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What is Happening in the World of Gifted Education?. Professor Karen B. Rogers Gifted Education Research, Resource & Information Centre The University of New South Wales [email protected] Teacher Effectiveness is Becoming Better Understood.

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What is happening in the world of gifted education

What is Happening in the World of Gifted Education?

Professor Karen B. Rogers

Gifted Education Research, Resource & Information Centre

The University of New South Wales

[email protected]


Teacher effectiveness is becoming better understood
Teacher Effectiveness is Becoming Better Understood

  • We now believe gifted students are more likely to appreciate a teacher’s effectiveness for actual teaching behaviors rather than personality alone (Rogers, 2007). Traits rated as “very important” include:

    • Covering the material that is “supposed” to be covered

    • Eliminating excess drill and revision

    • Compacting the curriculum through pre-assessment

    • Adjusting instructional pace appropriate to subject matter

    • Providing immediate corrective feedback

    • Provides scaffold (whole of the concept) up front, followed by chance to analyze and reflect on its parts

    • Makes individual accommodations for some learners

    • Is organized and clear in presentations


Teacher effectiveness is becoming better understood1
Teacher Effectiveness is Becoming Better Understood

  • Personality and the personal traits of effective teachers of the gifted are still important to gifted learners, however (Rogers, 2007). These include:

    • Seeing the gifted learner as a unique individual

    • Liking able students in general

    • Being patient and even-tempered in nature

    • Having sense of humor “in line” with subject matter

    • Exhibiting enthusiasm for subject, continuing to learn in that area along with students

    • Showing no overt biases toward race or gender in treatment of students

    • Trusts students to make good learning choices and provides opportunities for independent learning


Comparative differences in characteristics of effectiveness

Effective Teachers of GT Learners

Expertise in specific academic or talent area

Self-directed in own learning, love for new, advanced learning

Strong belief in individual differences and individualization

Highly developed teaching skill and knowledge

Effective Teachers of Regular Learners

Mastery of content knowledge, enthusiasm for subject taught

Self-directed in own learning, love for new, advanced learning

Focus on development of learner, view learner as “person”

Broad repertoire of instructional media, strategies

Comparative Differences in Characteristics of “Effectiveness”


Comparative differences in characteristics of effectiveness1

Effective Teachers of GT Learners

Not a “sage on the stage”, but a “guide on the side”

Variable pacing of learning experiences

Consistent, “accurate” feedback

Recognition of importance of intellectual development in GT learners

Effective Teachers of Regular Learners

Facilitation of learning through applications and problem solving

Use of equipment, materials in new, creative ways

Expectation for order, purpose in classroom

Commitment to hard work, effort as measure of student success

Comparative Differences in Characteristics of “Effectiveness”


Comparative differences in characteristics of effectiveness2

Effective Teachers of Gifted Learners

Genuine interest in, liking of GT learners

Equanimity, level-headedness, emotional stability

Possess high degree of intelligence and intellectual honesty

Effective Teachers of Regular Learners

Show respect for students

Are “themselves” with students, approachable

Network and collaborate with other teachers, are sought out by colleagues for teaching advice

Comparative Differences in Characteristics of “Effectiveness”


Reflections on the research
Reflections on the Research

  • What does this research on teacher effectiveness say to you about…

    • Professional development of your staff?

    • GATE learner outcomes -- are they high enough? (we will come back to this in a few minutes…)

    • What you need to include in your strategic planning for gifted service provision in your school or district?


Who the gifted learner is has become clearer
Who the Gifted Learner is Has Become Clearer

  • Focus on multiple expressions of giftedness (potential) and talent (performance)

    • Development of program services to accommodate different potentials and different talents --no longer a single program or provision

  • The importance of learning rate in ultimate retention is better understood

    • Intellectually gifted and maths/science/foreign language talented students must work 2-3 times faster than “regular” class pace in order to retain accurately



Gagn s differentiated model of giftedness and talent
Gagné’s Differentiated Model ofGiftedness and Talent


Who the gifted learner is has become clearer1
Who the Gifted Learner is Has Become Clearer

  • The gifted mind is more likely to be decontextualist in acquiring new learning than constructivist

    • Effective learning is most likely to occur when the gifted learner is taught concepts, principles, generalizations, and works on issues or problems (but all this is supported with adequate access to facts, details, vocabulary, basic knowledge)

    • Effective learning is most likely to occur when the concept is taught whole-to-part, rather than part-to-whole



Reflections on the research1
Reflections on the Research

  • So what does this say to you about how teaching and instruction should be changed for gifted learners?

  • Which of these strategies are your teachers already doing?

  • Which of these strategies would you like to work toward in your longer term strategic planning for staff?


