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It is critical to understand that most of America’s talented students often fail to reach their potential and this is despite the sporadic attention over the years to the needs of the bright students where most of them continue to spend time in the classroom working well below their capabilities. In fact, it is critical to note that the gifted students are often under-challenged and consequently, they often underachieve.
It is critical to understand that most Presidents in the United States were able to attend elite private school. While most of them were undeniably smart, it is critical to understand that they owed their success to their education and the strong foundation which was laid by excellent schools. It is of the essence to note that indeed every motivated, high potential young American deserves an opportunity. However, it is critical to understand that indeed the majority of smart children in the United States lack the wherewithal to enroll into the much needed private schools.
Most of them depend on Public education to prepare them for their life. However, over the years it has been apparent that indeed the system is indeed failing to create enough opportunities in order to absorb the hundreds of thousands of high potential boys and girls. Currently, the system ignores the gifted students, the policies and the budget priorities are often more concentrated on raising the floor under low-achieving students. This is often a good and necessary thing to do, however, it is of the essence to understand that indeed there has been a failure to raise the ceiling for those that have already been well above the floor.
The public education’s neglect of high ability students can be said to deny individuals the opportunity that they deserve. In fact, it can be argued that it imperils the country’s future supply of entrepreneurs, inventors and scientists.
There is a need to group the gifted students in homogenous groups. The classification should be on point in order to ensure that indeed the students are able to learn at a fast pace and that there is no student that is left behind. The gifted behaviors often consists of behaviors which are able to reflect what can be described as an interaction among three basic clusters of human traits which reflect an above average ability.
The students are often known to have high level of task commitment as well as high level of creativity. However, there are several systemic failures that exist in the United States in terms of gifted students. The first is that the United States is weak when it comes to the identification of talented and gifted students early. This is in most cases when the children are poor and are members of minority groups. Therefore, there is a need to identify these students at an early stage and group them into a homogenous group that can be taught together and where reference can often be sought.
These children should be trained with suitable teachers and curriculum in an accelerated learning format. Currently, at the primary as well as middle-school levels, there are not enough gifted education classrooms to serve the existing demand. There is a need to ensure that the students are grouped together and identified early in order to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Therefore, it is apparent that indeed children that have outstanding talent or even show the potential for being able to perform at remarkable high levels of accomplishments as compared to other persons of their environment.
It is of the essence to understand that in most instances, children that are able to exhibit high performance in intellectual, artistic and creative areas are known to possess an unusual leadership capacity and they are able to excel in several academic fields. Therefore, it can be seen that indeed they often require services and activities that are often not provided b schools. Research has shown that outstanding talents are often present in children as well as youth from different cultural groups, as well as different economic strata and this is in all areas of human endeavors.
Consequently in order to ensure that there is smooth learning when it comes to the gifted students, there is a need to organize them into homogenous groups where they can be able to ensure that they go forward and get the right education that is specific and tailored for their gifted nature.
It is important to note that indeed the American School system often keep bright students in line by forcing the students to learn in what can be described as a lock-step manner with normal classmates. In most instances, the teachers and principals often disregard the students desires to learn more than they are being currently taught.
Instead of having encouragement and praise, most at times, the students often her one word, no. In fact, when they ask, for a challenge they are often held back and when they want to fly they are told to hold on to their states.
It is no secret that indeed the gifted student by definition are often more advanced as compared to their age peers in several significant ways. Firstly, their ate of development is often faster than expected, and they reach the level of maturity which puts them out of sync with their peers as well as the general curriculum that they are studying.
The students are often able to acquire information at what can be described as a shorter time, and they are further able to think with greater insight and depth than that of older students. Research has shown that the older they get, the greater there is in terms of discrepancy that exists between their level of maturity as compared to that of their age most.
Therefore, it has been shown that indeed that the two most significant assets when it comes to gifted students are often an appropriate education fit as well as a homogenous group that has similar friends of similar maturity. Therefore, it is obvious that indeed gifted students often need opportunities in order to be able to work ahead of the curve. In fact, each and every person often needs a setting which is able to match their level as well as pace of learning.
There is a need to give the gifted student the right amount of challenge in order to be able to stretch themselves and help them to grow intellectually. In fact, it has been seen that little challenges in most instances produces turnoff and boredom and brings an erosion of both commitment and ability.
