the fast-paced world outside their window that is action-oriented and fluid in its operation. School-based learning, by contrast, often is slow and linear in its approach. Yet educators can positively impact this scenario by infusing their work with the gifted with the skills and strategies that constitute real world problem-solving, used by all professions that they will one day enter. Such skills are in the realm of critical thinking and creative problem solving. Taken together, they comprise the most powerful approaches we can employ to educate the gifted for the future lives they will live as citizens in a global society. What are the features of critical thinking and creative problem-solving that are so powerful? They share several commonalities that impact on what students learn about subject matter, how they learn it, and how they feel about what they have learned. These features include:

• an emphasis on student-centered learning Both critical thinking and creative problem solving models put students in charge of the learning process and solicit from them ideas, conjectures, and working hypotheses about how the world works. • an emphasis on collaboration Both types of models force students to become co-learners, working on problems together and using each others’ expertise and knowledge to solve the problems posed. Problems that are highly complex benefit from shared knowledge in the process of solution. • an emphasis on the work of the mind Both types of models suggest that students have the capacity to think through a situation and come to a reasoned conclusion by using their minds as the major tool rather than books or other sources. The following descriptions provide a model for each type of thinking and then an example to illustrate the model. An example of how to combine both types of models into a unit of study is also provided.

Problem Solving Problem recognition and delineation as a critical element of the creative problem-solving process was first identified by Getzels and Csikszentmihalyi (1976) in their pioneering study of artists’ approaches to the problem of depicting some aspects of human experiences. They found that creative artists who were able to sustain careers in art were more effective at problem-finding, not problem-solving, than less successful fellow students. These findings spawned many models that provided a more balanced perspective between the two types of skills. Problem solving may be described as a series of steps. Beyer (2000) set forth such a model in his broader taxonomy of thinking skills: 1. Recognise a problem 2. Represent the problem 3. Deliver/choose a solution plan 4. Execute the plan 5. Evaluate the solution The formal steps may or may not characterise students’ cognitive activity in a real problem situation. In a sense, they represent an ideal. The steps also define a convergent conception in that a single solution is envisioned, although the language of the model is open to alternative solutions from different problem solvers. Another complex form of problem-solving that involves both critical and creative thinking, widely applied in gifted programmes and special extracurricular programmes like Odyssey of the Mind and Future Problem Solving, is creative problem solving (Isaksen, Treffinger, Dorval, & Nollar, 2000). Six steps or processes characterise the model: 1. Mess finding 2. Data finding 3. Problem finding 4. Idea finding 5. Solution finding 6. Acceptance finding

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The main characteristic of “mess finding” is to sort through a problem situation and find direction toward a broad goal or solution. In “data finding,” participants sort through all available information about the mess and clarify the steps or direction to a solution. In “problem finding,” a specific problem statement is formulated. “Idea finding” is a processing of many ideas for solution to the problem or parts of the problem. “Solution finding” is an evaluation or judgmental process of sorting among the ideas produced in the last step and selecting those most likely to produce solutions. Finally, in “acceptance finding,” a plan is devised for implementing the good solution. An adaptation of the creative problem-solving model is Future Problem Solving that involves the application of the creative problem-solving model to studies of the future. Critical Thinking Higher level process skills require students to make nuanced judgments and interpretations about data. An effective model to teach students to enhance these skills is the Ennis Model of Critical Thinking which uses judgment and inference as the centerpiece of the critical thinking process (Ennis, 1996). Although the model has been used more extensively at secondary level, it can be applied with gifted students at upper elementary levels with successful results. An important aspect of this model is the twelve dimensions of critical thinking he derived from a study of the literature and his own philosophically trained education. These are:

Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

The first dimension of his model involves all aspects of interpretation, whether it is derived by inductive or deductive means. A student activity that aids the development of interpretation might be to have students study proverbs or the sayings of great writers and philosophers. Presented with a statement of import, students could be asked the following questions: What do the significant words mean? What does each line of the statement mean? What situations does the statement refer to? What ideas about life does it share? What new applications can you make to the idea that relate to your life and to the society as a whole today?

