Blog Archives

Authentic Learning in Gifted Education

gtchat 01252018 Authentic

Authentic learning occurs when a student confronts real-world problems and explores ways to solve them. It can only truly happen when the student feels the project or problem is relevant to them. Authentic learning engages students through opportunities to create meaningful outcomes by doing real-life tasks.

Why is authentic learning important for gifted students? It requires higher-order questioning and thinking; as well as an ability to express conclusions in writing. This leads to intellectual development and career success. Authentic learning is achieved through academic discourse and argument which is the essence of intellectual maturity and a way to nourish critical thinking capacity; all factors important to gifted students.

Authentic learning activities must include real-life tasks that make a difference to both the student and their immediate environment. They can be viewed through the lens of student passions; ideas and concepts achieved through deeper-learning. These activities need to encourage students to think critically; then organize and evaluate their findings.

An authentic learning environment must provide a way for meaningful exploration and discussion of real-world concerns; not simply predetermined projects. They extend beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom and must be a place where ideas are tested and meaningful concepts actually used to solve problems. Authentic learning environments can include simulation-based learning, student media creation, inquiry-based learning, peer-based evaluation, working with research data or working with remote instruments.

Authentic learning helps students develop skills to be able to verify the reliability of newly learned information; the ability to complete complex problems; and to recognize relative patterns in new contexts. It encourages them to engage in cross-curricular activities; seeing value in this process. It also creates curiosity to work across cultural boundaries and find creative solutions to problems on which they’re working.

How should authentic learning be assessed? Authentic assessment measures significant and meaningful accomplishment which reflects student choice and investment in the outcomes. It may be produced by a teacher and is in stark contrast to standardized testing. Presentation before an authentic audience can enhance the product for students.

In the final analysis, authentic learning is something that should be considered essential for gifted students at every level of their education. It plays a vital role in their academic careers and is a solid predictor of enhancing future opportunities for success. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

How to Develop an Authentic Enrichment Cluster

The PBL Classroom of Twists and Turns

The Four Characteristics of ‘Authentic Learning’

Authentic Learning Environments

What is Authentic Pedagogy?

What Is Authentic Assessment?

Authentic Literacy and Intellectual Development

27 Characteristics of Authentic Assessment

Authentic Learning: It’s Elementary!

Authentic Learning: A Practical Introduction and Guide for Implementation

Authentic Assessment Toolbox

Bringing Authenticity to the Classroom

Examples of Authentic Culminating Products (pdf)

Top 12 Ways to Bring the Real World into Your Classroom

Authentic Task- Based Materials: Bringing the Real World into the Classroom (pdf)

Linguistics Course for Language Loving Kids

Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grades School (Hack Learning Series) (Volume 3) (Amazon)

Pic courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Advertisements

Project-Based Learning: Doing It Right!

gtchat 09122017 PBL

This week it was a pleasure to welcome #gtchat Advisor and long-time friend of our chat, Ginger Lewman, to discuss project-based learning. Ginger is a popular keynote and presenter at gifted and education conferences around the world. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, it will be an experience to remember.

The benefits of project-based learning are extensive and especially good for gifted and talented students. It is a driver for critical thinking, collaboration and innovation. Project-based learning can spark creativity and develop problem solving skills as well as provide deeper, more meaningful learning for students.

“Soft skills and emotional intelligence can be a struggle for some gifted and talented students. Project-based learning helps them grow in a safe environment. Students get to work in areas of strength and interest bringing interests. Good for all students, but essential to untapped potential.”                                                                             ~ Ginger Lewman

Teachers and students are  the primary stakeholders and beneficiaries in the pedagogical shift to project-based learning. Students are now in the driver’s seat and  the teacher is the facilitator.  To make the shift work well, teachers must be open to the democratization of their classrooms; be willing to open up their own thinking to criticism. Students should realize efficacy in their efforts; empowered to lead rather than follow. Parents, too, are stakeholders when they seek to hold the system accountable for authentic learning by becoming involved.