Acceleration has been seen to work. There has been research that is overwhelming that is favorable to all the different forms of acceleration of gifted students which often provide that there is a need to make a decision to accelerate gifted students in order to challenge them.
Acceleration for gifted students has been able to boost the academic performance of the student. Further, in terms of personal adjustment, it is critical to understand that acceleration is able to improve the student’s ability to take on new challenges and this in fact does not harm the social and emotional functioning of the students.
In the initial days, when the gifted students are taken into their appropriate settings where that are able to get with their mental age mates, they often feel that they are no longer effortlessly on top of their class and consequently the find this disconcerting. However, in most cases, they often generally discover that this is where they belong. Students in most instances are typically happier with friends that are able to match them when it comes to their mental age. In fact, their conversations and interests mesh, and this leads to an understanding of ideas.
It is important to understand that gifted students that that do not receive the appropriate enrichment-through acceleration and supplemental programs-are often less likely to excel. It has been noted that gifted children often spend to around 30% to 50% of their time waiting for other students to catch up. In order, to make up for their boredom the students often engage into what can be described as self-stimulating behaviors such as counting teeth with the tongue, tapping the foot or even at times entertaining themselves by distracting other students-these are actions that look like problem behaviors to a teacher. Therefore, acceleration can be said to be the right step especially when it comes to gifted student that are in homogeneous groups.
Therefore, it can be argued that acceleration is indeed a strategy which allows a student to progress through school at an increased and faster rates as compared to the usual system. Most of the times, the students are often younger than the typical age to be in a certain grade. It is of the essence to understand that there are several form of acceleration to consider for an individual students. The first is subject acceleration.
There are often students that display extraordinary capability when it comes to a certain subject. In most instances, these students are often promoted to a higher year for one or even at times ore of the subjects that they have been seen to excel. There are students that are gifted in math and consequently, in most instances, it is often unfair to keep them at a grade where they have fully understood the concepts.
Therefore, in these instances the students are often taken to the next level subject in order for them to better understand the subject in another higher grade. Further, it has been seen in some studies that indeed subject acceleration has been sufficient in itself for many students that are gifted. There are however, at times, when subject acceleration works as a form of trial in order to see whether a full grade skip can be feasible.
Grade skipping often involves students being promoted a higher year for all their subjects. There are students that skip two or more grades. However, it is critical to understand that when a highly gifted student needs more than one grade skip, it is often usually appropriate for one grade to be skipped at a time, and there is often time that is left for settling and reassessment period is effected.
Grade skipping is the most common form of acceleration; however, there is a need for the teachers to understand effectively whether indeed the gifted student requires a grade skip or a subject acceleration. This is important as it ensures that the students is not unable to cope in different and diverse subjects that he or she has been enrolled to.
Early entry is one of the most common forms of acceleration. In fact, it is one of the most preferred by parents as it ensures that there is no obstructive nature and it is seen as being as less disruptive. It often usually means that a gifted child who is able to display academic as well as social readiness is able to begin school at an early age as compared to most children.
For example, a child might start school at the age of 4 years as compared to 5 years of age. This in most cases is often seen as a form of grade skipping but in turn it is important as the students is able to study in a normal manner and there are less disruptions as compared to the normal subject acceleration and grade skipping. Therefore, it gives the child a head start and the child does not feel out of place in terms of mental age.
Telescoping has been witnessed in universities as compared to lower forms of education. Telescoping often involves the process when a student, or even at times a group of students are able to complete two years of academics into one.
There is often a rapid progression through material. In this instance, the gifted students do not actually skip any class but rather, they are able to study material in an in depth manner and they are able to be examined all the material for two years or more within a shorter span of time than required.
Lastly, there is the issue of radical acceleration. Radical acceleration as it names suggest is often a more radical form and it involves students skipping several grades and experiencing several forms of accelerations. The students in radical acceleration are in most instances extremely bright and they are often forced to skip more than one class at a time and this is because they are forced to catch up with material that is of a higher mental age than them.
This is often a rare scenario but it should exist in order to ensure that indeed there is an increase in persons that are gifted in the United States. It is important to realize that that indeed acceleration does not mean that the gifted students are being made to speed up or even learn in a faster way than they are willing to, however, they allow students to progress at something that can be said to be close to the student’s natural or even preferred rate of learning.
