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Data-based Decision Making: Tools for Determining Best Practices in Grouping and Service Delivery

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Presentation by Elissa F. Brown, PhD
Rutgers University 2014 Gifted Education Conference

Published in: Education
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Data-based Decision Making: Tools for Determining Best Practices in Grouping and Service Delivery

  1. 1. Data-based decision making: Tools for determining best practices in grouping and service delivery 2014 Rutgers Gifted Education Conference 11/20/14 Elissa F. Brown, Ph.D. Elissabrown21@gmail.com Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 1
  2. 2. 2 “With all the educational reform that has taken place since the turn of the century, how come so little has changed?” Larry Cuban Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York
  3. 3. The placement or program model fundamentally serves as a vehicle to group or organize students together but programming, in practice, sometimes referred to as a service delivery model, is not the same thing as service. Placement is a management strategy. It must be coupled with curriculum and instructional modifications in order for substantial and positive academic and social-emotional effects to occur for gifted and talented students. Brown, E. & Stambaugh, T. (2014). Placement of students who are gifted. In J. Bakken, F. Obiakor, and A. Rotatori, (Eds.) Gifted Education Current Perspectives and Issues, Advances in Special Education, vol. 26, pp 41-69. Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 3
  4. 4. Standard 5. Programming Is a properly funded continuum of services provided that offers a variety of programming and learning options that are collaboratively developed and implemented and that enhance student performance in cognitive and affective areas? Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 4
  5. 5. Characteristics of Giftedness that impact instructional practices • May be developmentally advanced in one or more areas (uneven development) • Learn at a faster pace in selected areas • Ask and explore complex abstract questions and issues • Experience complex social relationships and issues • Desire individual responsibility Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 5
  6. 6. Characteristics of Giftedness that impact instructional practices (cont.) • Are sensitive • Are hypercritical of self and others (high expectations) • Question authority • May be introverted • May experience learning problems and underachievement for the first time • May become “bored”, withdrawn, isolated, and display low self-concept Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 6
  7. 7. Key Linkages of Special Education and General Education in Program Development for the Gifted Gifted Education General Education Special Education Curriculum Evaluation Instructional Processes Philosophy & Goals Materials/Resources Identification/Assessment Program Administration Grouping Strategies Teacher Training Advocacy Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 7
  8. 8. Decision Tree: Macro Acceleration Enrichment Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 8
  9. 9. Why do we accelerate? 1) Acceleration matches the level and complexity of the curriculum with the readiness and motivation of the child. 2) Acceleration has one of the longest and most robost research bases in the gifted field. 3) Acceleration is consistently effective with gifted students. 4) Accelerations allows for more tailored instructional planning. 5) Acceleration facilitates individual learning at an appropriate level of challenge (eg meets individual needs) Colangelo, Assouline, & Gross (2004). A nation deceived: How schools hold back America’s brightest students. Templeton Foundation Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 9
  10. 10. Issues in Grouping & Acceleration Grouping • Timeframes for grouping • Subject Areas • Teacher qualifications • Documentation of student growth • Tailoring instruction • Flexibility • Type of grouping most beneficial for student & district Acceleration • Consider the degree of giftedness and specific aptitude(s) • Teacher qualifications • Program articulation • “Natural” transition points • Non-intellective characteristics • Flexibility Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 10
  11. 11. A Nation Deceived: Meta-Analytic Findings • Bright students almost always benefit from accelerated programs based on achievement test scores. • When compared to same-age, intellectual peers, those students who were accelerated performed almost one grade level higher academically. • When compared to older, non-accelerated students, the accelerated student performance was indistinguishable from that of bright, older non-accelerated students. Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 11
  12. 12. A Nation Deceived: Meta-Analytic Findings (cont.) • Acceleration has the highest overall academic effects when compared to other provisions. • Acceleration positively affects student’s long-term educational plans and accelerated students earn more advanced degrees. • Self-esteem may temporarily drop when accelerated. • There are too few studies to make inferences about student attitudes when accelerated and social-emotional well-being. However, most studies do suggest that acceleration does not prohibit students from participating in extra-curricular activities as desired. » Colangelo, Assouline, & Gross, 2004 Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 12
  13. 13. Some Types of Acceleration • Early admission to kindergarten • Early graduation from High School • Grade-Skipping • Subject-Matter Acceleration • Curriculum Compacting • Telescoping Curriculum • Correspondence Courses • Advanced Placement Courses • Concurrent/Dual Enrollment • Credit by Examination Colangelo, Assouline, & Gross (2004). A nation deceived: How schools hold back America’s brightest students. Templeton Foundation Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 13
  14. 14. Instructional Management and Acceleration Research • Grade Skipping (ES=.49) • Curriculum Compacting (ES = .83) • Early Entrance to School (ES = .49) • Subject Acceleration (ES = .57) • Grade Telescoping (ES = .40) • Concurrent Enrollment (ES = .22) • AP Courses (ES = .27) • Early Admission to College (ES = .30) • Credit by Examination (ES = .59) » Rogers, 1998 Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 14
  15. 15. Issues in Acceleration • Consider the degree of giftedness and specific aptitude(s) • Teacher qualifications • Program articulation • “Natural” transition points • Non-intellective characteristics • Flexibility • Unintended Consequences • Pacing and Curriculum considerations • Competing political philosophies Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 15
  16. 16. Enrichment Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 16
  17. 17. Why do we enrich? • Most curriculum models ascribe to a broader conception of gifted (beyond domain specific) • Proponents of enrichment approaches tend to see process skills (eg critical thinking, problem-based learning) as central to learning • Enrichment models place high value on student products and performances • Breadth over depth approach Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 17
