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What Works: 20 Years of Curriculum Development and Research for Advanced Learners. Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska The College of William and Mary 2008. National Curriculum Network Conference March 6, 2008 Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska Jody and Layton Smith Professor of Education

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what works 20 years of curriculum development and research for advanced learners

What Works: 20 Years of Curriculum Development and Research for Advanced Learners

Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska

The College of William and Mary 2008

slide2

National Curriculum Network Conference

March 6, 2008

Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska

Jody and Layton Smith Professor of Education

Executive Director, Center for Gifted Education

The College of William and Mary

the theory
The Theory…

Differentiated characteristics of gifted learners:

Precocity

Complexity

Need for adaptations in school-based curriculum

the integrated curriculum model
The Integrated Curriculum Model

Issues/Themes

Dimension

Advanced

Content

Dimension

Process-Product

Dimension

VanTassel-Baska, 1986

the practice what works in curriculum and instruction for high end learners
The Practice…What Works in Curriculum and Instruction for High End Learners?

William and Mary curriculum frameworks and models in core areas

Research-based instructional approaches (concept maps, higher level thinking, metacognition, developing concepts et al.)

Authentic Assessment tools

strategies for aligning curriculum for the gifted with content standards
Strategies for Aligning Curriculum for the Gifted with Content Standards

-VanTassel-Baska, 2004

science curriculum framework
Science Curriculum Framework

The Problem

Concept

Process

Understanding

“Systems”

Using Scientific

Research

Content

Learning Science

slide9

Wheel of

Scientific

Investigation

and Reasoning

Make Observations

Tell Others What Was Found

Ask Questions

SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION AND REASONING

Learn More

Create Meaning

Design and Conduct the Experiment

the research science research findings
The Research…Science Research Findings

Significant and important treatment effects were found for students’ ability to design an experiment after exposure to the William and Mary units.

Teachers and students both found problem-based science units more engaging than typical science units.

the research science research findings cont
The Research…Science Research Findings cont.

Positive academic achievement effects were significant for all groups of learners, regardless of socioeconomic status, ability level, or ethnicity

Continued use of the PBL science curriculum over a three year period resulted in continued academic growth for gifted students.

-Feng, VanTassel-Baska, Quek, O’Neil, & Bai, 2005

-VanTassel-Baska, Bass, Ries, Poland, & Avery, 1998

project clarion goals
Project Clarion Goals

To implement instrumentation sensitive to low socioeconomic learners for identification and assessment of learning.

To implement, refine, and extend research-based concept curriculum units of study at primary levels.

To develop and implement professional training models for stakeholders.

To conduct research on short term and longitudinal learning.

project clarion research findings
Project Clarion Research Findings

Primary age students exposed to the William and Mary science units showed significant growth on a standardized achievement test in science (MAT8) compared to control students.

Primary age students exposed to the William and Mary units showed significant growth in critical thinking when compared to those students who used the regular science curriculum.

slide14

Project Clarion Research Findings cont.

  • Performance-based assessments that emphasized higher-order concepts, scientific investigation, and content mastery showed significant growth for Title I students exposed to the science units.
  • Positive academic achievement effects were significant for all groups of learners, regardless of socioeconomic status, ability level, or ethnicity -VanTassel-Baska, Bracken, Stambaugh, & Feng, 2007
social studies curriculum framework
Social Studies Curriculum Framework

The Social/Historical Context

Concept

Reasoning

Process

Understanding Systems, Cause and Effect

Using Social Science Processes

Research

Content

Document Analysis

Government

Learning Social Studies Content and Habits of Mind

History

Geography

Economics

reasoning about a situation or event
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 research social studies research findings
The Research…Social Studies Research Findings

Students engaged in the William and Mary social studies units showed significant growth in measures of conceptual thinking, content learning, and critical thinking.

Treatment effects were evident for the whole sample including non-gifted students. Gains were consistent for males and females.

-Little, Feng, VanTassel-Baska, Rogers, & Avery, 2007

language arts curriculum framework
Language Arts Curriculum Framework

The Literature

Concept

Process

Understanding Change

Using the Reasoning Process

Content

Literary Analysis and Interpretation

Learning Language Arts Content and Skills

Linguistic Competency

Oral Communication

Persuasive Writing

hamburger model for persuasive writing
Hamburger Model for Persuasive Writing

Introduction

(State an opinion.)