Research has shown that the holding back of gifted students is in most instances likely to be stressful for the students and this can harm them in several ways such as teaching the students to coast along and further denying them an opportunity to learn without any intellectual challenges. Research has indeed shown that the effectiveness of acceleration is very positive.
In fact, evidence from several research projects has show that contrary to expectations, acceleration does not in any damage the way students behave in an emotional manner or socially. In fact, it has been seen that grade skipping has come as an aid to helping social relations and academic achievement whereas the concurrent enrollment has been seen to enable psychological adjustment.
There are several myths that existed about accelerated learning and gifted students. One of the most notable myths about accelerated learning is gifted students can do without it and that they are fine on their own. The question that is asked in this instance is whether one would send a star athlete to train without a coach. This is the same case with gifted students, they often require the guidance of well trained teachers that are able to challenge as well as support them in order to help them develop their abilities in the right manner.
Further, it is important to understand that indeed many gifted students might at times be far ahead of the curriculum that they know almost half of the grade level curriculum before even the school year begins. This in most instances results into boredom as well as frustration which can lead to low achievement, unhealthy work habits and despondency. Therefore, accelerated learning is able to help in nurturing these crucial and important talents in the school system.
Another myth is that indeed teachers often challenge all the students, and consequently, acceleration is noted need in the regular classroom. However, this is a misconception give that although teachers in most instances try as hard as possible to challenge all the students they are in most case infrequently familiar with the needs of the gifted children and consequently, they often do not know how to best to serve the children in the classroom settings. There is therefore, a need to ensure that there is professional development which is focused on teaching the gifted students in a way that will be able to effectively enhance their skills. In fact, it has been seen that indeed, the brightest students in class are often bored as well as under-challenged when it comes to school. Therefore, the American system does not give the gifted children a chance to thrive.
Acceleration placement options are often seen as being socially harmful when it comes to gifted students. This is myth that should be dispelled as quickly as possible. This is because in most instances academically gifted students often feel bored or even out place with their age peers and are often naturally gravitate towards older students who they consider as being intellectual peers. In fact, most studies have shown that many students that are gifted are often happier with older students who happen to share the same interests as compared to children that are of the same age. Consequently, it can be argued that indeed placement options such as early entrance to Kindergarten, grade skipping as well as early exit should be in fact be considered for the students that are gifted.
Education misconceptions that gifted students overlook
The education curriculum is fabricated to ensure that children attain appreciable literacy levels. This has been the governing criterion for mathematical, languages and art subjects. At the prekindergarten level, emphasis is put on appreciation of numerical digits. It is significant that the world is changing from acceptance of verbal literacy to analytical. Mathematical instructional programs, from kindergarten to grade five, are meant to ensure students comprehend numbers and their relationships.
They are supposed to enable students have a basic mastery of their representation. Students are also required to understand the operation of numbers and their relation to each other. Finally, they are supposed to prepare students in lower grades to be able to compute fluently and realize notable estimates. The current error of calculators and computers undermines the paper and pencil work. It can lead to students in lower grades terming paper and pencil work as obsolete. Manual arithmetic defines the basic understanding and demonstration of mathematical concepts amongst students.
Mathematics is defined through concepts and procedural foundations. These two aspects encompass the logical reason behind mathematics. Concepts focus on internationally accepted ideas that form unifying basis of theorems. An outstanding illustration is the applicability of Pythagoras theorem. Procedural learning involves a series of chronological steps in solving problems. An outstanding example is BODMAS.
These elements make students in lower grades prone to errors and misconceptions. The deliberation to make a mistake constitutes an error. Misconception is an error made from pure innocence and concepts that are confusing to master. Students in lower grades connect information from their previous knowledge of the phenomenon discussed. Students will perceive and understand erroneous concepts and procedures in a similar manner. They rely on a common factor between new concepts and the knowledge they already posses. They structure pensiveness with definite frequent characteristics, and their perception or algorithm is fashioned.
The general traits may be precise, like crossing a figure out, placing a number prior to another. It can be establishing the disparity in several one-digit numbers. It has been stipulated that a vital cause of inductive errors is insufficient practice.
