Special Populations of Gifted Learners

Syllabus

 

 

Course Description

 

This course will focus on traditionally underserved learners who possess unique characteristics and needs.  Participants will explore issues related to the identification and development of appropriate educational services for gifted learners. Educators will analyze and apply research on best practices for differentiating instructional content, processes, and products. Participants will reflect on beliefs and challenges involved in meeting the needs of students with advanced learning capabilities while providing the effective implementation of gifted and talented education curriculum.

 

Competencies

(corresponding NAGC professional standards for graduate programs in gifted education)

 

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

1.    Recognize the characteristics of under-served populations (I.B.(1)(i));

2.    Understand the current body of research on underserved populations of gifted and talented students (I.B.(1)(c);I.B.(1)(f));

3.    Understand appropriate means of translating knowledge into appropriate programming, curricular and instructional practice, and evaluation of underserved students (I.B.(2)(l)); and

4.    Develop an awareness of underlying issues surrounding multicultural education.

 

Materials

 

All materials are accessed via the CaseNEX website http://www.casenex.com using the PIN provided and the user name/password you create.

 

All readings listed can be found by going to the Virtual Library and looking under the case you are reading that week. When pdf files are linked, we recommend printing them for easier reading.

 

If you do not have the following software, please download each from the given sites. You will find detailed instructions under the ‘Tutorials’ link.

 

http://www.real.com/realone/index.html?src=player_redct

 

 

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/

Cases Used

 

 

 

Click here for course requirements and grades.


 


Course Schedule

Typical course sessions run from Sunday morning through Saturday at midnight. Specific session dates may be found by clicking on Syllabus on the top menu bar.  Course participants should read both the case and assigned readings prior to joining the online discussion. Participation in the discussion should be ongoing throughout each course session. For typical courses, final discussion postings, journals, and workbook assignments are due by Saturday at midnight unless otherwise noted. Please see the News Flash for any alterations of the course schedule posted by your instructor.

 

 

 

 


______________________________

Introductory Session

Exploring the CaseNEX Site

 

Complete these tasks prior to the beginning of Session 1.

 

Readings

 

Read the “Course Tutorial” linked from the TUTORIAL menu, paying special attention to the Case-Analysis and Workbook Assignment Rubrics. These rubrics will be used by your instructor throughout the course to evaluate your Journal entries, Discussion responses, and Workbook Assignments where appropriate.

 

Discussion

 

Post one entry introducing yourself to your classmates.  You may choose to describe your professional background and experience, relevant personal information, or why you are taking this course. (100 words or fewer).

 

Journal

 

What do you find inspiring and challenging about meeting the needs of gifted learners, especially those who may be underserved? (100 words or fewer).

 

Note

 

Use CaseMail to send a note to your instructor stating that you will be taking this course.  To do so, click on CaseMail on the top menu bar and then ‘Click here to create a new message.’ Use the marked link to look up an address. Continue linking down until you see the class list. Click on the instructor’s name and then compose your message and hit ‘Post Message.’

 

 

 

 


______________________________

Session 1 

Understanding Gender Bias in the Classroom

 

Case                

Little Women

 

Readings          

 

Discussion

 

In this case, 4th grade science teacher Frank Murray asks his students to capture the essence of a scientist in a drawing assignment.  Mr. Murray is surprised to discover that almost all of the images depict male scientists.  How do you think our society has contributed to this type of gender stereotyping?  How do schools contribute to gender stereotyping in the areas of math and science. What consequences does this type of gender bias have on female versus male students?  What kind of actions can we take as educators to close the instructional gender gap and accommodate the needs of all gifted learners?

 

Journal

 

Use your knowledge from the readings to define the term “underserved gifted learners.”  The case for this session identifies females as underserved students in the areas of math and science.  Consider the perspectives of the students in your classroom.  How would they respond to a discussion on gender issues?  What steps can you take as an educator to help students become more aware and sensitive to gender bias?

 

Note                 

 

Check your CaseMail (linked from top menu bar) and News Flash (on the

right when you login) for notes from your instructor every time you log on

to the site.

 

Workbook Assignment              

 

None this session.


______________________________

Session 2

Addressing Gender in the Classroom

 

Case                

Little Women

 

Readings

 

Discussion

 

In this case Janet Williams, a seventh-grade science teacher, questions the appropriateness of student Joanie’s topic for an independent research project.  From your perspective, are Mrs. William’s concerns valid?  What might be the positive and negative consequences of allowing Joanie to continue?  How could Mrs. Williams use Joanie’s project to help build awareness of the issue of gender bias in the field of science?

