Exploring Programs, Models, Structures, and
Organizations for Elementary and Secondary
Why do we need organizing models and programs?
The level of educational achievement in a traditional
classroom spans 4 to 8 years.
The average teacher plans the instructional program to
meet the needs of the on grade level students.
Students who are below grade level receive
Gifted and talented students often repeat material
already mastered. This can result in a loss of their
Using an educational structure can provide opportunities
that are appropriate for the gifted learner.
Programs found in the full inclusion classroom
It is not true that teachers can teach all students in the
same classroom, with the same materials, in the same
Gifted students need to have the appropriate educational
opportunities and learning experiences.
Suggested modifications include: team teaching, gifted
clusters,regular meetings with the gifted students,proper
placement in subjects where students are accelerated,
and community service projects.
Brain research says that students must be challenged at
the level of their development.
Administrative and curricular modifications
Enrichment can be implemented by:
adding disciplines or areas of learning not normally in the
using more advanced or in-depth material to enhance the
expanding the teaching strategies used to present
The most frequently used modification, but when used
alone and for a limited time, presents the least change in
the learning opportunities. It is the least expensive
Most effective when student needs have been assessed,
and used as a part of a differentiated curriculum plan.
Acceleration can be administered by:
seeking early entrance to formal schooling
moving through age-graded classes in less time by
skipping grades, completing cross-age grouped classes
in 2 instead of 3 years, or taking advanced placement
moving through curriculum materials,skills,and concepts
at an accelerated rate
Research has been positive about the results.
Parents and students are in favor of it, teachers and
administrators frequently oppose the use.
For highly and profoundly gifted students,opportunities
for acceleration are essential as they are able to learn at
a faster pace.
Groupings by ability and need
Grouping in any form does not solve problems caused
by poor teaching or an inappropriate curriculum.
Grouping is a way to allow students to be placed with
students of similar abilities in order to facilitate learning.
Some types of grouping include:
a) clusters Five to seven gifted students are placed in
the same classroom where differentiation, content
enrichment, and high order thinking skills are used to
deliver the instruction.
b) heterogeneous Students of all achievement levels
and abilities are in one group.
c) homogeneous Students are grouped by similar levels
of ability or achievement.
d) flexible The pace of learning, range of interests, and
academic possibilities of the gifted learners determine
the group placement for the time being.
Practices that should be avoided when grouping students
1. Using recorded test scores without observing the
students or their specific needs.
2. Tracking learners into all advanced classes without
considering where their abilities need to be advanced.
3.Keeping students in the same groupings for the entire
year, or longer.
4. Grouping without assessing ability, interest, or pace of
Taxonomy of Educational Objectives
Cognitive domain Use Bloom's cognitive taxonomy to
plan learning experiences at many levels so as to meet
the needs of various learners. Most classrooms present
instruction at the lower levels. Gifted learners need to
work at all levels of the taxonomy because they can not
analyze information that they do not understand. Since
the gifted learners may have large amounts of
background knowledge, they should receive instruction at
Affective domain A list of objectives to sequence
behaviors that would indicate growth in emotional areas
of function such as receiving, responding,valuing,
Taxonomy of Educational Objectives continued
organization of a value structure, and characterization by
a value. This could be used by gifted learners to analyze
and create motivated learning experiences.
The Structure of the Intellect Model This model gave
psychology a multifaceted view of intelligence, while
introducing creativity as a major part of the concept of
intelligence. SOI has three dimensions of intellectual
Using the dimensions and their subdivisions gave this
model a way to show interrelationships between and
among 120 specific mental abilities.
Structure of Intellect Model continued
Guilford devised a test that included each identified
mental ability and found 180 abilities in all.
Meeker used this information as a basis for diagnosticprescriptive tools in the teaching for 90 kinds of thinking
Her thought was that the needs of students could be
better met by using the model for curriculum
This could be accomplished through the use of
identification, diagnostic profiling, and remediation or
more skill development with the use of training modules
developed by Meeker for the gifted student.
Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM)
The most widely known enrichment program in gifted
education is an evolved model created from the
Enrichment Triad Model and the Revolving Door Model.
It is an program model as well as a curriculum model.
It was primarily used as a pull out program that would
use a resource room to provide enrichment to meet the
unique needs of gifted students.
A wide array of goals, strategies, and procedures are
provided as enrichment services to encourage students
to show evidence of and to develop gifted behaviors.
SEM has a unique view of giftedness in that it assumes
that the concept of giftedness is a behavior and that
gifted behaviors can be developed.
Gifted behavior is the result of an interaction between
above-average general and/or specific abilities, high
levels of task commitment, and high levels of creativity.