What the gifted learner should be taught is clearer
What the Gifted Learner Should be Taught is Clearer

  • Content that is

    • Abstract

    • Complex

    • Multidisciplinary

    • Human issues-related

    • Methodology-related

  • Skills that are

    • Higher Order

    • Open-ended

    • Proof & Reasoning

    • Problem-based, inquiry-based, guided discovery-based

    • Group-produced (qualified)

    • Allow for Freedom of Choice in Learning

    • Strategies to improve retention (memory training)


What the gifted learner should be taught is clearer1
What the Gifted Learner Should be Taught is Clearer

  • The “extras” that must be included in their studies include:

    • The “classics” of literature

    • The “big ideas” of philosophy

    • The major principles of the arts (for all arts domains

      • Visual arts

      • Music

      • Theatre

      • Dance

      • Creative Writing

      • Graphic Design

    • The “big ideas” of science and mathematics





How we should organize the learning of gifted learners is clearer
How We Should Organize the Learning of Gifted Learners is Clearer

  • Gifted learners must be grouped for substantial blocks of time daily for learning and for socializing

    • Self-contained gifted classrooms or schools

    • Cluster Grouping

    • Within Class Grouping

    • Cross-Grading

    • Vertical Grouping - Grade telescoping

    • Pull out/send out programs

    • Like-ability/performance Cooperative Grouping

    • Academic teams and competitions

    • Affective support groups

    • Service learning and other group projects


Grouping research options
Grouping Research Options Clearer

  • Grouping by ability

    • Cluster grouping

    • Special full-time schools/classes (school within a school)

    • Send-out programs

    • Like ability cooperative learning

  • Grouping by Performance

    • Cluster grouping

    • Send-out programs

    • Like performing cooperative learning

    • Regrouping for advanced/honors/accelerated specific subjects

    • Within class performance grouping (flexible grouping)

    • Cross-graded classes


Research on instructional management grouping permutations
Research on Instructional Management: Clearer Grouping Permutations

  • Full-time ability grouping (ES= .49,.33)

  • Regrouping for specific instruction (ES= .34, .79)

  • Cluster grouping of GT students (ES= .59, .44)

  • Pull-out grouping (ES= .45,.44,.32)

  • Within class ability grouping (ES= .34)

  • Cross-graded classes (ES= .45,.46)

  • Mixed ability cooperative groups (ES= 0)

  • Like ability cooperative groups (ES=.28)


Matching for ability grouping
Matching for Ability Grouping Clearer

  • Cognitive Functioning - is processing and achieving well above most others at grade level

  • Learning Strengths - learns easily and well in most subjects at school

  • Learning Preferences - prefers to work at fast pace, though not necessarily alone

  • Personal Characteristics - academically motivated, comfortable with competition, self-accepting

  • Interests/Attitudes - likes academic work even outside of school

  • Books - reads widely and at advanced levels


Matching for performance grouping
Matching for Performance Grouping Clearer

  • Cognitive Functioning - is achieving well beyond others at current grade level

  • Learning Strengths - learns quickly and easily in most academic areas

  • Learning Preferences - prefers fast paced, challenging work, though not necessarily alone

  • Personal Characteristics - is academically motivated, accepting of others, self-accepting, independent

  • Interests/Attitudes - likes academic work even outside of school

  • Books - reads widely and at advanced levels


How we should organize the learning of gifted learners is clearer1
How We Should Organize the Learning of Gifted Learners is Clearer

  • Gifted learners will need to be accelerated in some form at some time in their school lives

    • Grade-based Acceleration

      • Vertical Grouping/Grade Telescoping

      • Grade Skipping

      • Early Admission to University

    • Subject-Based Acceleration

      • Multi-age or Composite Classes

      • Dual Enrollment

      • Advanced Placement/ International Baccalaureate programs

      • Subject Acceleration

      • Credit for Prior Learning, Testing Out


Acceleration research options
Acceleration Research Options Clearer

  • Grade-based Acceleration (shorten time in school)

    • Grade skipping

    • Grade telescoping

    • Early admission to college

  • Subject-based Acceleration (advanced exposure early)

    • Early admission to school

    • Concurrent/dual enrollment

    • Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate programs

    • Mentorships/one-to-one tutoring

    • Subject acceleration

    • Credit by examination


Research on instructional management acceleration permutations
Research on Instructional Management: ClearerAcceleration Permutations

  • Grade Skipping (ES= .49, .31)

  • Early Entrance to School (ES= .49)

  • Subject Acceleration (ES= .57)

  • Grade Telescoping (ES= .40)

  • Concurrent Enrollment (ES= .22)

  • Advanced Placement courses (ES= .27)

  • Early Admission to College (ES= .30)

  • Credit by Examination (ES= .59)


Matching for acceleration grade based
Matching for Acceleration: Grade-Based Clearer