Elaboration

Elaboration

Elaboration

Elaboration

Elaboration

Elaboration

Reason

Reason

Reason

Conclusion

the research language arts research findings
The Research…Language Arts Research Findings

Students who were exposed to the language arts curriculum showed significant and educationally important gains in literary analysis and persuasive writing (VanTassel-Baska, Zuo, Avery, & Little, 2002; VanTassel-Baska, Johnson, Hughes, & Boyce, 1996).

Gifted, learning disabled, and typical learners all showed significant learning gains in critical thinking through the W&M model of persuasive writing (Hughes, 2000).

language arts research findings
Language Arts Research Findings

Continued use of the language arts curriculum over a three-year period significantly enhanced students’ literary analysis skills and persuasive writing competency (Feng, VanTassel-Baska, Quek, Bai, & O’Neill, 2005).

  • Academic achievement effects were significant for all groups of learners regardless of socioeconomic status, ability level, or ethnicity (VanTassel-Baska, Zuo, Avery, & Little, 2002; VanTassel-Baska, Johnson, Hughes, & Boyce, 1996).
project athena goals
Project Athena Goals

To develop and implement instrumentation sensitive to low socioeconomic learners for purposes of identification and assessment of learning.

To implement, refine, and extend research-based language arts curriculum units of study.

  • To develop and implement professional training models.
  • To conduct research on short term and longitudinal student learning gains
project athena research findings
Project Athena Research Findings

Students in Title I schools exposed to the language arts units showed significant learning gains annually in reading comprehension and critical thinking compared to students who used a basal reader or teacher-created materials.

Students who were exposed the language arts curriculum showed significant and educationally important gains in literary analysis and persuasive writing.

Academic achievement effects were significant for all groups of learners regardless of socioeconomic status, ability level, or ethnicity.

-VanTassel-Baska, Bracken, Feng, & Brown, under review; Bracken, VanTassel-Baska, Brown, & Feng, 2007

jacob s ladder research findings
Jacob’s Ladder Research Findings

When compared to students in Title I schools who used the basal readers only, those who were exposed to the Jacob’s Ladder curriculum showed significant and educationally important gains in reading comprehension and critical thinking.

Students reported greater interest in reading after exposure to Jacob’s Ladder curriculum.

Teachers reported more in-depth student discussion after teaching the Jacob’s Ladder curriculum.

-Stambaugh, under revision; Stambaugh, 2007; & French, 2006.

what works in assessment for high end learners
What Works in Assessment for High End Learners?

Multiple assessments

Assessments that tap into higher level thinking and problem solving

Assessments that match curriculum outcomes

Assessments that meet technical adequacy standards

assessment instruments
Assessment Instruments
  • Test of Critical Thinking (TCT)
  • Classroom Observation Scale – Revised (COS-R)
  • Student observation scale
  • ASPIRE
  • Professional Development Questionnaire
  • Science Observation Scale
  • Performance-Based Assessments
persuasive writing pre assessment
Persuasive Writing Pre-Assessment
  • Prompt: Do you think______ should be required reading for your grade?
  • Student B, Grade 3:

“Yes, I think the story The Wolf and the Lion should be required reading for all the students. Why? It’s a great story with a very interesting topic. They could also learn from the story. Also they could get lots of interesting questions. That’s why I think 3rd grade students should read The Wolf and the Lion.”

post assessment
Post-Assessment
  • Student B, Grade 3:

“Yes, I think all the students in 3rd grade should read this book. It’s such an excellent moral.

One reason I think everyone in third grade should read The Miser is because it does teach a good lesson. It could help them learn that things they never use are worthless.

Another reason I think all the students in third grade should read this story is they use great, funny words. It basicly is a funny story. One of the parts I likes was “He pulled his hair out (not really). It would make our writing better.

Also, the students should read this because it’s similar to a true story. If you have a good, healthy body and you never use it, the muscles will be very weak, and you’ll miss out on a lot of things.

As you see, it’s a good moral for all the students in third grade. They could learn great details for their own stories, and they can compare it with a true happening like this story. It’s a great story.”

science pre test
Science Pre-Test

Prompt: How would you do a fair test of this question?

Are earthworms attracted to light?

Tell how you would test this question. Be as scientific as you can as you write about your test. Write down the steps you would take to find out if earthworms like light.

pre test response
Pre-test Response
  • “First, I would put some earthworms in a container. There would be lights and some dirt. I would put several different earthworms in it. If more earthworms like the light than that would be right. If more didn’t like the light than that would be right. I would try this with about seven groups and decide if they like the light.”