Grasping the meaning of a statement

Unit Outline Example

Judging whether there is ambiguity in a line of reasoning

Teaching a combination of critical and creative thinking skills through relevant models can also do double duty in respect to learning. It can promote strong content-based understanding at a deeper level as well as teaching the skills of creativity and problem-solving. The following example represents a curriculum framework for a unit of study on war where students are engaged in both critical thinking and creative problem solving as they are addressing historical and ethical outcomes as well.

Judging whether certain statements contradict each other Judging whether a conclusion necessarily follows Judging whether a statement is specific enough Judging whether a statement is actually the application of a certain principle Judging whether an observation statement is reliable Judging whether an inductive conclusion is warranted Judging whether the problem has been identified Judging whether something is an assumption Judging whether a definition is adequate Judging whether a statement made by an alleged authority is acceptable

A curriculum framework for a unit on “War” Goal (1): To understand historical decision-making about war Students will be able to: Understand options for waging and ending war Develop a recommendation for ending a war that is defensible, given the country goals and interests, world military and diplomatic events, and the evolution of the relationship between the country and other countries. Explain the process for leaders’ making high stakes decisions

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Chapter 3 Differentiation with Process-Product Dimension

Goal (2): To develop problem-solving skills Students will be able to: Recognise the gap between the “real” and “ideal” as the area in which problem resolution takes place. Enlarge databases in preparation for forming decision options.

Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

What inferences can be made about the universality of fiscal problems in all societies, based on the evidence? What are the implications and consequences of being proactive in controlling debt? In job creation? In housing starts? Students may discuss these questions in class or be assigned specific ones for homework and discuss the next day in class.

Generate a resolution for the problem of ending war that is defensible within the context provided by real events and that is ethically acceptable. Refine personal problem solving strategies to make skills more effective, efficient, and humane through self-evaluation.

3.2 Product Development

Goal (3): To develop critical thinking skills and strategies Students will be able to: Argue a point of view on waging war. Write an essay that outlines the implications and consequences for a country of choice, based on the outcomes of any given war. Explain different stakeholders’ assumptions about war. One of the most effective teaching and learning models for critical thinking is the one designed by Richard Paul (2002). Figure 3.1 shows the elements of the model organised into a set of questions that may be applied to any issue of interest and explored in small group discussion activities or written out as a homework assignment. The elements may be combined in different ways for exploration of different facets of the thinking process. Since the model is non-hierarchal, students may explore questions in any order, always focusing on higher levels of thought. Figure 3.1 Critical Thinking Questions, based on Paul’s Elements of Reasoning What is the question or issue of interest? (e.g. The world economy) What is the purpose of engaging in fiscal restraints at a societal level? What points of view or perspectives are impor tant to understanding the fiscal policy in any country ? What assumptions underlie each perspective on fiscal policy? What data/evidence supports a given perspective? What data sources would you trust to provide credible evidence?

One approach to the exploration of creativity within gifted curriculum is to have students engage in the “making” of an actual product within each area studied. Thus, the following list of creative tasks could be generated for each of the humanities areas named: Visual Art

Create a photographic montage.

Music

Write and perform a musical composition.

Poetry

Write an original proem about humankind and our environment.

History

Research and write the history of a small town nearby.

Science

Design and carry out an experiment to answer a question you do not understand.

Mathematics

Create a mathematical model to represent how something of interest to you works

Philosophy

Develop your own philosophy of life and articulate it on paper.

Such product development opportunities may give students a worthwhile experience of creation that strengthens their appreciation for the creative contributions of others. More extended manifestations of these ideas can be carried out in long-term individual and group projects within the classroom. Many gifted students have prepared films, art portfolios, and musical scores; written books; and conducted original research - all within the framework of a humanities programme. Thus, the teaching of creativity embedded in broad subject matter is a reasonable approach to employ.

