Carte Blanche


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In an effort to provide challenging learning opportunities and to foster the development of 21st Century Skills, one class of fifth-grade gifted students were given a singular directive and complete autonomy to achieve self-determined goals.

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  • Hartley 1991
  • Hartley 1991
  • five environmental constraints have consistently proven to be sure-fire killers of intrinsic motivation and creativity (Amabile, 1983a, 1996; Hennessey, 1996): (a) Expected Reward (b) Expected Evaluation (c) Competition (d) Surveillance and (e) Time Limits.
  • Thomas Edison’s teachers called him “too stupid to learn.” He made 3,000 mistakes on his way to inventing the lightbulb. Eventually he held 1.093 patents and in 1928, it was estimated that he made a $15,599,000,000 dollar contribution to society with his inventions.
  • Carte Blanche

    1. 1. Carte Blanche: Giving Students the Freedom to Develop Learning Tasks in a Digital Environment Angela M. Housand University of North Carolina, Wilmington North Carolina Association for the Gifted and Talented 2010 Winston-Salem, NC
    2. 2. AND
    3. 3.
    4. 4. Self-Regulated Learning Students are self-regulated when they are, “metacognatively, motivationally, and behaviorally active participants in their own learning process.” (Zimmerman 1989, p. 329)
    5. 5. Active engagement in the learning process produces increases in academic performance. (Ablard & Lipschultz, 1998; Ames, 1984; Corno, 1986, 1989; Dweck, 1986; Schunk & Rice; 1985, 1987, 1991; Zimmerman, 1989; Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons, 1990)
    6. 6. • Personal Effort • Intrinsic Motivation • Goal Orientation • Self-efficacy • Age • Gender (Blair & Razza, 2007; McWhaw & Abrami, 2001; Miles & Stine-Morrow, 2004; Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons, 1986, 1988, 1990)
    7. 7. Gifted Students Higher degrees of self-efficacy for using successful learning strategies (Ablard & Lipschultz, 1998; Housand, 2008; Risemberg & Zimmerman, 1992; Zimmerman & Martinez-Ponz, 1990)
    8. 8. Frequently use strategies related to successful learning – Organizing and Transforming – Self-Consequating – Seeking Assistance – Reviewing Gifted Students (Zimmerman 1986)
    9. 9. Strategy use impacted by environmental conditions – Classroom management – Organization – Clear and consistent expectations – Required reflection and progress monitoring Gifted Students (Housand, 2008)
    10. 10. Gifted Students Use of strategies varies widely within gifted group (Ablard & Lipschultz, 1998; Housand, 2008; Risemberg & Zimmerman, 1992; Zimmerman & Martinez-Ponz, 1990)
    11. 11. Competence… The state or quality of being adequately or well qualified. The ability to be successful.
    12. 12. Agents of Learning
    13. 13. Autonomy The more autonomous (self-determined) a person believes their behavior to be the greater the personal satisfaction and enjoyment from engaging in that behavior.
    14. 14. The Program Elementary – 5th Grade Enrichment pull-out program Environmental science focus Coastal region Nearby lake and stream
    15. 15. 10 Fifth Grade Students Gender 6 female 4 male Identified 7 formal district procedures 3 teacher recommendation Ethnic Diversity 6 European-white 2 Latino 2 African American
    16. 16. Complete Autonomy to:Complete Autonomy to: • Engage in high-level content andEngage in high-level content and real world learning focused on local,real world learning focused on local, regional, and global contextsregional, and global contexts • Research and critically examine theResearch and critically examine the impacts of regional growth onimpacts of regional growth on complex ecosystemscomplex ecosystems
    17. 17. Complete Autonomy to:Complete Autonomy to: • Apply skills of leadership,Apply skills of leadership, responsibility, productivity, and self-responsibility, productivity, and self- direction to achieve self-determineddirection to achieve self-determined goalsgoals • Communicate and collaborate viaCommunicate and collaborate via the Internet with students fromthe Internet with students from NorwayNorway
    18. 18. The Instructor PhD in Gifted Education In depth knowledge of: Dynamic learning communities Curriculum for gifted and talented Environmental science
    19. 19. Connection to Norway Gifted students Advanced contact and planning between instructors Surrounded by similar water bodies Different climate
    20. 20. The Researcher 27 visits February through June Exploratory study looking for emerging themes Non-participatory Non-instructional
    21. 21. What happened?
    22. 22. Major Finding #1 Insufficient access to the internet Too few computers in classroom Inadequate computer hardware and software iPhone used to circumvent school firewall Difficulty accessing technology
    23. 23. Inadequate technology may have contributed to the failure of effectively creating a dynamic learning community with students’ in Norway.
    24. 24. Enable NOT Disable Technology Should...
    25. 25. Think Mobility
    26. 26. One Laptop per Child
    27. 27. (Eduventures)
    28. 28. Major Finding #2 Certain students emerged as leaders Lead to distractions Impacted access to technology and tools Impacted opportunities to contribute Impacted group assignment Self-advocacy and Self-promotion
    29. 29. Equal Opportunity Be systematic Encourage shy/quiet students Provide opportunities for written responses or idea generation Provide different kinds of leadership roles
    30. 30. Research Tells Us…Research Tells Us… When the learning environment provides: Choice and volitional control over processes, timing, challenge level, and outcome or product of learning tasks Students Engagein Self-RegulatedStudents Engagein Self-Regulated Learning BehaviorsLearning Behaviors
    31. 31. Volitional Control Set clear expectations in advance Provide reminders Bring students attention to their behavior when they lose self- regulation
    32. 32. What are your interests?
    33. 33. • Tied to Student’s Identity • Personally Interesting • Integral to the Student’s Vision of the future • Viewed as Useful (Eccles & Wigfield)