It is essential to note that, even with practice, it is not trivial to eliminate misconceptions. This is because they are characterized with the ability to unlearn and embrace another process. Hence, teachers are faced with a significant challenge in avoiding misconceptions perceived by students.
The causes of error and misconceptions amongst student can be explained by overspecialization and over generalizing. Students in lower grades are prone to over generalizing. This is defined by premature conclusions in mathematics.
An outstanding illustration is the conception of the word sum. Students in lower grades appreciate and conceive a sum as the digit after an equal sign. Consider the following mathematical operations, 2 +2 = 4 and 7 – 2 = 5.
The digits 5 and 4 are perceived as a sum by students. This conception is, of course, false. Another illustration may arise from the orientation of a triangle. Teachers stipulate examples in which right angled triangles are oriented to the right. Therefore, when students are given a triangle oriented to the left, there is the probability of describing it as a left angled triangle. It is a common mistake for students in middle grades to assume that Pythagoras theorem applies to all triangles irrespective of the confining 90 degree rule.
Thus during teaching, facilitators need to depict the concepts that lead to mathematical terms and figures. This would translate to a diminution in misconceptions. Errors and misconception can be derived from over specialization. This is characterized with an inability to apply mathematical concepts.
A significant illustration is the notion of maintain that the altitude of a triangle has to be inside it. Students conceive that fractions have to bear same denominator for calculation purposes. They overlook that, this rule, does not confine division and multiplication.
It is therefore, critical to understand that most of these stages are often not passed through by gifted students, the misconceptions that lead to terms and figures that worry other children are often not a concern for the students that are gifted. It has been noticed that indeed there are many gifted students that are able to flourish in their community as well as school environment. However, there are indeed some gifted children that are known to differ when it comes to their moral and emotional intensity, their sensitivity to expectations and feelings as well as deep concern regarding societal problems. Therefore, the myth about accelerated learning not producing happy and popular, well adjusted children in school is often dispelled by this myth.
It is critical o understand that offering of gifted education services does not necessarily require for one to break the bank. In fact, it is important to realize that indeed a fully developed gifted education can often overlook programs that involves its complexity and scope.
It is critical that there is the development of a curriculum that is not hidden to the gifted students. According to the article”Hidden Curriculum research,” there is an inherent set of values and obligations vital to the wider curriculum society, but remain hidden to them. The innate curriculum principles set precedence with which training developers may use to improve or motivate the existing educational framework.
Hidden research is not strictly inaccessible to the students or beneficiaries of the curriculum. However, they are not included during essential decision-making processes of the curriculum. As opposed to university dons and other educated individuals, hidden research in curriculum relies on government boards, and allied consortia in development of the training needs.
The article fosters different approaches, which can be utilized in assisting curriculum theorists. The hidden research involves unforeseen, but essential values to the curriculum theorists, whose incorporation can lead to the development of existing training needs. It is also a need-based assessment that appreciates the dynamic nature of curriculum development. It incorporates new concepts of teaching into the proposed curriculums.
It is extremely important for teachers to become involved in the lives of gifted students. In cases where teachers created opportunities for parents to become more involved in their children’s education, most parents responded positively and became move involves. These teachers felt that family was important for the good performance of students.
There are several factors, which affect the performance of students. These include the instructional actions of the teacher, the student’s expectations, the amount of tie spent on constructive and high- yield activities while out of school, the quality of activities in school, the beliefs, expectations and standards of the parents, and parent-teacher communication.
The beliefs of the parents can also be influenced by the communication between the parents and the teachers. The students whose parents are more involved in the work they do while at school have better academic performances and fewer behavioral problems.
The parents who interact more with their children’s teachers tended to produce higher performing students. These interactions include notes, telephone calls, newsletters, home visits, parent-teacher conferences, weekly folders, open-house nights and dialogue journals (Olmstead, 2013).
The involvement of the parent may be reactive of proactive. Reactive involvement is prompted by school activities such as meetings and family activities. The parent initiates proactive involvement, for instance, choosing to stay informed on the progress of the child and events at school, and helping the child with their homework. Proactive involvement tends to bring better results in terms of achievement (Gestwicki, 2009).