The gifted behaviors are not always present so that
special services should be provided only when those
behaviors are shown. Opportunities can be provided to
elicit those behaviors.
SEM emphasizes a schoolwide approach to the
selection and programming for students with talents in
Three levels of enrichment are provided. The first two are
all students being delivered appropriate learning
experiences by the classroom teacher. The third type of
service is provided by independent study or in a small
group that is facilitated by a specialist.
SEM has a large variety of support materials, forms, and
procedures for elementary and secondary schools.
SEM is extensively used. SEM uses detailed information
to deliver the program with the hope that all teachers and
students at all levels can benefit from this program.
For more information see The Schoolwide Enrichment
Model (Renzulli &Reis, 1997)
The Grid or Kaplan's Model
The Grid includes and organizes all of the various
components needed in a differentiated curriculum.
The purpose of this model are to 1) translate the general
principles that govern an appropriately differentiated
curriculum into practice and 2) to define the specific
process for the construction of differentiated learning
The components of the Grid are content, processes,(for
example, productive thinking skills, research skills, and
basic skills),and products that are based upon a theme.
Affective concerns, descriptions of the learning
experiences and activities are vital parts of the plan.
The learning experiences can be implemented in a
heterogeneous class, a small homogeneous group, or for
The Grid or Kaplan's Model continued
The activities or learning experiences may be teacher led
or student centered.
To begin planning the curriculum, it is necessary to have
a theme, rather than a topic as the organizing element.
Topics may limit the learning possibilities of the students.
Themes such as Extinction, Effects of Systems,
Knowledge as Power provide a wide variety of topics and
allow students to learn to generalize or see relationships.
Content is the knowledge and information that is useful,
important, timely,and interesting to learn.
To implement processes, Kaplan suggests integrating
various categories of processes into the planning and
integration of the curriculum.
The Grid or Kaplan's Model continued
The product is a tool for learning as well as proof that the
learning has occurred. Products can be oral, visual, or in
a written format.
The Autonomous Learning Model (ALM)
Developed to meet both the social -emotional and
cognitive needs of gifted high school students. It has
changed to now include all students in all grade levels.
The goals are to have students become independent,
creative, responsible learners; develop a positive self
-concept and social skills ; and increase their knowledge
This model can be implemented in the elementary
classroom for all students but the gifted can work with an
advanced model. In the secondary schools, this model
can become an elective or special class.
This model's approach is that the schools are failing, not
always the student.
The Autonomous Learning Model continued
There are five dimensions.
1.The Orientation acquaints students, parents, and
teachers with the model and the expectations.
2. Individual development emphasizes attitudes and
concepts needed for lifelong learning.
3. Enrichment is a vehicle for students to explore content
that is not normally a part of the curriculum. Exploration,
investigation, and cultural trips are examples of methods.
4. The Seminar permits student groups to choose topics
of interest to research and then present their findings to
a larger group.
5. In-depth study provides students with long term
opportunities to study areas of interests. The students
determine all facets of the study.
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences concluded that there
are 8 areas of intelligence, or abilities. These include
verbal/linguistic; visual/spatial; musical/rhythmic:
bodily/kinesthetic; interpersonal; intrapersonal; and
naturalistic. The model encourages teachers to address
multiple expressions of intelligence and ability.
The Triarchic Componential Model is a theory that
attempts to identify components of the cognitive aspects
of giftedness, in order to improve differentiated
curriculum planning. The triarchy consists of analytical
thinking, creative thinking, and practical thinking. This
model has been shown to improve achievement across
all grade levels, in areas that were examined, across a
range of socioeconomic and achievement levels.
Other models continued
Parallel Curriculum Model (PCM) is a guide for teachers
to develop appropriate curriculum experiences and
learning opportunities for the gifted learner. There are
four different curriculum models that can be used
together or intertwined as a single plan.
The PCM provides the depth, novelty, and complexity
needed for a richer learning experience for all students at
an appropriate level of instruction.
The four parallels presented are
1. The Core Curriculum Parallel
2. The Curriculum of Connections
3. The Curriculum of Practice Parallel
4. The Curriculum of Identity Parallel
Program organizations for elementary schools
Gifted students have not typically been identified prior to
third grade because of the belief that standardized
testing is too unstable and not valid until a student is
Advanced abilities and accelerated thinking can be
evident very early, and providing differentiated curricula
can boost a student's intellectual stimulation, which is
important for growth and development.
Planning for services should be based on the level of
giftedness in the population that needs to be served; the
training and skills of teachers; the educational philosophy
of the administration; and the cooperation of parents and
the community at large.
