Curriculum Design, Development, and Differentiation for Gifted Learners Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Ed.D. College of William & Mary Hong Kong 12-13 October, 2007
Learner Characteristics and Corresponding Emphases in the Curriculum THE LEARNER Precocity Intensity Complexity THE CURRICULUM Advanced Content Process/product depth considerations Issues/concepts/themes/ ideas across domains of learning
The Integrated Curriculum Model Process-Product Dimension Advanced Content Dimension Issues/Themes Dimension - VanTassel-Baska, 1986
CURRICULUM DESIGN ELEMENTS 1 Learner Characteristics & Needs 2 Curriculum Goals 8 Evaluation of Curriculum/Revision 7 Assessment of Outcomes 3 Outcomes/Objectives 6 Materials & Resources 4 Activities/Task Demands/Questions 5 Teaching-Learning Strategies
Sample Gifted Program Goals • To provide mastery of basic content at a pace and depth appropriate to the capacity of able learners. • To promote critical thinking and reasoning abilities • To provide an environment that encourages divergent thinking • To develop high-level oral and written skills • To develop research skills and methods • To develop an understanding for systems of knowledge, themes, issues, and problems that frame the external world.
Sample Gifted Program Goals • To develop self-understanding • To enhance opportunities for future planning and development • To develop creative and divergent thinking skills • To develop problem-solving skills • To develop social skills of relating to others and coping effectively in social contexts • To develop metacognitive skills that foster independent and self-directed learning
Sample Assessment Outcome: • Analyze different points of view on a given issue or topic Assessment: • Given the issue of human cloning, identify three different stakeholders in society who would have different perspectives on this issue. Summarize each of their perspectives in a paragraph.
Pre-assessment as a Prelude to Differentiation • To determine knowledge and skills in an area (functional level) • To determine range of differences among learners (differentiation) • To determine appropriate interventions for whole and subgroups • To revise/refine instructional plans • To rethink classroom management strategies
Sample curriculum goal: To develop critical thinking Sample outcomes and objectives • To analyze different points of view on a given issue • To draw appropriate inferences, given a set of data • To forecast consequences and implications of a given decision or action
Activity for #1 Ask students to form mini debate teams and argue “Should the United Nations support transition operations in Iraq?” Assessment Ask students to respond to the following question in a 40-minute essay: What are the multiple perspectives represented in the Iraqi situation? Select three of them and describe the perspective and the values and beliefs behind each.
Outcome: To demonstrate an understanding of models and systems. Activity: Using the following criteria, create a model of an aquarium and explain its make-up: • Specifications of tank size • Number of fish & type • Number & type of plans • Light & water filtration system • Setting • What variables are most important to consider in constructing your aquarium? Why? • How would you describe your aquarium as a living system? Assessment: Use a predetermined rubric to judge the written product and oral presentation.
Outcome: To analyze classical literature Activity: Read Moliere’s The Misanthrope and discuss the following questions: • What characterizes a misanthrope? • How does Moliere satirize the character? • How is this play similar to others by Moliere? Assessment: Read a critique of the play and summarize the key points made about Moliere’s style as a satirist.
Curriculum Goal To develop critical thinking To develop creative thinking To develop research skills To understand broad overarching interdisciplinary concepts Teaching Strategy Paul model of reasoning Questioning model Concept mapping Creative problem solving model W&M research model Problem-based learning TABA model for concept development
William & Mary National Science Curriculum Emphases The Problem Content Process Learning Science Using Scientific Research Concept Understanding “Systems”
William & Mary Social Studies Curriculum Emphases The History of a culture, period, or event Content Process Learning History Using reasoning skills to analyze history and its artifacts Concept Understanding Systems, Change, Perspective, Nationalism, and Cause & Effect
William & Mary Language Arts Curriculum Emphases The Literature Content Process Learning vocabulary, advanced literature, persuasive writing, and oral communication skills Using reasoning skills to generate products Concept Understanding “Change”
Models Concept Development Model Reasoning Model Research Model Problem-Based Learning Literature Web Hamburger Model Dagwood Model Vocabulary Web Analyzing Primary Sources Reasoning about a Situation or Event
Concept Development Examples of Concepts (used in W&M curriculum units) Change Systems Cause And Effect Authority Perspective Concept Development Process Cite examples. Categorize. Cite non-examples. Generalize.