 

Journal

 

Consider the issue of gender bias in your own school.  What actions do teachers in your school take to understand and respond to the way girls and boys typically learn?  Looking at gifted services in your school, are there any gender-related trends that stand out?  What type of leadership roles are made available to female versus male students in your school?  What is the balance of role models in leadership positions on the faculty and the administration? 

 

Given the knowledge that girls are often underserved as learners, create a mission statement for your school’s annual operating plan.  In this statement describe how your school will implement teaching strategies and school wide initiatives that will support the particular learning styles of both girls and boys.

 

Workbook Assignment              

 

Lesson Plan Addressing Gender-based Learning Differences

 

Describe some examples of the gender specific learning issues that you have observed as a classroom teacher.  What actions might you take using the knowledge presented in the articles for this session to balance instruction for boys and girls?  Create a mini-lesson to demonstrate how you might utilize the research on gender-based learning differences to increase the efficacy of your teaching.  You may choose any topic for your lesson, but be sure to describe gender accommodations somewhere in your plan.  Your plan must also include the following:

 

·       Objectives, including state standards, if appropriate;

·       Lesson Procedures;

·       Materials;

·       Student grouping; and

·       Assessment strategies.

 

This Assignment is required for graduate students.

 

Due by the end of Session 3.

 

 

 

 


______________________________

Session 3

Identifying Twice Exceptional Students

 

Case                

Twice Exceptional

 

Readings          

 

Discussion

 

What issues do you think cause most “twice exceptional” children to be underestimated? Why are gifted programs and special education programs mutually exclusive in many schools? Focusing on the case, discuss the perspectives of Damon, his teachers, and his parents on his abilities and academic performance. Which issues do you think each would find most compelling?

 

Journal

 

Given the knowledge introduced in this session, reflect on your own teaching experience. What actions could you take to help a twice exceptional child at your school prevent a learning disability from becoming a barrier to intellectual talent? Include citations from the readings that support the actions you propose.

 

Workbook Assignment

 

Workbook Assignment from Session 2 due by the end of this session.

 

                         

 


______________________________

Session 4

Supporting Twice Exceptional Students

 

Case                

Twice Exceptional

 

Readings          

 

Discussion

 

This discussion will focus on the issue of responsibility for providing an appropriate education for the twice-exceptional student.  Use your knowledge from the assigned reading to address the following questions:

STAKEHOLDER RESPONSIBILITY         
What responsibilities do/should the following stakeholders have: Classroom teachers? Parents? Special education teacher?  Gifted education teacher? Administrators? The school district? The student?

TEACHER RESPONSIBILITY FOR GIFTED, BUT NOT 2E
Do the classroom teacher's responsibilities change if the student is identified as gifted but not as twice exceptional? (Assume the student has been assessed for special education status, but it has been denied.)

TEACHER RESPONSIBILITY FOR NON-IDENTIFIED
Do the classroom teacher's responsibility changes if the student is not identified as eligible for gifted or special education services, but manifests traits and behaviors of giftedness and of exceptionality?
        
ASSESSMENT
How does assessing a gifted student look different from assessing a twice-exceptional student?

IEPs
Some states require IEPs for gifted students. If a state requires IEPs for gifted students and IEPs for special education students, how should the IEP for the twice-exceptional IEP look? Should the student have two IEPs or one? Also, should students not identified with a gifted and/or special education need have IEPs as well?

Other than through state testing or IEPs, how can a teacher or parent be sure any student's educational needs are being met?

 

Journal

 

In this case Damon’s teachers provide an overview of his performance.  Damon’s parents are perplexed by the inconsistencies in the teacher’s accounts of his progress.  The gifted resource teacher uses the knowledge presented by his teachers to try and explain the phenomenon of Damon’s GT/LD performance.  Consider the parent’s perspective.  What concerns do you think that they have regarding Damon’s progress in school?  What resources could you offer Damon’s parents to further explain the issues and consequences faced by twice exceptional children?

 

Workbook Assignment

 

None this session.

 

 

 


______________________________

Session 5

Assessing Testing and Eligibility

 

Case                

Underserved, Underrepresented, Underestimated

 

Readings          

 

Discussion

 

Respond to the following quote which reflects the parent’s perspective in this case:

 

         If your students can’t produce scores on tests equal to the gifted          learners admitted to the program, then they should not be in the          program.  The program is specifically for higher performing          students, and not just anyone.

