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MARCH 4, 2011

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T H E DA I LY TA R G U M

Educators to learn skills in teaching gifted pupils BY ANDREW SMITH STAFF WRITER

Founded one summer ago, Gifted Education Certificate Program (GECP) provides teachers who do not know how to deal with gifted and exceptionally motivated students with in-depth training on how to overcome this issue. The program, which will start its new series on June 29th, includes five different courses taught by experts in the field of gifted education, said Joyce Van Tassel-Baska, the instructor for the “Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children” class at GECP. Each course serves a different purpose, Van Tassel-Baska said. “The first [course] is focused on the cognitive nature and needs of gifted students and the second is focused on the social and emotional development [and necessary counseling] of the gifted,” she said. Meanwhile, the third course is on curriculum and instruction to help teachers become better at working with gifted learners in the classroom, Van Tassel-Baska said. The fourth and fifth courses demonstrate how to develop appropriate programs for gifted students and how teachers can practically apply their newfound skills, respectively. As of now, the graduating class features 15 individuals who are mostly educators, said Elizabeth Beasley, director of the New Brunswick Summer Session and Special Projects. Each individual will receive his or her certificate at the completion of the fifth course. Despite popular misconception, Beasley stressed that this certificate is not a general education certification. “People get confused between certificates and certification,” she said. “[This is] a graduate credit intensive certificate program that Rutgers offers. It doesn’t certify you to teach you anything, but it does provide a strong background in gifted education.” Despite this fact, Loretta Kumpf, a student of the program, said she was pleased with the practices she learned so far. “I think what the program is doing is going in-depth,” said

Kumpf, who also serves as covice president of programs at the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children. “Our summer course was on the social and emotional needs of the gifted, and that’s one of the areas that is really important in accommodating these students.” Other factors also contributed to the program’s creation, Beasley said. There existed a structural gap between state-mandated gifted programs in K-12 schools in New Jersey and the actual guidelines for how they should be run, she said. Consequently, many gifted students were unchallenged and limited in their education. On top of this issue, Beasley was inspired by the University’s Summer Scholars Program, in which 16-year-old students are allowed to take college level courses in order to further challenge themselves. With these issues in mind, as well as the fact that no such program existed yet, Beasley assembled the GECP and contacted educators to join the program’s faculty. Van Tassel-Baska, writer of the curriculum for the program, and Jeanne Purcell-Vautour, educational specialist at regional educational ser vice center EASTCONN, are a few of the new professors. With the success of the program so far, Kumpf said she and her organization, New Jersey Association for Gifted Children, lauded Beasley for her effort in creating GECP. In response to her efforts, Beasley would be receiving the Trailblazer award, a newly created distinction that acknowledges the importance of the creation of the program, she said. Kumpf said the award, which has never been given before and might not be given again, is an especially unique distinction. “Everyone agreed this was a landmark program and that she definitely should be recognized for achievement,” she said. “This was such a unique situation that we needed to actually create something to acknowledge [Beasley] — that’s how important we think this program is.”

CALENDAR MAY

9 12 31

This is the last day for registration without a late fee for Session I.

Term bills are due for all students for Session I today.

Session I classes begin today.

JUNE

3 8 22 27

This is the last day for registration without a late fee for Session II.

Term bills are due for all students for Session II today.

This is the last day for registration without a late fee for Session III. Term bills are due for all students for Session III.

Session II classes begin today.


S UMMER S ESSION

T H E DA I LY TA R G U M

GETTY IMAGES

Similar to “Theatre Appreciation,” students in the “Broadway: The American Musical” course will watch shows like “West Side Story.”

Broadway course blends performing arts, history BY ANKITA PANDA METRO EDITOR

The University will offer the course, “Broadway: The American Musical” which comes this summer to University students interested in learning the history of Broadway culture. Jason Goldstein, the class instructor and University alumnus, describes the course as a combination of history and performing arts. “[It’s] an overview of the greatest contribution to the American theatre, which is the musical,” said Goldstein, who founded the Livingston Theatre Company. “We combine lecture and multimedia and attending shows and class discussion and projects.” Goldstein said the course resembles “Theater Appreciation,” but is different because it applies to other University departments. “While it’s in the theater department, it could easily be in another department, like sociology,” he said. “We look at it from all different elements. It could even be business from how it’s financed.” Students will have the opportunity to attend multiple Broadway shows like West Side Story, watch video clips, archives, documentaries and learn about composers who are all related to Broadway, Goldstein said. “It’s very hands-on. [There are] a lot of presentations and class discussion,” he said. “It’s very exciting.” Goldstein said he likes to run the class as a show so students can be inspired to act and perform in a group. “I want them to have fun and learn something,” he said. “I want the students to feel excited and inspired to go out and do something like get involved with musicals and have a better appreciation and understanding of how musicals are created.” Although Goldstein encourages all students to sign up for the course, only a few attended last summer. “The theater department didn’t push it enough,” he said. “We’re getting out there.” Carol Thompson, head of the Stage Management Program at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, said the course runs during the summer session mainly because the University does not have a sufficient budget to offer it during the school year. “Resources are a little limited during the academic year … by budget constraints,” she said. If students generate enough interest in the course, the University might consider offering it to students during the school year, Thompson said. In response to the lack of students who signed up for last year’s class, Thompson admitted that the University did not market the course well, but hopes the problem will not repeat this year.