Some parents may not be able to participate in the education of their children actively. Some of the reasons cited include language barriers, the parents’ inability to understand the new educational process, the parents’ lack of education, and lack of enough time due to day-to-day activities and responsibilities. However, technology has made it easier to bridge this gap. Technologies such as the internet should be used in such a manner that the parents also have the opportunity to communicate their views with the teachers.
Providing this feedback would be beneficial for the performance of the student. However, language barriers may prevent some willing parents from getting involved in their children’s education. Teachers should find a way to help the parents in such cases, for the welfare of the students (Fuller, 2008).
The impact of the gifted students on the society cannot be underestimated. It is critical to understand that indeed most of the important people in the society have been gifted and have been able to go the best schools in the country. Therefore, for this reason, there is a need to organized gifted students in homogenous groups that will enable equality and persons to pursue their full potential in life.
Fuller, M. L. (2008). Home-School Relations:. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Gestwicki, C. (2009). Home, School, and Community Relations. New York: Cengage Learning.
Olmstead, C. (2013, November). Using Technology to Increase Parent Involvement in Schools. TechTrends , 57 (6).
The curriculum development process often organizes what needs to be taught, who will be taught, and how the information will be taught. Each of the components in the curriculum development process often affects and interacts with other components. The area being looked at is Minnesota which has around 158 charter schools. Barbara Martin is a consultant for curriculum development and she will be the one that will be interviewed. The interview took by email on the 4 of November 2014. The curriculum encompasses what will be taught is often affected by who is being taught, the stage of development in age, education, and maturity. The methods of how the content is taught are in many cases affected by the characteristics, and the settings. The development of curriculum has taken center stage in the American educational center and consequently, there has been attention to the development and how it should be changed in order to befit the 21st century students. There is a need for all the stakeholders to be included in the development of the curriculum, this should be done in a way that will ensure that every stakeholder’s view is respected and represented. This method is often effective because all the stakeholders often contribute to the development of the curriculum and they have a genuine opportunity in order to contribute and accept its use. This paper interviews Dr. Barbara Martin, a curriculum specialist in regards to the understanding of curriculum development.
Barbara Martin is one of the most prolific persons in the curriculum development community. She has been instrumental in the advisement of curriculum all over the world. She has been particularly important in Toronto where she was able to engineer a curriculum for the state. She holds a Masters of education in Curriculum, teaching and learning from the University of Toronto. She has had massive experience and has taught many educators in the United States regarding curriculum development and evaluation (B. Martin personal communication, November 4, 2014).
She argued that there has been a misconception amongst many people that there is a national curriculum in the United States. She further stated that it is of the essence to note that there exists no national curriculum in the United States. However, the National Association often requires recommendations that there are certain standards that should be used to guide school instruction. In addition, there are federal mandates which state that there should be state standards in the development and improvement of education. Therefore, it is the National Association that determines which curriculum that will be used (B. Martin, personal communication, November 4, 2014).
In regards to the question about the design of the curriculum, she stated that the considerations and basis for the design of the curriculum is often derived from other states. Each state and individual school district and establishes the curriculum taught. However, the design of the curriculum is often gotten from previous versions of the curriculum that exists in different states. “I have been especially involved in the development of curriculum in several states and I got the blueprints from other different states” (Barbara, personal communication, November 4, 2014).
In regards to the process of a district curriculum adoption process she argued that it is often defined by law and district policy. There is often a formation of a professional adoption committee with several content area teachers and is formed under a specific charter which includes the District mission and ends for student learning. It is the obligation of the adoption committee to review state standards as well as best current research in order to develop a scope as well as a sequence and different common assessments. “I believe that the adoption of the curriculum materials is an extremely important piece when it comes to student learning. In fact, the best materials often align with the state learning standards as well as research-based practices.” She further stated that it is only through this process that an effective adoption process can be hatched and further the education sector (B. Martin, personal communication, November 4, 2014).
She argued that there have been various methods that have been used to communicate curriculum development to the teachers. Firstly, there has been the use of seminars and training programs that are important as they give information to the teachers on the contents of the new curriculum. This method has been highly effective, however, there are times where some of the teachers might not be present and this might present problems in the adoption of the new curriculum. The second way is dispatching the curriculum document to the respective schools either in the state and the district. The persons can therefore, understand the document read and analyze it and finally adopt it. "I believe these are the two most important components that are used to communicate the curriculum development to the teachers" (B. Martin, personal communication, November 4, 2014).
