1. Empowerment and learning results withtalented pre-university science students in an enriched learning environment Ton van der Valk & Albert Pilot E-mail to email@example.com 21st Symposium on Chemistry and Science Education, Dortmund, May 17 – 19, 2012
2. Main points• JCU students programme: a working place for improvement of upper secondary science education• Research project: characteristics of a learning environment adapted to talented students• Consequence: towards differentiated lessons in secondary schools: the JCU teacher professionalisation programme
3. JCU: three programmes• Cooperation: – Utrecht University – 28 schools from Utrecht region• Three programmes – Students programme (since 2004) – Teachers programme (since 2005) – Programme for school development (since 2011): U- Talent• Financed by – The partner schools – Utrecht University – Governmental organisations
4. JCU student programme• 2 years of ‘enriched’ science education• 100 grade 11- and 12-students from partner schools• Lessons on Monday and Tuesday• By university and secondary school teachers• Math, physics, chemistry, biology, NLT• JCU characteristicsStudent results• 6 cohorts (260 students) have passed national examinations since 2004• >80% opt for science study• 40% opt for Utrecht University
5. Selection of JCU studentsSelection in three steps• Self-selection• Selection by their home schools• Selection by JCU (motivation letter; interview) Criteria: – Motivated for science – High grades in all subjects – Have room for ‘enrichment’ – Capable of independent learning
6. The issue: empowering talented students• Talented secondary students should be empowered by science education• Regular education does not offer them enough challenge• Tailor learning environment to talented science studentsWhich specific characteristics of an enriched learning environment contribute to empowerment of talented science students?
7. Theoretical framework: LEAT characteristicsCharacteristics of Learning Environment Adapted to Talented students (LEAT): – School culture of excellence – Teaching approach geared to talented students – Talented students meet talented students – Compact curriculum; accelerated pace – Enrichment: topics beyond syllabuses – Open assignments and investigations Heller e.a. (2002) Internat. Handbook of Giftedness an Talent
8. Theoretical framework: empowerment• Empowerment: students feel challenged and competent to accomplish their tasks and feel their effort really matters• Three dimensions: – Meaningfulness – Competence – Impact (Frymier et al. 1996; Thomas and Velthouse 1990)
9. Research designQuantitative:• Student empowerment + dimensions• Students’ perception of the effect of the characteristics on empowermentQualitative:• Students’ views on (dis)advantages JCU
10. Research methods• Learner empowerment measure (n=75) – Digital questionnaire (26 items; alpha .86) based on Frymier e.a. 1996• Effect of curriculum characteristics (n=75) – Digital questionnaire relating 3 dimensions to 6 characteristics (18 items; alpha .90)• Interpretation with qualitative data (n=97) – Q: (dis)advantages in participating in JCU?
11. Results 1 Empowerment Mean scores ± s.d. (n = 75) empowerment 3.85 ± .40 competence 3.91 ± .62 meaningfulness 3.88 ± .51 impact 3.70 ± .51• No significant differences between grade 11 and 12• Competence: girls< boys• But no significant differences in marks boys and girlsJCU students felt empowered in all 3 dimensions girls felt less empowered in competence, but were not less competent
12. Results 2: effects characteristics on empowermentEffect of characteristics on empowerment3. JCU atmosphere 4.05*4. Enrichment5. Teaching approach6. Research orientation7. Talent meet talent8. Accelerated 3.46*Combined characteristics have lower effect on Impact dimension of empowerment
13. Interpretation using qualitative data - 1• Accelerated curriculum• Talent meets talent + Students appreciate acceleration and meeting talented peers – But the pace and expectations are (too) high – New working attitude and habits have to be developed
14. Interpretation using qualitative data - 2• Research oriented• Teaching approach• Enrichment + Students appreciate these characteristics + Students experience freedom, challenge, respect for their contributions in and out classes - But ask for more freedom for making choices, making more contributions• JCU atmosphere Very positive inside and outside the classroom
15. ConclusionStudents feel empowered by the JCU setting as a whole. All characteristics add to empowerment, but the Impact dimension can be reinforced. Even a selected group of gifted students needs differentiated learning environment
16. Add a characteristicA seventh LEAT characteristic has to be added:• possibilities for choices and student contributions
17. Adaptations in the JCU- curriculum since 2008• Better balance between acceleration and enrichment• Students can choose between enrichment modules• Introduction of a differentiation period in the time schedule• See: optional assignments on www.betadifferentiatie.nl
18. The JCU teacher ProgrammeThree step development and dissemination model• JCU has developed 15 enrichment modules; taught in JCU by university teachers• Teachers from partner schools have tested the modules in their regular classes  adaptation• Certification for a new science subject: NLT  nation- wide available• 2 modules have been translated: – The Dynamic Earth – The Molecules of Life Downloadable: www.uu.nl/jcu --> english
19. Since 2011: JCU school development programme• Ministry of Education policy: promote ‘science excellence’ in secondary schools• 2011/12: pilot project• 2012/16: U-Talent: talent development programmes in 25 JCU partner schools, aiming at differentiation within schools – U-Talent programmes grade 7 – 12 – Including student activities in university – A student U-Talent certificate enabling entrance to honours programmes in university – Teacher professionalisation course ‘promoting excellence’
20. Implications for science education research & development• How can ‘science excellent’ programmes in JCU-schools meet the seven ‘LEAT characteristics’?• How can these programmes contribute to an overall change in learning atmosphere in the schools?• Implementation of differentiated lessons nationwide?• Will this result in improvement of students results (e.g. PISA scores; more science students)?