Two Learning Strategiesfor Gifted and Talented Students By Sharon Donohue EMS 855
Problem: „Make my day.‟How do you motivate . . . Highly intelligent students Tasks hold no personal interest or value
Two Effective StrategiesProblem Based Learning Project Based Study PBL PBS
Problem Based Learning Content focuses on questions/problems Problems based in “authentic” scenarios Starts with direct connection to curriculum Delves deeper, inherently inter-disciplinary Poses incomplete scenarios; students do not have all the info needed to solve the problem May need to re-define the problem/process Requires a “flexible” unit schedule PBL: Students engage their community in authentic problems solving
An example of PBL . . . Deals with science, but . . . Genetics is not normally covered Expands the learning beyond curriculum Poses further opportunities for learning—from genetics in plants to genetics in humans This leads to still other connections: —Religious beliefs in other cultures —How genetics works —Affective learning—roles of stakeholders (farmers, scientists, consumers, media, business people) —Meets multiple curriculum standards (Science, S.S,. technology, health, math, language arts)Problem: Genetically engineered products in fast food restaurants How would this play out in a middle school classroom?
Why is PBS a good strategy for G & T? They thrive on independence PBS offers choices—topics that can vary by interest and ability Students see value in outcomes that promise authentic products Pace is appropriate—self-directed Common ground between G & T and professional problem solvers —Professional experts have a broad knowledge base G & T acquire and assimilate knowledge quickly —Experts look for the deep structure of a problem G & T demonstrate conceptual learning at an early age —Experts draw from many skills they have cultivated G & T select problem-solving strategies as they work —Experts monitor their problem-solving processes G & T spontaneously use their meta-cognitive skills
Before implementing PBL . . . Make sure content is sufficiently advanced— deals with complex issues Point out clear connections between other related subject disciplines Plan opportunities for reasoning skills: —How to form habits of mind in discipline —Improving students’ self-direction skills Anticipate conflicting perspectives (e.g. discussing ethical issues in genetics)
Tips for Success with PBL Start slowly—problems tailored to readiness of class Plan ahead to thoroughly cover basic info in introducing the problem Maintain perspective: Content should drive the activity, not vice versa Remember—depth of learning is more valuable than covering much content Make sure activities are engaging, thought-provoking, and authentic Devise a rubric for assessment (clearly define “high quality”)
In high stakes testing, how does PBL compare with traditional methods?Barbara Swicord, President of Summer Institute for the Gifted: Students score as well or better than those with traditional methods Students understand the subject at a deeper level Students are more engaged in the learning process Teachers and parents report observing more enthusiasm
Project Based Science/Study Project Based Study (PBS) . . . Operates with a timeline and milestones Uses formative evaluations as project progresses How does PBS compare with PBL? In PBS, students have more control over project Project does not have to address a problem Like PBL, it is rooted in an authentic real-world application PBS: An individual or group activity that spans over a periodof time and results in a product, a presentation, or a performance.
What does PBS look likefrom a student‟s point of view?Learner-centered; therefore, intrinsically motivatingIncorporates collaborative and cooperative learningResults in a product, a presentation, or a performanceAllows for continual or incremental improvement in the processStudent is actively engaged in doing things, rather than learningabout things (learning occurs in the process)Students are challenged appropriately becauseit draws from higher-order thinking skills
What does PBS look likefrom a teacher‟s point of view?Relies on authentic content for an authentic purposeUses an authentic assessmentTeacher functions as a facilitatorOperates with explicit educational goalsApplies the principals of “constructivism” People construct their own understanding of knowledge and the world around them through experiences and reflections. Guide on the Side NOT Sage on the Stage
Tips for Implementing PBS Understand students’ pre-existing conceptions Remember that the activity techniques themselves create more knowledge: —Students are constructing knowledge not reproducing a series of facts —Students are active participants, not passive observers Challenge students to assess how the activity is helping them gain understanding Encourage students to engage in reflection Permit students to try things that “won’t work”
An example of PBS . . . Introduce journalism rather than “writing” Years ago, authentic journalism meant . . . Today, publishing means . . . Project: Design an interactive online publicationHow would this play out in a middle school classroom?
Create an online publicationAllow students to . . . Examine online publications they are familiar with Analyze skills and resources needed Determine audience and focus of their publication Generate an inventory of resources readily available
Students assess their own abilities and interests Skills they have or can develop: Technology Writing Editing Photography Interviewing (people skills) Leadership/Administration Personal areas of interest: Sports Arts and entertainment venues Local cuisine
Resources in the Bluegrass? Topics of interest to mass audience: Horse racing capital of the world UK basketball Celebrity figures (e.g. Coach Cal) Historical sites Potential mentors: Universities (UK, EKU, Transy) Lexington Herald-Leader TV and radio stations Parents with various professions Teachers with a prior profession
Select “beats” according to interests Music venues in the region Dramatic performances in the community Sports figures and related features Local cuisine and novel entertainment Individual interests—basis for becoming an expert on your beat
Replicate authentic proceduresCreate and use job descriptionsDetermine individual editorial positionsAcquire and apply interviewing skillsWrite and submit various types of articlesEdit articles for publicationImplement technology that offers feedback
Examine ethical issues in publishing Reasons for copyright laws Implications of plagiarism Countering editorial bias Guarding against slander and libel Right to use laws—photos of people
Prevailing goal: Create astudent-generated online publication Let the publication develop gradually in its level of sophistication The product ultimately depends on the creative genius of the staff
Long-range goal: To train others, based on our experiencesCould our class serve as a model program?
Conclusion: Which of these twostrategies could you envision using? Problem Based Learning Project Based Study What could you imagine yourself doing in your subject area? Let‟s hear your thoughts. . . .
BibliographyBrooks, J. (n.d.) Thirteen ed online. In Concept to Classroom: What is Constructivism?Retrieved May 30, 2011, fromhttp://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index.htmlEdutopia Staff. (February 28, 2008). Edutopia.org. In Why Teach with Project-BasedLearning? Retrieved May 30, 2011n from http://www.edutopia.org/project-based-learningMoursund, D. (n.d.). University of Oregon: Improving Mathematics Education.In ICT-Assisted Project-Based Learning. Retrieved May 30, 2011, fromhttp://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~moursund/PBL/Moursund, D. (n.d.) University of Oregon: Improving Mathematics Education.In Problem-Based Learning and Project-Based Learning. Retrieved May 30, 2011, fromhttp://pages.uoregon.edu/moursund/Math/pbl.htmSwicord, B. (n.d.). National Society for the Gifted and Talented. In Problem-Based Learning:A Promising Strategy for Gifted Students. Retrieved May 30, 2011, fromhttp://www.nsgt.org/resources/articles/problem_based_learning.asp