DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION FOR GIFTED LEARNERS

What are some of the strategies you can utilize to design differentiated curriculum? 

So, what are some of the strategies you can use to begin designing differentiated curriculum? 

Maker (1982) describes curriculum modifications for gifted students as encompassing four  areas: 

 

Content modifications for gifted students should: 

• be abstract, complex, varied 

• involve issues of organization, study of people, methods of inquiry. 

Process modifications for gifted students should: 

• involve higher order thinking processes 

• promote creative and critical thinking 

• require problem solving

 • involve group interaction 

• have variable levels of pacing

• allow for debriefing of the process 

• involve open-endedness 

• allow for freedom of choice. 

Product modifications for gifted students should: 

• involve real world problems 

• be for real world audiences 

• require real deadlines 

• require transformation of learning 

• involve appropriate assessment and evaluation 

• involve extended or accelerated outcomes. 

Learning environment modifications for gifted students should: 

• be flexible and open 

• encourage independent and intrinsic learning 

• be accepting and non-judgmental 

• encourage complex and abstract thought.

 

Common sense dictates that the areas of content, process, product and learning environment are where curriculum may also need to be modified for students with special learning needs.  However, it is important to note that teachers new to differentiation may choose to begin by differentiating content or process or product, rather than all of them, until they are both familiar and comfortable with the strategies. 

 

What are some of the strategies you can use to develop students’ creative and divergent thinking skills? 

• Fluency - measured by number of responses to a theme 

• Flexibility - measured by the variety of changes or categories 

• Originality - measured by degree of unusual or uncommon responses 

• Elaboration - embellishment or expansion of the idea 

• Risk-taking - willingness to try different or difficult things 

• Curiosity - ability to seek many alternatives, depth of study 

• Complexity - capacity to explore or discover 

• Imagination - power to visualize, dream or conceive forms of action symbolically

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