  • Cognitive Functioning - needs to learn more in a year than 1 year’s curriculum in most subjects

  • Learning Strengths - shows strengths in every academic area

  • Learning Preferences - prefers to work alone and at own pace

  • Personal Characteristics - is independent and persistent

  • Interests/Attitudes - likes academic work, has wide-ranging interests

  • Books - often reads books well beyond age and “appropriately developmental” level


Matching for acceleration subject based
Matching for Acceleration: Subject-Based Clearer

  • Cognitive Functioning - is performing well above age peers in specific academic area or areas

  • Learning Strengths - more than 2 grades ahead in specific area or areas

  • Learning Preferences - enjoys variety of delivery methods and challenges in that specific area

  • Personal Characteristics - is self-directed, independent, and motivated to learn

  • Interests/Attitudes - strong passion in specific area(s) with little time to pursue this outside of school

  • Books - reads extensively in specific passion area


How we should organize the learning of gifted learners is clearer2
How We Should Organize the Learning of Gifted Learners is Clearer

  • Some individualization of the gifted learner’s program of studies will be necessary

    • Compacting the Curriculum

    • Independent Study, self-instructional materials

    • Credit for Prior Learning

    • Testing Out

    • Mentorships, Tutorships


Individualization research options
Individualization Research Options Clearer

  • Individualization

    • Unique plan for individual child

      • Education plan

      • Compacting

      • Mentorship/one-to-one tutoring

      • Independent study

      • On-line/distance learning

    • Flexible progression through general K-12 curriculum

      • Non-graded classes

      • Multi-grade classes

      • Credit for prior learning

      • Testing out

      • On-line/distance learning


Research on instructional management individualization
Research on Instructional Management: ClearerIndividualization

  • Non-graded classrooms (ES= .38)

  • Multi-grade classrooms (ES= .19)

  • One-to-one mentoring/tutoring (ES= .57)

  • Compacting (ES= .83,.26)

  • Credit for prior learning (ES= .56)

  • Talent Development (LO)

  • IEPs or ILPs (LO)

  • Independent Study (ES= 0)


Matching for compacted curriculum
Matching for Compacted Curriculum Clearer

  • Cognitive Functioning - is achieving at substantially higher level in some subjects than most classmates

  • Learning Strengths - pre-assessment shows actual levels of mastery in subject or subjects

  • Learning Preferences - willing to work alone or in small group on self-instructional tasks

  • Personal Characteristics - motivated to learn, persistent, independent

  • Interests/Attitudes - has high interest in area to be compacted, boredom with routine learning

  • Books - reads deeply in specific area of strength


Matching for independent learning
Matching for Independent Learning Clearer

  • Cognitive Functioning - is processing, achieving well beyond grade level in specific academic area

  • Learning Strengths - strong in planning and organizational skills, as well as in specific subject

  • Learning Preferences - enjoys variety of delivery methods and challenge

  • Personal Characteristics - is self-directed, independent, motivated to learn

  • Interests/Attitudes - strong specific interests, time to supplement learning outside of school

  • Books - reads deeply in specific interest, strength


So what does this mean for educational leaders
So, What Does This Mean for Educational Leaders? Clearer

  • Take ceilings and basements off curriculum outcomes

  • Provide links among subject areas whenever a new concept is introduced

  • Target teach for gaps in skills and knowledge, but spend less than 10% of your time on remediation

  • Provide new content and skills daily in specific areas of talent for individual students (for the rest, additional challenge 1-2 times per week)


So what does this mean for educational leaders1
So, What Does This Mean for Educational Leaders? Clearer

  • Provide affective, individualized support for students for approximately 25% of your time with them

  • Regroup students according to their current performance levels in each subject taught

  • Keep the pace fast and non-repetitive, especially in math, science, and foreign language

  • Find content experts for individual learners when they have outstripped your knowledge of a talent area


So what does this mean for educational leaders2
So, What Does This Mean for Educational Leaders? Clearer

  • Choose content and curriculum carefully with these two maxims in mind

    • Would, Could, Should Questions (Passow)

    • HOTS not MOTS


Last words
Last Words Clearer

It’s a daunting task, being an educator, bearing the responsibility for shaping both academics and attitudes. Accountability, as defined in today’s schools, often measures the easy stuff: the math facts memorized, the commas placed correctly, the historical events sequenced. But the true measure of the educator’s teaching performance is not so readily determined. No computer-scanned bubble sheet measures how our students feel about learning or their biases toward self and others. These indexes, the true value of learning and education, elude detection and measurement, sometimes for years…So, the brave educators wishing to enhance both students’ self-concepts and their achievements must be content with not knowing the immediate or long-term impacts of their actions.

[Delisle, J.R. (1992). Guiding the social and emotional development of gifted youth. Pp. 49-50. New York: Longman]


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