    34. 34. Major Finding #3 Instruction varied by learning style, process, and product Almost no whole group instruction Student groups were self- selected Increased student engagement when products and processes were authentic Differentiated Instruction
    35. 35. Research Tells Us…Research Tells Us… When the learning environment provides: Opportunities for help-seeking from resources, peers, and teacher (e.g. small group instruction and differentiation) Students Engagein Self-RegulatedStudents Engagein Self-Regulated Learning BehaviorsLearning Behaviors
    36. 36. Depth and Complexity Ask open-ended questions Provide open-ended learning tasks Provide students opportunities for higher order thinking!
    37. 37. Research Tells Us…Research Tells Us… When the learning environment provides: Complex tasks that extend over time, allow for variation in expression style, and integrate multiple processes, both cognitive and procedural Students Engagein Self-RegulatedStudents Engagein Self-Regulated Learning BehaviorsLearning Behaviors
    38. 38. “From thestandpoint of the child…heisunableto apply in daily lifewhat heislearning at school. That istheisolation of the school - itsisolation from life.” John Dewey
    39. 39. How does one engage students authentically? Present students with real- world challenges that require them to apply their relevant skills and knowledge.
    40. 40. How does one engage students authentically? Have students engage problems in the same ways that professionals in the associated fields do.
    41. 41. Facilitating Authentic Investigation 1. Assess, Find, or Create Student Interests 2. Conduct Interviews to Determine Interest Strengths 3. Problem Finding and Focusing 4. Formulate a Written Plan
    42. 42. Facilitating Authentic Investigation 5. Work with Students to Locate Resources 6. Provide Methodological Assistance (Like the Pros) 7. Help Students Choose a Question 8. Offer Managerial Expertise
    43. 43. Facilitating Authentic Investigation 9. Identify Final Products and Audiences 10.Offer Encouragement, Praise, and Constructive Criticism 11.Escalate the Process 12.Evaluate
    44. 44. Minor Finding #1 Supported by instructor Occurred regularly Lacked benchmarks for success Goals did not escalate (repetitive) Limited reflection and evaluation Goal Setting & Planning
    45. 45. Research Tells Us…Research Tells Us… When the learning environment provides: Opportunities for students to participate in the processes of goal-setting, tracking progress, and evaluating their own work Students Engagein Self-RegulatedStudents Engagein Self-Regulated Learning BehaviorsLearning Behaviors
    46. 46. Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-bound
    47. 47. Set goals that are slightly out of your immediate grasp, but not so far that there is not hope of achieving them.
    48. 48. Goal Setting Challenges students to give their efforts a preplanned direction Take responsibility for the key events that give form to their experience Provides opportunity for reflection
    49. 49. Complex Tasks Give students a purpose for the task During the process For completion Require student reflection Progress Process
    50. 50. Planning and Self-Monitoring • What skills do I need to achieve this? • What help or assistance do I need? • What resources do I need? • What can block progress? • Am I on task or am I being distracted?
    51. 51. Self-Reflection Did I accomplish what I planned to do?Did I accomplish what I planned to do? Was I distracted and how did I get backWas I distracted and how did I get back to work?to work? Did I plan enough time or did it takeDid I plan enough time or did it take longer than I thought?longer than I thought? In which situation did I accomplish theIn which situation did I accomplish the most work?most work?
    52. 52. Failure is Part of the Learning Process
    53. 53. The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. -Michelangelo
    54. 54. Minor Finding #2 Degreased students’ generation of alternative solutions to challenges Increased attempts to please teacher Time Constraints & Performance Pressure
    55. 55. (Amabile, 1983, 1996; Hennessey, 1996)
    56. 56. Interest and Depth lead to Creative Productivity We need students to get more deeply interested in things, more involved in them, more engaged in wanting to know, to have projects that they can get excited about and work on over long periods of time, to be stimulated to find things out on their own. (Howard Gardner in an interview with R. Brandt, Educational Leadership, 1993)
    57. 57. -Thomas Edison The first requisite of success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem without growing weary.
    58. 58. Minor Finding #3 Students expressed fear of being late to homeroom Frequently late to enrichment class Absences? Lack of Homeroom Teacher Support
    59. 59. What does it mean to place students into cluster groups? A group of gifted identified students is clustered into a mixed ability classroom with a teacher who is trained to differentiate for gifted students.
    60. 60. Suggested classroom composition 30 students in 3 classes Gifted High Averag e Averag e Low Averag e Far Below Average A 6 0 12 12 0 B 0 6 12 6 6 C 0 6 12 6 6
    61. 61. Placing students in the classrooms: • Determine placement for upcoming year following spring testing • Gifted students make up approximately 20% of the gifted cluster class • Create the number of gifted cluster classrooms necessary to serve all gifted students in each grade
    62. 62. Special Considerations for Placements Create procedures for determining placement of the following groups: • Kindergarten students • New students enrolling during school year • Twice-exceptional gifted students • ELL gifted students
    63. 63. Questions?
    64. 64. Thank You!
    65. 65. Learning is Cyclical and Ongoing
    66. 66. • What will I need to work on my project? • Where will I work? • Who will I work with? • What might hinder my process?
    67. 67. • Am I accomplishing what I planned? • Is this taking longer than I thought? • Am I on task or am I being distracted?
    68. 68. • Did I accomplish what I planned to do? • Was I distracted and how did I get back to work? • Did I plan enough time or did it take longer than I thought? • In which situation did I accomplish the most work?
    69. 69. You must do the thing you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt
    70. 70. Thank You! -Angela Housand