How does an educator design and implement quality project-based learning? They need to understand that it’s a steep learning curve for all involved at the beginning. ‘Planning sessions must focus on long-term sustainability instead of a just one-off workshop.’ (TeachThought)

“Project-based learning can be a gateway-drug for seeing students’ strengths, interests, and talents. AND for recognizing a NEED for something MORE.”                                                                              ~ Ginger Lewman

Teachers must balance project-based learning with testing, accountability, curriculum and pacing. They need to begin to think differently about testing and accountability; learning to think trumps content every time. Today, teaching is going under some fundamental changes requiring a lot of soul searching about outcomes and authenticity.

What does quality feedback look like and how do you assess the success of project-based learning? High quality project-based learning leads to the creation of a product such as a display, performance, or construction. Assessments include peer and self-assessment, are both formative and summative, develop content and success skills,  as well as process and products. (Getting Smart)

You can take project-based learning to the next level with more sophisticated project design and assessment. Self-reflection completes a quality project-based learning  experience through journaling, presentation and/or group discussion. Performance tasks should reflect competency by demonstrating knowledge and skills. The projects will show authentic learning including student choice and voice. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

PBL and LifePractice PBL

Ginger Lewman (website)

About Ginger Lewman

STEAMmaker Camps

7 Questions to Guide Your PBL Implementation Plan

4 Things All Project-Based Learning Teachers Should Do

Using Project-Based Learning to Flip Bloom’s Taxonomy for Deeper Learning

Does Your Teaching Have the 4 Categories of High-Quality PBL?

Project-Based Learning Is Here to Stay: Let’s Make Sure It’s High Quality

Preparing Students for a Project-Based World

How I Connect Students Through Project-Based Learning

Don’t just say it. Do it! Motivation & PBL

PBL: Navigating Timelines & Curriculum Maps

So Your Kids’ PBL Work Sucks? 8 Ways to Improve It!

PBL is Here to Stay: Let’s Make Sure It’s High Quality (Part 1)

PBL is Here to Stay: Let’s Make Sure It’s High Quality (Part 2)

Sprite’s Site: Grey Sneakers

Project Based Learning, Preparing Students for the Work Force of the Future

PBL and Special Student Populations

Motivating for Mastery: It Starts with a Simple Question

Essential Components for LifePractice PBL Planning (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Project-Based Learning Page

ESSDACK Education Products

3 Ingredients for Assessing Learning in the PBL Classroom

Your Rubric is a Hot Mess; Here’s How to Fix It

Practicing PBL: Self-Directed Learning for Self-Starters (and finishers) (paid course)

Assessing Learning in the PBL Classroom: A top FAQ

Pondering the Complexity of ‘Mastery’ Learning Assessment

Background photo courtesy of Flickr   CC BY-SA 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conard. Photo courtesy of Ginger Lewman.

Phenomenon-Based Learning

gtchat-03072017-phenomenon

Phenomenon-based learning is a cutting edge approach to education pioneered in Finland. It “does not include a strict set of rules, but rather comprises a combination of beliefs and best practices supported by ongoing research. In this approach, a classroom observes a real-life scenario or phenomenon – such as a current event or situation present in the student’s world – and analyzes it through an interdisciplinary approach.” [ref] In other words, it is the ultimate in project-based learning.

The benefits of phenomenon-based learning include showing students value in theories and information in the learning situation. Students use authentic methods, sources and tools; learning is intentional and goal-oriented.

Phenomenon-based learning is not without its critics. They believe it stretches students too thin; they become deterred from excelling in a particular field. Veteran teachers have resisted phenomenon-based learning; reluctant to give up authority in the classroom to students. They question the lack of providing prior knowledge to students before embarking on phenomenon-based learning. News reports in error stated that phenomenon-based learning replaces teaching traditional subjects which it does not.