The adoption and development process should ensure that the standard aligned curriculum is delivered in the right manner as it is extremely crucial for classroom learning. The positive effects of this adoption and development process is that the materials are able to undergo an intensive evidence-based review process which often includes expert panels, comparisons to lessons, student field testing and across the grade alignment. The adoption committee is in many cases able to evaluate the recommended materials and ensure that they all comply with state law and district policy. Further, this adoption and development process can be considered as important as it allows the committee to effectively evaluate the recommended materials and ensure that indeed they are able to comply with state law as well as the district policy. In regards to prejudice she stated that “The committee should ensure that there is no bias or even prejudice in the proposed curriculum and that the content that exists in the curriculum is appropriate for the student’s age level.” She especially recommended that any adoption process involve all the stakeholders that exist in the industry (B. Martin personal communication, November 4, 2014).
The involvement of all stakeholders I think is one of the main problems that affect this adoption process. This is because the committee for adoption might lack the necessary stakeholders that exist in the industry and this therefore, means that a bogus curriculum that is not tailored the student’s needs might be passed.
The instructional materials committee (IMC) is responsible for the evaluation of the curriculum. The IMC is often legally required by the state to review and evaluate the curriculum after several years. The curriculum is often reviewed in order to ensure that it complies with both federal and state laws. In the evaluation process, the curriculum is often aligned with state learning standards and it is changed accordingly and the recommendations are sent to the relevant school boards.
"As I had previously stated a curriculum is made for a certain district or state. Therefore, it might differ from a school in one state to another." This often depends on the state, there are states that have a core curriculum as well as an elective curriculum. States such as Alabama have an elective curriculum coupled with a core curriculum. The elective curriculum is often different and diverse as compared to the core curriculum. However, I think that this method has not yet taken root in America but it should in the next couple of years (B. Martin, personal communication, November 4, 2014).
Barbara argued that the teacher does not have the mandate to add or delete the topics in the curriculum as this is the work of the committee. This is because the United States curriculum is not uniform because different states and individual districts believe that the level of education needed in the areas is not the same. For example, the level of testing for a New York student should not be the same as that of a student in rural Iowa. This is because they exist in two different environments and therefore they should have a curriculum that is in support of their environment (B. Martin, personal communication, November 4, 2014).
I believe that the curriculum is flawed and needs a lot of improvement. I have had the same view of the curriculum when I first entered the industry as I do now. This is because I believe that there are massive flaws in the way the curriculum is developed, the way it is distributed and the way it is reviewed. I hold the belief that there is a need to recruit a capable committee at the federal level that will oversee the different curriculum that exists in the different states. I have had not had any transformational experience in the curriculum development process and this is mainly because of the bureaucracy that exists in the process.” She argued in regards to curriculum development.
She argued that even though the two sexes undergo different things in life, there is a need to maintain a constant curriculum between the two. “This will ensure that they compete on the same level. The introduction of two curriculums will be tedious as it means that they will have to be segregated in school and colleges because of the different curriculums,” she stated (B. Martin, personal communication, November 4, 2014). There often exists no curriculum for physical education; this is because different areas need different levels of exercise. For example, an urban population in Chicago needs different physical education to the children that live in Kansas (B. Martin, personal communication, November 4, 2014).
"I have been advocating that there is a need for a standard curriculum when it comes to chemistry, physics, geography and history as these are subjects that do not change." Consequently, there is a need to ensure that they are all standardized and integrated in an appropriate way (B. Martin, personal communication, November 4, 2014).
She argued that some of the decisions that she would make include ensuring that the curriculum is first evaluated and determined whether or not it goes hand in hand with federal and state standards. Then she would ensure that every teacher in Minnesota understands explicitly the curriculum. It is then from there that they can effectively teach it in schools (B. Martin, personal communication, November 4, 2014).
MY VIEWS ABOUT THE CURRICULUM AFTER THE INTERVIEW
From the interview, I was of the thought that the curriculum is at its peak and there is nothing that can be done to change it for the better. However, after the interview with Barbara Martin I got what I can describe as a transformative experience. This is because I now realize that the curriculum development system is extremely flawed and there is a need to make adjustments to it by correcting those who design and evaluate the curriculum.