CFGE, 3rd Grade

science post test
Science Post-Test

Prompt: How would you do a fair test of this question?

Are bees attracted to diet cola?

Tell how you would test this question. Be as scientific as you can as you write about your test. Write down the steps you would take to find out if earthworms like light.

post test response
Materials:

Diet Cola, 3 large containers, 3 small containers, 6 bees.

Hypothesis:

If you give bees diet cola then they will be attracted to it.

Gather 6 bees, diet cola, 3 large containers, 3 small containers.

Put 2 bees in each large container.

Pour 5 ml of diet cola in each small container.

Set the small container of diet cola in each large container that has bees in it.

Watch and observe to see if the bees are attached to the diet cola.

You should record if the bees like diet cola on a chart like below.

Bees If they are attracted to Diet Cola

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Post-Test Response

CFGE, 3rd Grade

what works in professional development for high end learners
What Works in Professional Development for High End Learners?

Use of teaching and learning models to demonstrate high level instruction

Training on materials to reduce inferences about application

Emphasis on the linkage between teacher behaviors and student learning

professional development research findings
Professional Development Research Findings
  • Teachers can significantly improve their skills in the differentiation strategies of problem solving, critical thinking, curriculum delivery, and metacognition, given ongoing professional development in such strategies embedded in a social studies curriculum (Avery, 1999)
  • Untrained teachers of the gifted in Title I schools can significantly improve their skills in differentiation strategies across two years, given training and implementation support in language arts (Van Tassel-Baska, Bracken, Feng, & Brown, in press).
professional development research findings1
Professional Development Research Findings

Teachers score at differential levels in critical thinking and creative thinking, rendering it problematic for them to teach these skills to students if they are low in the capacity to use the skills themselves (McGowan, 2007).

  • Exemplary secondary teachers of the gifted in specialized schools in Singapore and the United States score high in the use of differentiated strategies and have incorporated these practices effectively into their daily repertoire (VanTassel-Baska, Feng, & MacFarlane, 2007).
professional development research findings2
Professional Development Research Findings

Teacher self-assessments of differentiation use suggest that they are using differentiation strategies more frequently and more effectively than external trained assessors would rate them (Tyler, 2006; Avery, 1999).

When teachers employ differentiation strategies, there is corresponding active engagement of students with the learning process (VanTassel-Baska, Bracken, Feng, & Brown, in press).

lessons learned on curriculum development
Lessons Learned on Curriculum Development

Today is always here…Tomorrow, never.

-Toni Morrison

slide38

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

VanTassel-Baska, 2003

Lesson #1

  • Curriculum design matters.
lesson 2
Lesson #2

The curriculum development process matters.

Tryouts

Field Testing

Revisions

Piloting

lesson 3
Lesson #3

Curriculum development work for high-end learning requires collaboration with content experts and teachers.

Teachers of the gifted

Curriculum development

Content experts

lesson 4
Lesson #4

Student exposure to repeated models over time enhances student achievement and learning transfer.

lesson 5
Lesson #5

High-level curriculum may be used successfully with all learners.

Twice-exceptional

Typical learners

High readers

Promising learners

lesson 6
Lesson #6

Promising learners from low-income backgrounds and students of color benefit from high-powered curriculum.

lesson 7
Lesson #7

Use of authentic assessment documents authentic learning.

Curriculum-based

Portfolio

Products

lesson 8
Lesson #8

Professional development on curriculum materials enhances faithful implementation.

Modeling

Explicit linkage to content standards

Guided practice

lesson 9
Lesson #9

Fidelity of implementation of innovative curriculum efforts requires monitoring.

Peer coaching

Ambassador model

Administrative technical support

lesson 10
Lesson #10

Institutionalization of innovative curriculum and instruction requires ongoing attention.

slide49
Time is like a series of liquid transparencies.

You don’t look back

Along time,

But through it like water.

-Margaret Atwood,

Canadian writer

center for gifted education school of education the college of william mary
Center for Gifted EducationSchool of EducationThe College of William & Mary

Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Ed.D.

Executive Director

Jody & Layton Smith Professor of Education

427 Scotland Street

Williamsburg, VA. 23185

(757)221-2362

[email protected]

www.cfge.wm.edu

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