  18. 18. Forms of Enrichment • Focus on “thinking processes” in content areas • School-wide Enrichment Model (SEM) Renzulli & Reis; contains 3 tiers of enrichment experiences driven by student interests and learning styles. Most widely adopted service delivery model employed in gifted programs (Type I, II, III) • Competitions (OM, FPS, etc) are forms of enrichment • Student products (where choice was provided) • Inquiry-based approaches Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 18
  19. 19. Issues with Enrichment • Having enough resources to “broaden” a topic • Teacher qualifications/training • Teacher flexibility to broaden vs following a prescribed course of study-curriculum coverage • Documenting student growth Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 19
  20. 20. Research Evidence • Some evidence examining the use with under-served populations as an antidote to underachievement (Ford 1999; Johnsen, 2000) • Two SEM longitudinal studies-students maintained career goals; teacher attitudes toward student work was positive Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 20
  21. 21. Acceleration and Enrichment Then Enrich Accelerate First Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 21
  22. 22. Program Provisions: Within School • Full-time ability grouping • Special schools • Full-time gifted classes (school-within-a-school) • Cluster grouping • Pull-out grouping • Regrouping for instruction or ability grouping for instruction • Cross-grade grouping • Cooperative groups (based upon interest, ability, strengths) • Consultative model • Extracurricular enrichment options (OM, MathOlympiad..) Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 22
  23. 23. Grouping or Placement Options Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 23
  24. 24. Intensity of grouping placements General Education (heterogeneous) Pull-out (enrichment) Cluster (academic) Self-contained (classrm each grade level) Subject Grouping or Joplin Full-time centers/schools Intensity of service delivery grouping placements Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 24
  25. 25. Grouping Models: Strengths & Weaknesses (Academic Subject Grouping) Strengths • Can accommodate a broad range of specific academic ability • Honors uneven developmental patterns • Allows ease of teacher planning of course syllabi & implementation • Research support • Typical model for secondary schools Weaknesses • May be limited by subjects and/or qualified student population • May become diffused if other students are placed into class based upon insufficient numbers • May not differentiate curriculum sufficiently • Effect size is limited unless curriculum is differentiated Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 25
  26. 26. Grouping Models: Strengths & Weaknesses (Cluster Grouping) Strengths • Full-time opportunity for curriculum differentiation • Built-in peer group • Research support • Flexibility for teacher to group and regroup based upon instructional need Weaknesses • Tendency to teach whole class and ignore cluster’s level of functioning • Limits gifted peer interactions • Requires teacher to develop and implement multiple instructional plans • Must have minimum of 3-4 to be effective, fewer students lose effectiveness Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 26
  27. 27. Grouping Models: Strengths & Weaknesses (Pull-Out) Strengths • Built-in opportunities for peer interaction • Curriculum focus on in-depth, enrichment, or specific area of learning • One instructional plan required • Typically, teacher qualified in gifted education • Limited research support Weaknesses • Limited contact time • Fragmented from normal school day • Lack of integration with district curriculum • Minimizes interactions with peer group • Part-time differentiation of curriculum • Only “gifted” 1 hour/week Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 27
  28. 28. Grouping Models: Strengths & Weaknesses (Joplin Plan: Grouping by subject across grade levels) Strengths • Accommodates level of learning regardless of age • Allows for focused teaching • Ensures content acceleration as a major mode of delivery • Research support Weaknesses • May not provide satisfactory peer group • Limited to core content areas of curriculum • Lack of teacher capacity to accelerate, or limited content expertise • Scheduling difficulty (multiple grade levels) Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 28
  29. 29. Grouping Models: Strengths & Weaknesses (Full-Time Grouping: Center or School-based) Strengths • Ability to deliver a comprehensively differentiated program • Intellectual peer group interactions • Flexibility to group and regroup based on several variables • Research support Weaknesses • Political perceptions are more extreme • Must have qualified teachers in gifted education (resource issue) • Students may be geographical removed from home “community” • Possible transportation issues Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 29
  30. 30. Research on Grouping Options • Full-time Ability grouping (Centers) -Differential placement and treatment ES .49, .85 • Cluster grouping -Partial differential placement, differential treatment ES .62, .33 • Mixed Ability cooperative groups -No differential placement or treatment ES 0 • Subject Grouping -Differential placement and treatment ES .34, .79 Rogers (2002), Kulik& Kulik (1992) Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 30
  31. 31. Research on Instructional Delivery: Instructional Processes • Gifted students tend to use higher order thinking even without training, but benefit significantly from being trained • Gifted students prefer a structured learning environment (desks, tables, etc) but open-ended tasks and assignments • Academically gifted students tend to be uncomfortable taking risks or dealing with ambiguity; therefore a need for teaching divergent thinking and production exists K. Rogers (2002) Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 31
  32. 32. Research on Instructional Delivery: Instructional Pacing • The learning rate of children above 130 IQ is approximately 8 times faster than for children below 70 IQ • Gifted students are significantly more likely to retain science and math content accurately when taught 2- 3 times faster than “normal” pace • Gifted students are decontextualists in their processing, rather than constructivists; therefore it is difficult to reconstruct “how” they came to an answer K. Rogers (2002) Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 32
  33. 33.  Check List for decision making Grouping Teacher Capacity Cost (H, M, L) ID alignment Local context/P olitics Availability of Resources Other Cluster Pull-Out Subject Grouping Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 33
  34. 34. Contact Information • Dr. Elissa F. Brown elissabrown21@gmail.com Cell: (757) 593-2224 Dr. E. Brown, Hunter College, New York 34

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