“I think we have [the problem] solved,” she said. “Jason is preparing a webpage. He’s a preentrepreneurial guy.” Alumna Kelly Dougherty and School of Arts and Sciences senior Erin Leder, who both took the course last summer, went into Goldstein’s class not knowing what to expect. “It’s the summer and my time was limited and a lot of the more advanced and academic [courses] were during the day and with my work schedule, there wasn’t an option at all to do anything other than this,” Leder said. Leder, who has a musical background herself after performing in cabaret theaters, said she went into class thinking she knew everything there was to know about theater but was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. “I went into it thinking I could teach this class because I know so much about it, but there were a lot of [things] I didn’t know about,” she said. Dougherty, who graduated from the University two months ago, agreed with Leder and said students who take the class often come out of it knowing so much more. “After we came back from the shows we discussed what we liked and what we didn’t liked, we talked about everything — from the acting to the set design, the costume, to critiquing what we saw,” she said. Goldstein said students who take his class should be prepared to expand their imaginations toward Broadway. “They’re going to learn a lot about shows they’ve probably never heard of,” he said. “I think they’re just going to find shows they don’t like and shows that they do like.” Although Goldstein believes all students should join, he believes the class can be improved for the upcoming session. “I think we’re going to tighten up the syllabus,” he said. “I was a bit overzealous of my expectations. I would say just revaluating assignments, figuring out how broad to make the material [is the first step to making this class better].” Both Leder and Dougherty believe the class was difficult to understand at times. “I think had there been more time, a longer period, we could’ve gone into [Broadway] more specifically,” Leder said. “It wasn’t a beginner class and it went a little too fast.” Dougherty believes the class can cover more information at a more reasonable pace if offered during the school year. At the end of the day, Goldstein said Broadway is more to him than just a play. “Musical theatre is very much an American art form because it’s very interdisciplinary and it tells a story,” he said.

MARCH 4, 2011

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MARCH 4, 2011

Q:

How do you feel about summer sessions?

BY THE N

2,2

JOHN BENDER SAS SENIOR “I feel like summer sessions are a great way to supplement courses that you might have missed during the academic year.”

ANDREW ADAMS SEBS SENIOR “They are easier. I took a summer class and it was easier.”

BY NEIL P. KYPERS

CAMPUS TALK

DANIEL TICKER

The estimated am the University w this su

5/31 First day of summer classes at the University

SAS JUNIOR “They are great. You can fulfill any requirements that you need for credits that may be required for a certain major. I am going to take summer classes for planning and public policy because I am a double major and that is a quick way to get out in a year.”

GABRIELLA REYNALDO SAS FIRST-YEAR STUDENT “I haven’t taken one yet but I think it is unfair that I can’t take one … closer to home at [Rutgers-Newark].”


PENDULUM

SESSION

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NUMBERS Source: summersession.rutgers.edu

200

mount of courses will offer students ummer

$145

BRIANA GLANTZ SAS SOPHOMORE “[Summer sessions] are convenient. You get your credits up. Probably going to [take a summer session course] to get my credits up.”

SAMI NAJIB SAS SOPHOMORE “I have never taken a summer session … I would consider it if I was told more about it and was provided more information.”

LIRIDON CAMI SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING FIRST-YEAR STUDENT “I have never taken a summer session because it is poorly advertised. I have never heard about anything or any good classes during the summer and none of my friends have ever taken any.”

The minimum student fee for summer classes

BRITTANY GURNEY MAKSIM ZORICH SAS JUNIOR “I was obligated to [take them] because I didn’t do so well last semester so I am going to retry in the summer.”

SAS SOPHOMORE “I have never taken one but I took a winter session that was pretty intense. I wouldn’t take a summer session because I don’t need the credits but I hear they are good.”


S UMMER S ESSION

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Students to expand philosophy interests BY REENA DIAMANTE UNIVERSITY EDITOR

Through “Summer Institute for Diversity in Philosophy,” students will have the opportunity to grapple over ideas and connect with faculty members as well as professors with philosophy backgrounds from across the country. “[The program] would be a good forum to get students involved to learn more about [philosophy]” said Mercedes Diaz, an administrative assistant in the Department of Philosophy. In the past, the institute dedicated one day to discussion sessions, Diaz said. “[Students can ask] any questions … or even for advice from the faculty currently,” she said. “It’s kind of like a little bit more informal that they have a chance to actually get to know the professor a little bit more.” Diaz said because the application deadline is not until May 5, she does not have a confirmed list of potential topics or presenters. The University-sponsored program was launched in the mid-1990s, when philosophy faculty members noticed there were not a lot of minority students studying the subject, Diaz said. School of Arts and Sciences sophomore Jorge Casalins said it would be fascinating to witness how this forum can lead to understanding why people, including minority groups, think the way they do.

“Philosophy is a lot about thought,” said Casalins, who studies philosophy and political science. “Seeing that people come from different backgrounds shapes our thoughts differently. My philosophy is different from an African-American male’s philosophy.” Casalins believes the University has a great philosophy department, but having professors join from across the country benefits students even more. Professors come from other universities throughout the nation such as Yale University, Harvard University and DePauw University, Diaz said. “It might be a little troublesome to put that many philosophers in one room together,” Casalins said. Dave Colaco, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, said since the University has an established Department of Philosophy, it makes sense to have a summer institution such as this. “I’ve almost consistently had above-average teachers who were engaging,” said Colaco, a philosophy major Casalins said the University philosophy professors are ver y professional. “I think it’s been an eye-opening experience ever since I’ve studied philosophy, especially here at Rutgers,” he said. “If there is goal to any higher education institution, it’s to make you think.”

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Summer Session 2011-03-04