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3.3 Use of Biography

Content Area/Topic

Higher Level Thinking/Problem-solving

Product Tasks

Another perspective on the teaching of creativity and its inclusion in the ICM curricular structure

Language Arts: Study of the lives and works of writers

• Four - question strategy applied to discussion questions • Use of the model of the literature web that explores key words, feelings, themes, • Engages students in developing argument via persuasive writing • Provides opportunities for research projects

Multimedia autobiographical project, with talent development markers described and analysed.

Mathematics: Study of animal populations

• Use of problem-based learning • Creative problem-solving • Focus on use of meta-cognitive skills

Problem resolution in oral and written form for a real world audience

Social Studies: Study of ancient civilisations

• Emphasis on historical analysis • Study of cultural artifacts and document study • Analysis of trends and issues in a society over time

Research paper on an historical issue or trend

comes through the use of biography and autobiography of eminent individuals as tools to understanding the creative personality, the creative process, and creative products. The lives of the eminent may provide the richest and most challenging material for gifted students to use in their quest for understanding the best products of humankind. In the Autobiographies Unit of the Center for Gifted Education at The College of William and Mary, organised around the concept of change, students explore literary analysis, grammar and vocabulary, the research process, reasoning skills, the writing process, crafting a persuasive argument, and the lives of writers through the study of writers’ autobiographies. Students learn about creativity both through studying the lives of writers and their creative process and also by writing their own autobiographies, engaging in the creative process themselves.

3.4 Examples of Curriculum and Instructional Modifications, Using the ICM The examples that appear in the following chart demonstrate the ways in which process-product learning may be promoted in each major subject area as a part of successfully implementing the ICM. For each subject area, at least three examples are provided that teachers may use to enrich the curriculum for top students who exhibit readiness for greater curricular challenge. Chart A-2: Content-specific Applications of the Process-Product Dimension of the ICM Content Area/Topic

Higher Level Thinking/Problem-solving

Product Tasks

Science: Study of botany

• Reasoning model applied to the use of higher level questions • Problem-based learning strategies such as the Need to Know board • Scientific investigation skills

Logs, experimental designs, p ro b l e m - b a c e d l e a r n i n g ( P B L ) resolution project and presentation

3.5 Conclusion This second dimension of the ICM is the one that matches well with the higher expectations for learning found in most countries that strive for the Nobel prizes and scientific innovation. The need for changing the instructional approaches to student learning has been well-supported in the learning research literature for decades. Such strategies promote deeper learning, more relevant learning for students and for the required skills of the 21st century professional workplace. Both creative problem-solving and critical thinking also have the power to sustain student interest and motivation in learning important content. It only remains for educators in all cultures to acknowledge the value of such teaching approaches and to put in place the mechanisms that encourage regular and sustained use of such pedagogy in schools. Learning for what? A focus on creative problem solving and critical thinking in school provides a real world authentic response to gifted students and encourages them to unleash their creative instincts through relevant products.

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Chapter 4 Differentiation with Concepts/Issues/Themes Dimension

Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

Chapter 4 Differentiation with Concepts/Issues/ Themes Dimension



Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska

4.1 Concepts/ Issues/ Themes Dimension The third and last dimension of the Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM) is the concepts, issues and themes emphasis. As a curriculum element for gifted learners, it seeks to elevate the level of reading and discourse about the world of knowledge to a higher plane of abstraction, focusing on ideas that may be framed in concepts, real world issues or problems and themes found in history, literature and the arts. Indeed, teaching to concept development has been lauded as an important way to enhance learning for all students. It facilitates the teaching of standards in all subjects, ensuring that gifted students go through the standards but are provided important extensions of those standards at more advanced levels in the world of ideas. Teaching conceptual schema, moreover, produces important long term learning (NRC, 2002). Some research even suggests that teaching conceptually is superior to skillbased instruction. Application of concepts to units of study Although the Center for Gifted Education at The College of William and Mary has published an array of curriculum units in Language Arts and Social Studies, all of which illustrate a concept-based approach, we will use as an example a set of three Language Arts units that, taken together, provide a cohesive concept-based curriculum for the middle grades. These three units are entitled Patterns of Change, Autobiographies, and The 1940s: A Decade of Change (CFGE, 2010). The units are structured around the concept of change, and look at this concept first through the lens of cyclic change in novels, then change in a person through the study of autobiographies, then change during a historical time period. Although they are language arts units, they are appropriate for a larger interdisciplinary curriculum because key lessons pull in the study of history, music, visual arts, individual lives, and personal reflection. Each unit uses visual organisers to help students track the concept of change as it is shown in various media. A “change matrix” employed by each unit helps students track cyclic change in novels for Patterns of Change, helps students look at different aspects of change within autobiographies for Autobiographies, and shows changes in art and music over a historical period of fifty years for The 1940s. A central strategy for developing a concept The teaching to key concepts is as important as the use of them to organise curriculum. A set of fundamental ideas about concept teaching follows: Principle #1 Students must focus on several examples of the concept.

