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Transcript of Brochure
LOOKS like... "While all children have the same basic needs, some are considered to be more advanced in certain areas such as thinking skills, language development, visual and performance skills or imagination. Or they may be more advanced in areas such as curiosity, abstraction, originality, learning rate, risk-taking, knowledge base, leadership ability, or complex thinking."
- Saskatoon Extended Learning Opportunity How Highly Able Learners
LEARN Highly able learners thrive in environments that
challenge them and provide opportunities for
creativity and innovation. Because they master
typical curriculum quickly, they can become bored
in a regular classroom and should be encouraged to
develop self-directed inquiry projects to satisfy their
innate curiousity, extend their understanding, and
foster wisdom about the world around them. High Ability, High Needs Highly able learners develop in an "asynchronous" manner: their intellectual abilities outpace their physical and emotional development, creating a tension within the student that can heighten anxiety and foster intense feelings of frustration.
It is very important that the emotional development of highly able learners is carefully supported and social skills taught explicitly when necessary. This can be done through mentorship, direct instruction, role playing, and/or social stories. A Hypothetical Ideal Setting
For Highly Able Learners Given proper funding, staffing and certification,
my proposal for an ideal learning environment for
highly able learners would operate in three arenas: Highly able learners may have MANY ideas to share They may see the world very differently from their peers They may become deeply engrossed in esoteric and mature themes and topics They may seek to forge new frontiers They may question... ...and experiment constantly. For some, social skills need refreshing regularly 1) Whole School
2) Whole Subject
3) Whole Child Whole School An ideal learning environment would begin each school day with a whole school activity. Lessons would be of global interest, projects designed as a long-term whole school initiative, and every age group would have a role to play in the execution of this project, with older students mentoring and working with younger ones. Thus, this "ideal" K-12 school would have to have small classes and enough multi-purpose rooms (or a really comfortable gymnasium) to accommodate these large collaborative lessons. Having the entire school working together allows young highly able learners the chance to interact with and observe older highly able learners, while the older students are given a chance to act in a leadership or mentoring role. Interaction in action!
Furthermore, teaching a subject is an excellent strategy to deepen one's understanding of it and the multiple perspectives this activity presents to a situation provides opportunity to discuss, debate and problem solve differences in positive and constructive ways. RATIONALE Whole Subject In this school for highly able learners, standardized curriculum and assessment would be scheduled for the middle portion of the day when they have already been engaged for an hour or more in the whole school activity.
Classes would be grouped by ability and two subjects - one before lunch and one after lunch - would be presented per day. Subjects would be presented on a three day rotation so that students would have six courses year-long - four core academics and two electives. Students requiring learning assistance would have the option to have those blocks scheduled in lieu of elective courses. RATIONALE Grouping students by age in subjects where their ability levels are so varied will inevitably lead to frustration for both those who have challenges in a subject AND those who are far advanced of their age peers. Ideally, grouping students by ability will also further socialization among intellectual peers.
The scheduling of the standardized curriculum in the middle of the day is a strategy to counter the effects of morning lethargy and afternoon fatigue while they are engaged in the more traditional learning activities.
There needs to be an option available for students with dual exceptionalities to seek assistance. Having the slots for elective subjects provides a chance during the school day to have challenging subject matter supported. Whole Child The final portion of the school day is devoted to each student's "personal passion project".
At the younger ages, there may be several personal passion projects throughout a school year (or day even). Classroom teachers and classroom assistants will help document these through audio & visual recordings, photographs and observations.
Older students will be responsible for their own documentation and paired with an advisor from the staff who would be there for guidance in the initial planning stages (if needed) and feedback throughout the process. At the conclusion of each passion project, students need to present their work to either the whole school or a subject classroom where it bears relevance. RATIONALE According to Sternberg's triarchic theory of intelligence (2000), the "consummate balancer" is an individual highly able in all three meta-components of intelligence - Creativity, Analysis, and Practicality. The Consummate Balancer is, in short, the real-world application of genius, someone who contributes to their community through innovative and creative ideas to the benefit of the world.
The personal passion projects allow highly able learners to pursue their own interests and develop their own strengths within a malleable framework that requires that they not only create ideas but analyze their quality and be able to present their work within a context of applicability and convey its value to others.
In presenting their projects to their peers, students can learn the value of giving and receiving constructive criticism, practice the difficult skills required to defend a personal body of work, and learn from each experience to better analyze and prepare for future presentations.
For younger students, this part of the day draws inspiration from Montessori principles of discovery learning. With older students, advisors serve less as mentors and more as sounding boards, fostering deeper independent inquiry and problem-solving. To unify the school day, students are encouraged to draw upon their reflections on that morning's whole school activity or curriculum topics covered midday as provocations for their passion projects. References and Additional Resources Extended Learning Opportunities (2010). Retrieved November 27, 2012. from http://www.scs.sk.ca/elo/
Fogarty, R. (2012). Montessori: Discovery Learning. Retrieved November 27, 2012. from http://www.robinfogarty.com/montessori-discovery-learning-55.html.
Silverman, L.K. (1997). The construct of asynchronous development. Peabody Journal of Education, 72(3/4). 36-59
Sternberg, R.J.(1999). The theory of successful intelligence. Review of General Psychology (3) 4. 292-316
Sternberg, R.J. (2000) Patterns of giftedness: A triarchic analysis. Roeper Review, 22(4), 231-236.. Of course, before they are able to experiment and inquire effectively, they need to know HOW to experiment and question effectively. by Diana Keng for EPSE 303 (Nov 2012)
(with thanks to Amanda Brien for introducing me to Prezi!) Some social skills need prompting and refreshing Social skill learning often involves repeated prompts and practiced responses (focus on Sheldon)