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Differentiating for Gifted & Talented Learners

ED 594

Brittany Euerle

on 16 December 2014

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Transcript of Differentiating for Gifted & Talented Learners

Differentiating for Gifted & Talented Learners
Gifted and Talented Defined:
There is not a consensus on the definition of gifted, but according to the US Department of Education it means:

“Children and youth with outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience or environment.”
Characteristics of Giftedness in Students
According to the National Association of Gifted Students, students who are gifted are often:

precocious and far ahead of their chronological age mates
very fast learners
have original imaginations
perfectionists and idealistic
think abstractly and with such complexity that they may need help with concrete studying and test-taking skill
How would we know?
"My child is a genius!"
So what gives?
Teachers’ beliefs, biases, stereotypes and expectations influence their selection of the students for gifted and talented programs.

Researcher Donna Y. Ford calls for future analysis of data on race, gender, and socio- economic status in regards to assessment.
Biases in Identification
Even after assessment, researchers found that teachers were much less likely to refer African American and Latino/a students for gifted programs than White students with a difference of almost one full standard deviation.
Cheryl - Elise - Marcia - Brittany
How is Giftedness Assessed?

Members of the G/T Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) decide on the appropriate instruments to use to determine student eligibility for services.

Identification will involve administering a variety of assessments, which may include the following:
Standardized tests, e.g., intelligence, aptitude, achievement
Criterion-referenced tests
Evaluation of students’ participation in established programs
Nominations by parents, peers and staff
Observations by trained teachers and other personnel
Student interviews
Extracurricular activities
So, where are the black and brown students?
Studies repeatedly show an underrepresentation of minority students in gifted education.
Other factors include:
Culturally biased standardized tests
Tests normed on students with a presumption of a mastery of Standard American English
Different cognitive and learning styles
Stereotype Threat
Strategies for Differentiating for Gifted and Talented Students
In a differentiated classroom, one size does not fit all.

Below are a sample of some strategies that researchers found are appropriate and effective for gifted and talented primary age students:

learning centers
tiered activities
inquiry thinking
Independent study

This is not a complete nor exhaustive list.
Anchor Activities
Pitfalls of Not D.I.
Coleman, M.R. & Harrison, A. (1997). Programming for Gifted Learners: Developing a System Level Plan for Service Delivery. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina.

Ford, D.Y. (1998). The underrepresentation of minority students in gifted education: problems and promises in recruitment and retention. The Journal of Special Education, 32(1), 4-14. Retrieved from http://westdalemiddle.ebrschools.org/eduWEB1/1000047/laylamilton/docs/minority_students_in_gt.pdf

Heacox, D. (2009). Developing Student Responsibility and Independence. In Making differentiation a habit: How to ensure success in academically diverse classrooms (126-129).

Johnsen, Susan K. (2009). Best Practices for Identifying Gifted Students. Principal, May/June, 9-14. Retrieved from http://www.naesp.org/resources/2/Principal/2009/M-J_p08.pdf

Lawrence-Brown, D. (2004). Differentiated instruction: inclusive strategies for standards-based learning that benefit the whole class. American Secondary Education, 32(3), 34-62. Retrieved from http://mdestream.mde.k12.ms.us/sped/toolkit/articles/Differentiation/Lawrence-Brown%20ASE%202004%20DI%20scholarly.pdf

Luna, T. A. (2002). Gifted and talented primary-aged students: Recommendations for identification and service. Retrieved from http://sde.idaho.gov/site/gifted_talented/resources_manuals_docs/PracticesManual.pdf

Machek, G. & Plucker, Dr. J.A. (2003). Individual intelligence testing and giftedness: a primer for parents. Parenting for High Potential. Retrieved from http://mcgt.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/IntelligenceTestingGiftedness.pdf

Moon, T. R., & Brighton, C. M. (2008, Summer). Primary teachers' conceptions of giftedness. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 31, 447-480,505-506. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csp.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/222271245?accountid=26720