Con cep ts/ I s suofethe Name 25 examples s/ concept of change. They may be abstract (e.g. the aging process) or Thehair). specific (e.g. gray mes Sample activity:

Con cep Principle #2 ts/ I Students must note how the examples vary and yet are still examples of the concept.ssu e Them s/ Sample activity: es Discuss in small groups the similarities and differences among the examples of change. Create categories that fit each example and defend them to the group. Principle #3 Students must be able to cite non-examples and describe how they resemble examples, but more importantly, how they differ from them. Sample activity: In your small group, name at least six examples of things that do not change. Defend your choices to the class. Principle #4 Students must generalise that what is alike about all the examples they have examined is also true of all other examples of the concept. Sample activity: Create 3-5 generalisations that apply to all of your examples but not the counter examples. Begin the generalisation statements with “Change is …” Principle #5 Students must gather and verify information as to the concept-relevant characteristics of each individual example and non-example. Sample activity: Research three examples from your list of things that change and three from your list of things that do not change. Describe how the process of change or constancy applies to each. Discuss your findings in your group. Asking students to construct their own understanding of the concept deepens students’ appreciation for the power of concepts in thinking about how the world works. Terrorism, for example, becomes more understandable if we see it in terms of a system made up of organised global cells rather than just random acts. Understanding change allows us to grapple with its reality in our lives as we observe it working in many different facets of our world.

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Chapter 4 Differentiation with Concepts/Issues/Themes Dimension

Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

4.2 Abstract Concepts as the Organising Tool: The Study of Philosophy Another approach to focusing on concepts in a curriculum for the gifted has been through the incorporation of philosophy as a core element in the curriculum experience. McGregor (2001) has suggested that teaching philosophy balances the personal world view of the technical knowledge that gifted students acquire and will use as leaders in society. Thus philosophic inquiry and values becomes a critical approach to learning. The teaching of philosophy as an integrated learning experience for the gifted was first suggested by Ward (1981), and used as the “cement” to hold together the North Carolina Governor’s School’s course structure, later popularised by Matthew Lipman’s fine national programme, Philosophy for Children. It currently enjoys prominence in the International Baccalaureate programme, for example, a course of study for secondary students that uses a Theory of Knowledge course as an organising feature (Tookey, 1999). More recently, David A. White, author of Philosophy for Kids: 40 Fun Questions to Help You Wonder About Everything! (2000a), has advocated the study of philosophy for gifted students. He has published ideas for addressing the works of Thomas Aquinas, Rousseau, and Berkeley, as well as the ideas of social justice and feminism in a gifted classroom. His book, Philosophy for Kids, poses philosophical questions to students and then, based on their answers, tells them which philosopher their ideas are most like. It could be used in a gifted classroom to spark initial discussions of some of the big ideas of philosophy and the philosophers who espoused them. The seminar model represents an excellent approach for the delivery of a concept-based curriculum. Typically special seminars for gifted students are held biweekly or even monthly and are scheduled for three- to four-hour sessions. Topics are delineated for the year and may be loosely linked to a single concept or may explore several concepts. Frequently, outside speakers are employed to provide in-depth commentary on a particular idea or issue. Examples of seminar topics and speakers are listed below:

