Gifted education refers to the special measures, theories, and practices that are used to educate students that are brilliant in special ways. It is a way of educating students that are gifted in special talents. To educate these students the differentiation is applied where the curriculum is modified to meet the special need of a gifted student. The teacher modifies the content and the process of learning in order to get the product.
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The content should be organized according to student’s interests and it should motivate critical thinking. The content can be enriched depending on the students’ rate of understanding. Gifted students can also be put in heterogeneous group to allow them mix with students with different talents. This encourages them to appreciate each others talent. They can also be grouped depending on their talent.
This means students with the same talent grouped together. This allows them to receive all instructions during class time and they can learn from the students with the same talent in order to furnish their talent (Rogers and Karen, 2002). This paper will show how I can create a differentiated curriculum to meet the needs of students with diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
The barriers that can be encountered in teaching gifted students include some students not being interested in other learning activities or they may not respond properly to differential curriculum. In such case the individualization program should be applied to educate students specifically on their talents.
Socioeconomics and cultural background of a student can also affect implementation of differentiated curriculum (Rogers and Karen, 2002). Socioeconomic and cultural issues greatly affect differentiation of a curriculum for gifted students. Some of cultural issues include diverse concepts carried from the culture of the student. Some of the gifted students’ economics backgrounds are very poor.
The aim of differentiating the curriculum is to offer an appropriate chance for gifted and talented learners. In a differentiated curriculum tutors present varied models to what pupils learn, what the pupils have learnt and how the pupils put to practice what they have learnt. During preparation of curriculum it is vital to have a demo to establish what is already known to the learners and their level of their skill attainment.
The demo offers important information about individual variance in capabilities within class. Pre-testing can also be used to delete the outcomes that have already been achieved if students show they have already mastered them.
I would develop a curriculum that would discourage dismal performance so that it should challenge and enhance students accordingly. The differentiated curriculum should be able to make students develop critical and creative thinking (Sriraman and Dahl, 2007).
I would add new contents, products and process on already existing curriculum. This is to allow the students learn more and different from what they have already mastered. The curriculum should also be able to allow enrichment activities. The curriculum should be able to provide new units and course that meets the needs of gifted students and they should be introduced at an early age than usual.
I would differentiate the curriculum to meet the good learning environment for the gifted. The environment is to enable learners to engage their capabilities to the highest level possible. This should allow them to take risks, build knowledge and skills in a flexible and safe environment. The differentiated curriculum will allow the students to show their interests and ideas (Piirto, 1999).
I would also modify the content to remove what has already been taught and come up with a curriculum that is rich and more organized. These will be achieved by encouraging abstractness, that is, contents shifting from facts, definitions and descriptions to concepts. The content should also be complex, that is, involves inter-relationships rather than considering factors separately.
I would also modify the process in the differentiated curriculum in order to promote creativity and increased level of cognitive skills. The curriculum should encourage high level of thinking involving cognitive challenge, logical problems, and critical thinking. The curriculum should create room for group interaction to allow the students learn from other gifted students to perfect their talents.
The curriculum should give room for open-endedness by emphasizing that there is no one right answer. The modified process should allow the students freedom of choice. This allows the students to be involved in evaluation of topics, process, methods, products, and learning environment (Sriraman and Dahl, 2007).
In the differentiated curriculum it should allow product modification. This enables the talented learners to produce a product that which reflects their own capability. This will be possible by incorporating real problems that are relevant to students and activities. The modified product should incorporate real deadlines.
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This educates the students on time management skills and realistic planning. The differentiated curriculum should create room for appropriate evaluation where the product is evaluated by the instructor and the students to know what has been achieved. With these the differentiated curriculum should allow the students to expertise and develop their talents fully (Piirto, 1999).
Piirto, J. (1999). Talented Adults and Children: Their Development and Education (3rd ed.). Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.
Rogers, J. and Karen, B. (2002). Re-forming Gifted Education: How Parents and Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press.
Sriraman, B. and Dahl, B. (2007). On Bringing Interdisciplinary Ideas to Gifted Education. In press in L.V. Shavinina (Ed). The International Handbook of Giftedness. New York: Springer Science