Program organizations for elementary schools continued
An appropriate, quality education requires
2. flexible grouping
3. continuous progress
4. intellectual peer interaction
6. teachers with knowledge and ability in gifted education
Limitations as well as strengths of the setting must be
Figure 9.2 provides a visual of the organizations for he
Program organizations for middle and high school
After the sixth or seventh grades, schools tend to
departmentalize their curriculum and differentiation and
continuous progress are not utilized.
Large numbers of students who must be served by a
teacher, along with time constraints, tend to limit the
interactions between the different teachers who serve a
Tracking students, regardless of their needs and abilities,
does not represent true differentiation. A higher leveled
class (or classes) for gifted and talented students does
not constitute a complete program that meets the needs
of this population of students.
Some form of ability grouping of students should be used
to provide a challenging program for advanced students.
Program organizations for middle and high school
Some program structures that are used in the secondary
Schools within a school allow the gifted to have a more
flexible setting while in the regular school building. This is
a low cost solution in which an accelerated curriculum
with a higher level of of complexity is utilized for these
Governor's schools are established for the gifted
learner's pursuit of enrichment and acceleration in a
variety of subject areas. Students are selected to attend.
NC has a residential program in Durham, which
emphasizes math and science.
Program organizations for middle and high schools continued
Advanced Placement is a program that offers high
academic classes that may permit the student to earn
college credits once an AP exam has been passed, while
still in high school. The classes are more in depth and
require more effort, and usually take more time.
International Baccalaureate Program is a two year
program that usually demands mastery at a high level.
Schools can develop their own program based on the
strengths and interests of the students involved.
Proficiency in a second language is a major component.
Many universities give college credit for these classes.
Secondary Triad Model is a pull out program that is a
component of the Schoolwide Enrichment Program.
Program organizations for middle and high school
Purdue Secondary Model offers a wide range of choices
and structures to meet the needs of the gifted learner in
the cognitive and affective areas. There are many
options such as counseling, AP or honors classes, and
correspondence classes available.
Accelerated College Enrollment and Early Entrance
Program serves seventh through ninth grade students by
offering lower level college classes one night a week, or
in the summer. PACE allows tenth through eleventh
graders the opportunity to concurrently take college
courses with high school classes.
In general, the academic performance of the students is
Programs and organizations for middle and high schools
John Hopkins University's Study of Mathematically Precocious
Youth (SMPY) is a program which combines early entrance
with content acceleration. First developed in 1979, the
program is available in several states and universities to serve
a very specific population of highly gifted students.
Programs are accelerated, and the program requires highly
able,achieving, and motivated students. A program for
accelerated language arts is also available.
High School at Moorpark College offers afternoon classes that
allow gifted eleventh and twelfth graders to receive high
school and college credit. Afternoon classes were chosen
based on studies that show adolescents learn better late in
It is a small program which serves students thought to be
eccentric or seriously troubled, who would not fit in traditional
schools very well.
Organizing for optimal learning
Response to Intervention Information about each student's
strengths and needs are used to design and deliver instruction
in order to ensure that students have successful learning. This
model was a part of the Individuals with Disablilites Education
Improvement Act (2004)
The model has a three tiered approach which is focused on
early intervention and providing appropriate instruction while
using a collaborative structure.
This model matches high quality instructional strategies and
student needs in an appropriate and timely manner.
The model depends on the use of teams of professionals for
consultation and instruction, along with the involvement and
support of parents.
The Integrative Model- using brain research to optimize
Integration of brain functions in the educational process
creates powerful support for teaching and learning. The
purpose of the Integrative Education Model is to provide an
organized guide to use brain research in the classroom. This
model can be used in any classroom, at any level of
There are seven components to this model.
1. use data on brain development as the basis for teaching
2. Create a responsive learning environment.
3. Integrate the intellectual processes.
4. Establish a continuum of learning.
5. Assess the student's level of mastery on the continuum of
6. Differentiate and individualize the processes of teaching
7. Evaluate the results of the teaching and learning. Reflect
and readjust the learning plan.
For detailed information about this model, see the textbook,
pages 325 to 334.
Homeschooling as an alternative approach
Some gifted learners can not benefit from traditional schools.
They may learn too rapidly, or think at levels of abstraction
and complexity so that no materials are easily available for
them. These students may benefit from homeschooling.
Benefits include quality of learning, individualization, and
alternatives to the rigidity of traditional schools.
There are so many different models,
structures, and programs available for use,
how will you determine the one(s) that you will
implement in your classroom? What will drive