Con cepbeing By employing real world professionals to speak on topics that emphasise important concepts I ssueissuestsof/ studied, gifted students learn to converse at higher levels of thought on contemporary s/one relevance to the world of ideas. Typically, concept-based units of study would employ at least Them lesson devoted to the use of an outside speaker in this way. es Lesson Plan Example A sample lesson plan for teaching the concept of power follows: Instructional purpose: To engage students in writing about the concept of power as a result of studying the history of Ancient China Activities: 1. Ask students to apply the following prompt in their writing a 40-minute persuasive essay: Argue the veracity of the following statement about power: “Power has the capacity to be used for good or evil.” 2. After students have completed their essays, ask a few of them to read them aloud, asking others in the class to critique the argument heard, using the rubric for claim, data, and warrant. 3. Now ask students to discuss in small groups: • In what ways was power used for good in Ancient China? For evil? What evidence is there to support your ideas?

Topic

Seminar Leader

• Why do you think that power corrupts people?

Urban Architecture

Urban planner

• Whom should we entrust with power? What is your perspective on the succession of family members becoming emperors in Ancient China?

Contemporary Art Forms

Local artist

• Should Chinese philosophers or poets have been vested with power? Why or why not?

The Work of Selected Modern Writers as Examples of the Theme of Alienation

Writer-in-the-schools

Cultural Archetypes: The People of Hong Kong

Hong Kong anthropologist

Con cep The S earch for M eaning: ts/ I s Philosophy of Lifesue Them s/ es

Futurist

Conservation: The Key to Survival in the Future D e veloping a

Homework:

Humanities or Philosophy Professor

Read about the artistic accomplishments that occurred in Ancient China during the rule of the emperors. Write a journal entry on your ideas about the power of art.

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Info-booklet : Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice

4.4 Examples of Curriculum and Instructional Modifications, Using the ICM

4.3 Learning of Key Concepts

The following matrix presents examples of how three concepts may each be woven together through the teaching of core subject areas to amplify student understanding of those subjects at a higher level. The concepts of change, reasoning, and signs and symbols illustrate the flexibility in application to relevant topics in each domain of learning. For example, the concept of reasoning may be studied as the underlying foundation of science, affecting its practice and the attitudes of those who practice it. In mathematics, reasoning may be seen in various forms and types such as proportional reasoning in order for students to understand equality in numbers and space. In social studies, reasoning may be understood in the negative through the deliberate appeal to emotions through advertising and other media tools to distract the viewer/listener from applying reason. Finally, in the language arts, reasoning may be viewed as the process of making inferences about meaning, based on the study of language in text. A Matrix of Key Concepts by Subject Area Key Concept

Language Arts

Social Studies

Mathematics

Science

Change

• Seasonal change as viewed in children’s literature • Life cycle issues in literature

• Differences between peoples of the world • Growth of cities as cultural centers • The evolution of major cultures

• Modeling theory • Techniques for representing changes – graphing

• Differences between physical and chemical changes • The effects of change over time • Methods for describing observed change

• Discrimination of fact from fiction • The relationship of syntax to meaning in literature

• The power of reason: critical thinking • The collapse of reason in advertising and propaganda • Applications of reason in the twenty-first century

• Proportional reasoning • Prediction theory

• Common nonverbal signs and symbols in everyday life • Learning language systems as a code to culture • Symbols within a culture

• Numeration systems as symbols in mathematics • The computer as a tool to manipulate symbols

Reasoning

Signs and Symbols

• Punctuation • Literary symbols • The conversion of symbol to theme

Con ce Issu pts/ e Them s/ es

• Reasoning as the scientific art of problem solving • Reasoning as a scientific attitude

Con c learning pts/ The examples that appear in the following chart demonstrate the ways in which concept e I s may be promoted in each major subject area as a part of successfully implementing the s ICM. ue Them s/ For each subject area, at least three examples are provided that teachers may use to enrich es the curriculum for top students who exhibit readiness for greater curricular challenge. Chart A-3: Content-specific Applications of the Concepts/ Issues/ Themes Dimension of the ICM Model Content Area/Topic