N.A. (2014). Giftedness defined. National Society for the Gifted & Talented. Retrieved from http://www.nsgt.org/giftedness-defined/

Reis, S.M., Westberg, K.L., Kulikowich, J.M., & Purcell, J.H. (1998). Curriculum compacting and achievement test scores: what does the research say? Gifted Child Quaterly 42, 123-129. doi: 10.1177/001698629804200206

Siegle, D., & Powell, T. (2004). Exploring teacher biases when nominating students for gifted programs. The Gifted Child Quarterly, 48(1), 21-29. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csp.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/212102832?accountid=26720

Smutny, J.F. (2000). Teaching young gifted children in the regular classroom. Gifted Education Digests. Retrieved from http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/eric/e595.html

VanTassel-Baska, J., & Brown, E. (2007). Towards best practice: An analysis of the efficacy of curriculum models in gifted education. Gifted Child Quarterly, 51(4), 342-358.
(National Society of Gifted & Talented, 2014)
(Smutney, 2000)
(Ford, 1998)
(National Society of Gifted & Talented, 2014)
(Machek & Plucker, 2003)
(Machek & Plucker, 2003)
(Moon & Brighton, 2008)
There are multiple assessments for determining giftedness. Machek and Plucker reminds us that “no single assessment instrument or score should ever be relied upon for making such high stakes decisions.”
Parent referral can be the beginning of an assessment for giftedness, but it is not the only factor in determining if a child is gifted.
(Luna, 2002)
Why differentiate for gifted learners?
If they master a particular unit, they need to be provided with more advanced learning activities, not more of the same activity.
Differentiating for giftedness is supported by the research.
Curriculum Compacting
Compacting is a technique for differentiating instruction that allows the teacher to swap out content the student has already mastered for new content, enrichment options and other activities.
Research shows that gifted students enter elementary classrooms already knowing 35 percent or more of the curriculum.
Elementary teachers can eliminate 24%-70% of high-ability students’ curriculum by compacting without any negative effect on test scores or performance.
(Reis, Westberg, Kulikowich & Purcell, 1998)
provide students with relevant, meaningful activities that can be completed independently

level to meet different student needs
Gifted and Talented in the Mainstream Classroom
There are many models of differentiation, but most try to keep the class inclusive and the curriculum relevant, effective and engaging for all students.
In a classroom with gifted students, accommodations must be made in regards to differentiation.
(Lawrence-Brown, 2004)
Teaching Gifted Students in a Diverse Classroom
Strategies for teaching gifted students in a diverse classroom:
formative assessment
anchor activities
advanced content
PSEO for secondary students
Young and Balli (2014) cited research by Heacox that suggests that there are benefits to creating more complex learning goals for the gifted students in a class if they have mastered the learning objectives.
(Coleman & Harrison, 1997)
Advanced Content
Van Tassel-Baska and Brown (2007) concluded that the strongest body of research evidence support the use of advanced curricula in core areas of learning at an accelerated rate for high ability learners, suggesting that best practice would be to “group gifted students instructionally by subject area for advanced curriculum work that would be flexibly organized and implemented based on students’ documented level of learning within the subject area” (p.351).
Because the research shows that even the brightest students may exhibit affective behaviors from boredom and low self-esteem.
They may regress in learning.
They may be misdiagnosed with a behavior disorder.
Benefits of Differentiation for Gifted and Talented Learners
Studies tracking gifted students found that they pursued doctoral degrees at more than 50 times the base rate expectations.

One study found that 44% of a group tracked through graduation held one or more doctoral degrees. Compare that with 2% of the general American population.

But the benefits of incorporating best practices for differentiation is for all students to be
appropriately challenged
affirmed and included, not marginalized, members of their classroom community
(Reis, et. al., 1998)
(Reis, et. al., 1998)
(Johnsen, 2009)
(Heacox, 2009)
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