 

What type of knowledge and research could you offer this parent in an effort to help broaden her understanding of high performing students?

 

Journal

 

What types of ability does a standardized test measure?  Using the knowledge from this case, discuss some of the factors that contribute to minority and other underrepresented students’ low performance on standardized achievement tests?  How might using alternative measures of ability address the issue of underserved and underrepresented students in a gifted program? 

 

Workbook Assignment              

 

None this session.

 

 

 

 


______________________________

Session 6

Providing Identification Alternatives

 

Case                

Underserved, Underrepresented, and Underestimated

 

Readings          

 

Discussion

 

Consider Joseph Renzulli’s statement from the assigned readings:

 

More creative persons have come from below the 95th percentile than above it, and if such cut-off scores are needed to determine entrance into special programs, we may be guilty of actually discriminating against persons who have the highest potential for high levels of accomplishment.

 

How does creative ability factor into the measure of a student’s overall intelligence?  What are some of the issues that prevent teachers from identifying creative ability in students?  Do you agree with Renzulli’s perspective on ability tests?  Is discrimination is a direct consequence of using cut-off scores to determine ability?  Why or why not? 

 

Journal

 

Identify four categories of underserved populations in your school.  Create a list of actions that you can take as a teacher to help enhance the identification procedure for these students.  Would these students function and be successful in your gifted education program?  What type of actions might help ensure their success?

 

Workbook Assignment              

 

Presentation on Underrepresented Populations

 

For this assignment you are to assume the role of a gifted education resource teacher for the Adams County school district.  It is your job to prepare a short presentation for teachers on the issue of under representation of minorities, females, and lower socio-economic students in gifted programs.  Your prepared discussion should include research on current trends or practices that seem promising.  Complete your presentation with a preliminary plan for the Adams County school district.  This assignment should be no more than 500 words.

 

Or

Case Analysis

 

Apply the 5-step case analysis method to discuss the issues, consequences, perspectives, knowledge and actions relevant to the underrepresented populations in the Adam’s County school district.  Use your analysis to discuss the efficacy of using alternative identification methods as a strategy for improving minority and underrepresented populations in the gifted programs for Adam’s County.

 

This Assignment is required for graduate students.

 

Due by the end of Session 7.

 

 

 

 


______________________________

Session 7

Challenges Facing Rural Schools

 

Case                

The Great Plains

 

Readings          

 

Discussion

 

Using your knowledge from the readings, respond to this statement, “The real plight of the rural gifted learner is the deprivation of resources.”  How do you think Samantha’s requests for additional resources will be received by the gifted coordinator?   Consider the perspectives of parents.  What issues might the parents of general education students have with regard to redistributing school funds for gifted students and what actions might educators take to address them?

 

Journal

 

In this case Samantha Cosby is a gifted resource teacher serving the needs of gifted students in grades 4-12.  What unique challenges and issues does Samantha face in her effort to identify and serve the gifted learners in this rural community?  Consider the perspective of the gifted learners in these schools. What are the consequences of belonging to this underserved population? 

 

Workbook Assignment              

 

Develop an Action Plan

 

You are a gifted teacher in a rural school system and the school board has denied your request for additional funds to serve the gifted students in your district.  Using your knowledge of underserved gifted students, develop a plan of action to improve the quality of the gifted education program for this school system.  Be sure to include how you will enlist the support of parents and members of the community in your plan.  This project should be no longer than 500 words.

 

This Assignment is required for graduate students.

 

Due by the end of Session 8. 

 

 

 

 


______________________________

Session 8

Examining Social and Cultural Factors

 

Case                

The Great Plains

 

Readings          

 

Discussion

 

How might gifted girls’ attitudes about math and science be influenced by the social conformities and cultural beliefs of the members of their rural community?  How can a gifted resource teacher provide knowledge about opportunities for women in these fields without offending the community?  In which ways might traditional rural values and gender role stereotyping create negative consequences for girls in rural communities?

 

Journal

 

What types of cultural learning experiences must be provided to rural gifted learners?  What are some of the issues and consequences that these students might face that differ from those faced by children in more urban or suburban settings?  What actions must a gifted resource teacher take in an effort to understand the unique nature of these gifted students? 

 

Note                 

 

Remember to complete the online course evaluation which can be found under Class Materials on the menu bar.

 

Workbook Assignment 

 

Develop an Action Plan Assignment from Session 7, due by the end of this session.