Analyzing a System Boundaries Elements Inputs Outputs Interactions
Issues for Gifted Education in Teaching Thinking • Embedded in content • Standards-based by discipline • Use of multiple modes and types • Assessed by quality products
Elements of Reasoning Purpose/ Goal Point of View Assumptions Evidence/ Data Issue/ Problem Inferences Concepts/ Ideas Implications/ Consequences -- Paul, 1992
Reasoning about a Situation or Event What is the situation? Who are the stakeholders? What is the point of view for each stakeholder? What are the assumptions of each group? What are the implications of these views?
The Logic of History Be aware: Much human thinking is “historical.” We use our beliefs (formed in the past) to make thousands of decisions in the present and plans for the future. much of this historical thinking is deeply flawed. Elder, L. & Paul, R. (2003). The foundations of analytic thinking. The Foundation for Critical Thinking
Standards of Reasoning • Are there enough reasons to make a convincing argument? • Is the evidence correct or right? • Are the reasons clear? • Are specific reasons or examples included rather than vague generalizations? • Are the arguments and reasons strong and important? • Is the thinking logical?
Characteristics of an Issue • Real world • Multiple points of view • Researchable and substantial information available • Worthy topic and personal involvement
Should library resources intended for older students be withheld from younger students? Should books be censored? Should technology as an educational tool be controlled?
Research Model 1. Identify your issue or problem. What is the issue or problem? Who are the stakeholders and what are their positions? What is my position on this issue? 2. Read about your issue and identify points of view or arguments through information sources. What are my print sources? What are my media sources? What are my people sources? What primary and secondary source documents might I use? What are my preliminary findings based on a review of existing sources? Center for Gifted Education – School of Education – The College of William and Mary
3. Form a set of questions that can be answered by a specific set of data: 1) What would be the results of _____________? 2) Who would benefit and by how much? 3) Who would be harmed and by how much? My research questions: 4. Gather evidence through research techniques such as surveys, interviews, or analysis of primary and secondary source documents. What survey questions should I ask? What interview questions should I ask? What generalizations do secondary sources give? What data and evidence can I find in primary sources to support different sides of the issue? 5. Manipulate and transform data so that they can be interpreted. How can I summarize what I found out? Should I develop charts, diagrams, or graphs to represent my data? Center for Gifted Education – School of Education – The College of William and Mary
6. Draw conclusions and make inferences. What do the data mean? How can I interpret what I found out? How do the data support my original point of view? How do they support other points of view? What conclusions can I make about the issue? 7. Determine implications and consequences. What are the consequences of following the point of view that I support? Do I know enough or are there now new questions to be answered? 8. Communicate your findings. (Prepare an oral presentation for classmates based on note cards and written report.) What are my purpose, issue, and point of view, and how will I explain them? What data will I use to support my point of view? How will I conclude my presentation? Center for Gifted Education – School of Education – The College of William and Mary
Research Example – Science & Math Ask students to design an experiment to test a question of interest to them: • Examples: • Do people prefer Product X over Product Y? • Are ants attracted to sugar? • Are girls more addicted to computers than boys? • A research report must be prepared and presented, using technology applications. Be sure to address hypothesis, data collection techniques, appropriate data tables, conclusions, and implications of the findings based on the original question.
Research Example - Language Arts • Over the years there have been many ways to preserve memories, or to keep important things from being forgotten. Brainstorm some of the ways people preserve memories. How many can you think of? Which of these ways require technology such as electricity? Divide your list into two groups – traditional methods that do not depend on technology and modern methods that use technology. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type? • Choose a point of view about the best ways to preserve memories. Do some research to support your point of view. Your research might include library materials, interviews, or a poll. • Later in this unit you will write a short paper (1-2 pages) and give a two-minute presentation on your point of view, supported by your findings. • Journeys and Destinations, Grades 2-3
Research Example - Social Studies • You will sign up for a person or event from the 1920s to explore in your project. From your research you will create a learning booth or “mini-museum” that your classmates will visit, so you should make it as entertaining and interesting as possible. • You will need to include the following: • Pictures or other visual aides (audio if appropriate) • Timeline placing the person or event appropriately • Description of your person/issue • An explanation of the person/issue’s significance in the 1920s and today • A handout (or brochure) that includes basic information on the contents of your museum and entices people to come and see the exhibit. • Visitors should be able to determine who/what was the main focus of your museum, how the person and related issue/event fit on a timeline of the 1920s, and the significance of the person and related issue/event(s) to life in the 1920s and to life today. The 1920s in America: A Decade of Tensions, Grades 6-7
Create a research task demand in your area of learning for gifted learners.Use the examples as prototypical models.