Concept /Theme

Science: Study of botany

• Systems : Understanding the elements, boundaries, interactions, inputs and outputs of cells, plants, and terrariums • Cycles of life forms • Models of scientific phenomena

Language Arts: Study of the lives and works of writers

• Change: The ways that change is everywhere, related to time, caused by people or nature, and perceived as positive or negative. • Artists’ lives and works as representative of developmental change • Languages as systems of thought

Mathematics: Study of animal populations

• Models that are conceptual and physical applied to understand phenomena • The study of scale and its proportionality • Patterns of numbers

Social Studies: Study of ancient civilisations

• Patterns of change over time as chronicled by historical events within and across cultures • Perspectives on history; what causes revisionism? • Legacies of ancient innovations in use today (eg. aqueducts, abacuses, and herbal medicine)

4.5 Conclusion

• Symbols as communication in science • Archaeology as a study of symbols • Maps as symbols of the real world

The concept-based dimension of the Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM) represents one of the few attempts in curriculum development of the gifted to both design and teach to a macroconcept. Many times a big concept is designed into a unit of study, only to be left behind in the teaching learning process. This chapter has presented ways to ensure that concepts are taught as an integral part of units and lesson plans to ensure that higher level learning results for the gifted. Concept-based teaching has been enthusiastically received by teachers of the gifted as a powerful way to ensure challenge and sufficient differentiation for the gifted. It has proven to be a basis for motivating both students and their teachers to learn more at higher levels. In sum, it represents an important baseline for future work in curriculum for the gifted, work that provides both a model and its practical applications and demonstrates how our best learners can show significant and important intellectual growth.

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References

Anderson, L.W., & Krathwohl, D.R. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of educational objectives. New York, NY: Longman.

Tookey, M. E. (1999). The International Baccalaureate: A programme conducive to the the continued growth of the gifted adolescent. Journal of Advanced Academics, 11(2), 52-66.

Assouline, S. G., Colangelo, N., Lupkowski-Shoplik, A., Lipscomb, J. B., Forstadt, L. (2003). Iowa Acceleration Scale Manual: A guide for whole grade acceleration (K-8) (2nded.). Scottsdale, AR: Great Potential Press, Inc.

VanTassel-Baska, J. (1986). Effective curriculum and instructional models for talented students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 30, 164-169.

Benbow, C. P., & Stanley, J. C. (Eds.). (1983). Academic precocity: Aspects of its development. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

VanTassel-Baska, J. (2003). Curriculum planning and instructional design for gifted learners. Denver, CO: Love Publishing.

Beyer, B. K. (2000). Improving student thinking: A comprehensive approach. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

VanTassel-Baska, J. (2004). The acceleration of gifted students’ programs and curricula. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

Center for Gifted Education. (2010). Language arts units for gifted learners (2nd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt.

VanTassel-Baska, J., & Little, C. (Eds.) (2012). Content-based curriculum for high-ability learners (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Prufrock Press.

Elder, L. & Paul R. (2004). Guide to the human mind: How it learns, how it mislearns. Dillon Beach, CA: The Foundation for Critical Thinking.

VanTassel-Baska, J., & Sher, B.T. (2012). Accelerating learning experiences in core content areas. In J. VanTassel-Baska, & C. Little (Eds.), Content-based curriculumfor high-ability learners (2nd ed., pp.4970). Austin, TX: Prufrock Press.

Ennis, R. H. (1996). Critical thinking. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Getzels, J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1976). The creative vision: A longitudinal study of problem finding in art. New York, NY: Wiley. Isaksen, S. G., Treffinger, D. J., Dorval, K. B., & Noller, R. B. (2000). Creative approaches to problem solving: A framework for change (2nd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt. McGregor, G. D. J. (2001). Gifted and talented youth as philosophers of the new millennium. Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 12, 157-159. National Research Council. (2002). Learning and understanding: Improving advanced study of mathematics and science in U. S. high schools. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Paul, R. (1992). Critical thinking: What every person needs to survive in a rapidly changing world. Rohnert Park, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking. Proctor, T. B., Black, K. N., & Feldhusen, J. F. (1986). Early admission of selected children to elementary school: A review of the literature. Journal of Educational Research, 80(2), 70-76. Renzulli, J. S., Smith, L. H., & Reis, S. M. (1982). Curriculum compacting: An essential strategy for working with gifted students. The Elementary School Journal, 82(3), 185-194. Taba, H. (1962). Curriculum development, theory, and practice.New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace and World.