In conclusion, from the interview with Barbara Martin it can be argued that there is a need to have a standardized curriculum for subjects such as physics, chemistry, geography, and History. She argued in her interview that there is a need to have a completely new approach when it comes to the process of curriculum development as this will give the process the boost that it deservedly needs. The interview was illuminating as it presented new ideas on how the system works, the role of committees in the designing and evaluating curriculum and lastly, the jurisdiction of the committees. The United States according to Barbara, needs a new system of curriculum development panel that will oversee the design of the curriculum development process. The importance of curriculum development cannot be overemphasized. Barbara argues that there is a need for increased evaluations in order to ensure that a curriculum is up to standard. Further, there is a need to evaluate the curriculum regularly in order to ensure that it complies with the state and federal standards that keep on changing.
Culturally diversified students often experience challenges while interacting with their instructors and as well with other students in their classrooms. Therefore, it is important for institutions to develop programs focused on increasing cooperation between students from different cultural backgrounds (Wiltshire, 2011). Normally, integrative measures used by instructors influence the student’s satisfaction and confidence in their teachers. An effective program used in culturally diversified institutions is high scope. The paper objects at evaluating possible measures of increasing the effectiveness of instruction for students from these diversified cultural backgrounds (Driscoll, 2010).
High Scope educational approach, accepted as an effective practice for childhood education, actively engages students during the learning process (Wiltshire, 2011). The approach is essential for students not only with special needs but also with those from different cultures. While actively engaging students, High Scope method, on the other hand, enables these students to plan and do activities without close supervision from their instructors. Unlike other educational approaches used by instructors, High Scope provides for full organization of students while carrying out activities (Wiltshire, 2011).
Prior to developing the teaching approach, earlier, teachers used direct teaching methods where they instructed their students using motor and perceptual skills. The effectiveness of these teaching approaches faced a limitation based on the student’s perception ability. With the increased cultural diversity in these schools, challenges arose while using these learning methods. Classrooms had characteristics of uneven skills level, an effect that arose due to different points of view of the students (Wiltshire, 2011). Concurrently, teachers had an obligation of changing their teaching methods to incorporate the diversified classrooms. While adapting to a new and better approach (High Scope), teachers realized needs of actively participating with their students rather than using the passive learning methods. The active approach of teaching was to increase the students’ expertise in their strengths while suppressing their weaknesses (HighScope Educational Approach for Preschool, 2014).
High Scope approach, viewed as the solution to uneven learning in schools, had three categories of objectives. As a similarity of these categories, it objected at promoting development (both physical and experience) in students. Learning categories included; emotional and social development, unlike in the prior used methods of learning, the approach had an objective of increasing students socializing skills by improving their attitudes towards others in schools. Social skills are essential in diversified cultural environment as they promote cooperation. Similarly, it focused on aiding these students understand their daily routines and expectations from their parents and teachers. It is emotional development aspect that contributes to students’ responsibility to tasks (Wiltshire, 2011).
The other aspect of the objectives of High Scope as an effective approach in the diversified environments was promotion of physical development. Often, physical development has a requisite of games and physical tasks such as teamwork (Driscoll, 2010). Through these manipulative tasks, immediate students benefit as they gain opportunities of developing solutions to their underlying issues while in these teams. Similarly, since exercises promote cooperation and physical development, manipulative games often enabled them to appreciate others in their schools. Its effectiveness is in the ability to meet the student’s expectations and increasing their coordination with members from other cultures (Wiltshire, 2011).
Lastly, appreciating members from other cultures is vital in culturally diversified institutions. Since the approach promotes versified knowledge aspects such as understanding of numbers, language and time management, while instructors use the approach, they grant their students ability of perceiving their environment. Additionally, they cognitive development enhances their understanding of other cultures and thus appreciating the different points of views (Wiltshire, 2011).
In addition to the objective categories, High Scope uses three basic principles that govern instructors and students’ participation in schools. They include; active participation, routine planning and sequential goals development (Wiltshire, 2011).