What is PBL? Problem-based learning is an instructional strategy (a curricular framework) that, through student and community interests and motivation, provides an appropriate way to “teach” sophisticated content and high-level process… all while building self-efficacy, confidence, and autonomous learner behaviors.
Problem Statement (Tailored for Local Area) You are the supervisor of the day shift of the Virginia State Highway Patrol in Williamsburg, Virginia. It is 6:00 a.m. on a steamy June morning. You are awakened by the ringing phone. When you answer you are told, “Come to the Queen’s Creek overpass on eastbound Interstate 64. There has been a major accident and you are needed.” Quickly you dress and hurry to the overpass. As you approach the bridge, you see an overturned truck that is completely blocking both eastbound lanes of the freeway. You see “CORROSIVE” on small signs on the side and rear of the truck. The truck has lost at least one wheel and is resting on the freeway guard rail. There is a large gash in the side of the truck; from this gash, a clear liquid is running down the side of the truck, onto the road, and down the hill into Queen’s Creek. Steam is rising from the creek. All traffic has been halted and everyone has been told to remain in their cars. Many of the motorists in the traffic jam appear to be angry and frustrated. Police officers, firemen, and rescue squad workers are at the scene. They are all wearing coveralls and masks. The rescue squad is putting the unconscious truck driver onto a stretcher. Everyone seems hurried and anxious.
Problem StatementWhat a Find! You are an archaeologist working as a junior partner at a local research museum. In recent times, the museum has suffered from a lack of use, and everyone is looking for ways to bring more people into the museum. Your supervisor has just received a call from a local construction site. While doing construction to build a new school, construction workers found an old clay pot. They halted construction and need to know what to do. Your supervisor has assigned you the task of figuring out what is going on.
Features of Problem-based Learning • Learner-centered • Real world problem • Teacher as tutor or coach • Emphasis on collaborative teams • Employs metacognition • Uses alternative assessment • Embodies scientific process
Ill-Structured Problems • Ambiguous • No single “right” answer • Data is often incomplete • Definition of problem changes • Information needs change or grow • Stakeholders • Deadline for resolution
Literature Web Key Words Feelings READING Ideas Images/Symbols Structure
Constructing Meaning Through Literature • Use concept mapping techniques to explore meaning individually • Construct whole group discussion to build more complete understanding • Develop specific follow-up questions to probe issues • Use direct textual passages to focus on meaning • Employ comparison techniques to ensure transfer of literary elements
Building Students’ Understanding of Text Ideas Through Discussion (Beck & McKeown, 1996) • Underlying assumption: Discourse that promotes understanding needs direction, focus, and movement towards goal. • Teacher actions/discussion moves: • Marking (focusing) • Revoicing (repeating student ideas) • Turning back (textual or student-based) • Recapping (synthesizing) • Modeling (thinking aloud) • Annotating (providing information)
Why is question-asking a powerful learning tool? • Models inquiry process • Stimulates different ways of thinking about content • Clarifies key ideas and understandings about content topics • Inspires curiosity
Uses of question-asking in the classroom • Teacher-prepared • Student-generated • Question probes, based on student responses (e.g. Why? What is the connection between A and B?)
Three Types of Question Models • Problem-based learning • What do we know? • What do we need to know? • How do we find out? • Reasoning model • What is the author’s purpose? • What data or evidence supports it? • What inferences do you draw from the • evidence?
Three Types of Question Models (2) • Taxonomy-based • Who/What/When/Where? • Why? How? • What if…? • Pretend… • Which is better/best?