VanTassel-Baska, J., & Stambaugh, T. (2006). Comprehensive curriculum for gifted learners (3rd ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Ward, V. (1981). Educating the gifted: An axiomatic approach. Ventura County, CA: Leadership Training Institute on Gifted and Talented. White, D. A. (2000). Philosophy for Kids: 40 fun questions that help you wonderabout everything! Waco, TX: Prufrock.

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About the Authors

Dr. VanTassel-Baska

Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska, a world-renowned expert in the field of gifted education, is the Professor Emerita at The College of William and Mary in Virginia, where she is the founding director of the Center for Gifted Education. She has worked as a gifted education consultant in all 50 states and for key national groups, including the U.S. Department of Education, National Association of Secondary School Principals, and American Association of School Administrators. She is the past president of the Association for the Gifted of the Council for Exceptional Children, the Northwestern University Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). She has also provided consultancy internationally in Australia, New Zealand, England, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. Dr. VanTassel-Bask a’s research interests include talent development process and effective curricular interventions for the gifted. She has published widely, including 27 books and over 500 refereed journal articles, book chapters, and scholarly reports. She also served as the editor of Gifted and Talented International, a publication of the World Council on Gifted and Talented from 1998 to 2005. Dr. VanTassel-Baska has received numerous awards, including the International Mensa Research Award for Lifetime Achievement in research and service to gifted education in 2011. She was a visiting scholar to Cambridge University in England in 1993 and selected as a Fulbright Scholar to New Zealand in 2000. In the past few years, Dr. VanTassel-Baska has been invited by The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education to deliver various professional development programmes for school leaders and teachers and provide consultancy advice on programme development. Since 2009, she has been invited as the consultant of the Train-TheTrainer Programme in Gifted Education organised by the Education Bureau to conduct professional development programmes in gifted education and offer consultancy services to schools. Through the exchanges with various GE practitioners and middle managers in schools, Dr. VanTassel-Baska has a solid understanding of schoolbased gifted education in Hong Kong and the education system.

Dr. Kimberley Chandler is the Curriculum Director at the Center for Gifted Education at The College of William and Mary in Virginia. Her background includes teaching gifted students in a variety of settings, serving as an administrator of a gifted programme, and providing professional development for teachers nationally and internationally. She has demonstrated her rich and diversified experience in gifted education in the past 20 years as a teacher, school head, specialist and teacher trainer of gifted education at schools and universities in the U.S. and other countries.

Dr. Kimberley Chandler

Dr. Chandler serves on the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Board of Directors, and is currently the Newsletter Editor for the Council for Exceptional Children’s Talented and Gifted Special Interest Division (CEC-TAG), and is the U.S. representative to the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. She co-authored a book titled Effective Curriculum for Underserved Gifted Students. She has also served as the editor of many curriculum materials from the Center for Gifted Education at The College of William and Mary. Her research interests include curriculum policy and implementation issues in gifted programmes, the role of administrators in gifted programme development, and the design and evaluation of professional development programmes for teachers of the gifted. In the past few years, Dr. Chandler has been invited by The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education to deliver professional development programmes for school leaders and teachers. Since 2009, she has been invited as the consultant of the Train-The-Trainer Programme in Gifted Education organised by the Education Bureau to conduct professional development programmes and offer consultancy services to some network schools. Hence, Dr. Chandler has a solid understanding of schoolbased gifted education in Hong Kong through the idea exchanges with various GE practitioners in local schools.

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Publisher The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education Ltd

Contact Us The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education Sha Kok Estate, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong Tel : (852) 3940 0103 Email : tpd@hkage.org.hk

Fax : (852) 3940 0203 Website : www.hkage.org.hk

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Differentiation for Gifted Learners in Practice