Apparently, while planning for a daily routine of tasks, teachers often grant their students opportunities of planning what they want. Normally, it is the most important aspect of learning when students have equal opportunities during the planning process. The approach lays a strong emphasis on daily routine (Driscoll, 2010). It is during the planning time that these students from diversified cultures have opportunities of describing their plans to their team members. These opportunities increase their self-confidence and ability to cope with students with different points of views. Routine planning relies on the curriculum models (HighScope Educational Approach for Preschool, 2014).
In addition to the inclusive planning and discussion time, instructors as well allow their students to engage in the collaborative working opportunities (Driscoll, 2010). These opportunities of explaining their tasks to their colleagues and discussing the challenges experienced while implementing their tasks (Driscoll, 2010). While discussing the possible solutions to these challenges, team members coordinate with their colleagues in the classroom promoting coordination of students from varied cultures (Wiltshire, 2011).
The approach is effective for students from diversified cultures as teachers promote learning by extending the students’ functioning level. It is in contrast with other approaches that views teachers as motivators to their students. More so, the sole role of teachers in a diversified classroom environment is to help the students while developing their interests. Instructors often focus on the students’ strengths rather than their weak points (HighScope Educational Approach for Preschool, 2014). It is the last principle governing the educational approach.
In some severe instances, culture defines student’s educational ability and perception towards learning (Wiltshire, 2011). Consequently, it is crucially essential for culturally diversified institutions to have incorporative strategies for their such as High Scope that lays an emphasis on students’ present level of functioning striving at improving their potentials (HighScope Educational Approach for Preschool, 2014).
High Scope, as proposed provides maximum learning effectives of varied cultural aspects of schools. Its elements, active learning, content and assessment of student’s project success facilitate its effectiveness in these culturally diversified school environments (Driscoll, 2010).
Formal lessons, related to active learning, on the other hand, perceived to benefit students, differ depending on the time taken by students while in teams (HighScope Educational Approach for Preschool, 2014). Among many instructors, the approach is effective as it improves students’ competence in planning and cooperation. Active engagement of students in groups and task teams promotes their cooperation with members from different cultures. More so, their innovation, openness and creativity (based on the success of their tasks and routine management) improves (Driscoll, 2010). Through the active planning approach, instructors play significant roles of supporting the children’s learning. Additionally, they provide students with reference materials thereby reviewing the student’s participation with others.
Normally, cultures dictate individual’s perception and arrangements. While using the High Scope approach, classroom arrangement promotes personal engagement (HighScope Educational Approach for Preschool, 2014). Sharing of tasks while arranging the classroom environments promotes students responsibility traits and as well encouraging them to use their skills meaningfully while improving their educational experiences. In these situations, teachers participate by selecting activities used (Driscoll, 2010). The main considerations while selecting these activities have a reliance on students’ interests, activity’s engagement of students and variety of skills gained through the activities.
Curriculum, on the other hand, refers to the learning contents used by instructors. Student’s experiences and interests define their participation in these tasks and constructive engagement with other students (Wiltshire, 2011). Development of the learning content requires instructors to understand the students’ interests and current experiences.
As compared to other learning approaches, High Scope presents advantages that contribute to its overall effectiveness over other strategies used. Its implementation of constructive programs in schools is unlike other approaches that used passive participation of students. More so, through the variety of training and support services offered to students from varied cultures, it creates cooperation and acceptance unlike prior learning methods used in schools (Wiltshire, 2011).
In conclusion, cultural discrimination, an unethical challenge facing many students, affects their performance and ability to improve their functioning skill level. However, while placed in culturally diversified institutions, these students gain opportunities of cooperating with individuals with different beliefs. It is essential for the management and instructors to determine the effectiveness of an approach before implementing it. Despite the approach-viewing students as active role players in the learning process, the process as well require teacher’s engagement in facilitating the learning process (Wiltshire, 2011). Development of sequential learning materials, as seen earlier in the discussion, involves teacher’s understanding of the students’ experiences and interest. Similarly, since different cultures present different problem solving approaches, while using the sequential development approach of High Scope encourages students to set their goals with help from their instructors.
“HighScope Educational Approach for Preschool”. Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Retrieved on October 13, 2014.
Driscoll, A. and Nagel, N. (2010). “Early Childhood Education, birth-8: The World of Children, Families and Educators.” Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall. Retrieved on October 13, 2014.
Wiltshire, M. (2011). Understanding the high scope approach: Early years education in practice. New York: Routledge.
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