Other types of learning can complement phenomenon-based learning. These include project-based learning; Socratic learning; and flipped-classrooms. It also works well with makerspaces and is responsive to student voice. Lisa Van Gemert added, “Essential Questions and the Depth & Complexity models both complement it as well.”

Phenomenon-based learning  can be used to meet the diverse needs of all students. Students from all backgrounds benefit from the structure and flexibility of phenomenon-based learning. Teachers can decide on potential project topics based on students background knowledge and personal experiences.

What strategies can teachers use to transition to phenomenon-based learning? Teachers should be open to altering teaching routines and mindsets; become well-versed in collaborative teaching. Transitioning to phenomenon-based learning does not mean abandoning traditional subject-based teaching. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 13.00 NZST/11.00 AEST/Midnight UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Phenomenon-Based Learning: What is PBL?

Personally Meaningful Learning through Phenomenon-Based Classes

Finland: Replacing Subject with Phenomenon Based Learning (YouTube 3:39) https://goo.gl/1ErY7w

Finland’s Phenomenon Based Learning (YouTube 7:10) https://goo.gl/LYY6Ms

Finland Education Reform Introduces Phenomenon-Based Teaching

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where & Why It Happens (Amazon)

Finland’s School Reforms Won’t Scrap Subjects Altogether

Phenomenon Based Learning Teaching by Topics

General Aspects of Basic Education Curriculum Reform 2016 Finland (pdf)

Notes on the School of the Future and the Future of Learning 

Using Physical Science Gadgets & Gizmos, Grades 6-8: Phenomenon-Based Learning (Hawker Brownlow)

Learning and Teaching with Phenomenon

Elementary Science Phenomena Checklist and Bank (Google Doc)

Concern, Creativity, Compliance: Phenomenon of Digital Game-Based Learning in Norwegian Education

How to Come Up With an Engaging Phenomenon to Anchor a Unit (pdf)

Switching Gears into Transdisciplinary Learning

Georgia Science Teachers: Science GSE Phenomena Bank

Phenomenon Based Learning Rubric (pdf)

Work the Matters: The Teacher’s Guide to Project-Based Learning (pdf)

Phenomenon for NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards)

Using Phenomena in NGSS-Designed Lessons and Units (pdf)

Qualities of a Good Anchor Phenomenon for a Coherent Sequence of Science Lessons (pdf)

Phenomenon-based Learning: A Case Study

Jack Andraka: A Promising Test for Pancreatic Cancer … from a Teenager (TED talk)

Phenomena-Based Learning and Digital Content https://goo.gl/NYyRa6

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Is STEM a Viable Alternative to a Gifted Program?

STEM Alternative

STEM has become an alternative in some U.S. school districts for gifted programming. In order to understand the reasoning behind this decision, our chat first focused on whether or not school districts should be required to offer a gifted program at all. Most people agreed that it was necessary, but also reasoned that the program must be funded and properly administered by knowledgeable faculty and staff.

Strong opinions were voiced concerning the need to provide all students what they need to meet their potential at any level. The concept of mastery-based education was introduced as an alternative for education which in part could eliminate the need for special academic programming. However, it was pointed out that STEM programs do little to address the social and emotional needs of gifted students.

Scientist

‘Is STEM a Viable Alternative to a Gifted Program?’ Many present felt it was not an alternative but should be a component part. Some had good experiences when STEM programs were combined with Ability Grouping. The addition of ‘A’ (arts) was welcomed by all.

The discussion then turned to finding some positive attributes of STEM programming if it is the only option available. Here are some of the responses- It was noted that a well done STEM program can increase a student’s appreciation for mathematics; offer a challenging curriculum which gifted students need; and provide increased interaction with professionals through mentoring & job shadowing.  Enhancing STEM programs by integrating communication, verbalization and writing skills as well as incorporating passion-based and project-based learning would improve these programs for gifted students. A more collegiate atmosphere in STEM courses could stimulate creative thought. A full transcript may be found on our Storify Page.

 

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Gifted Education: Full STEAM Ahead NJAGC Annual Conference 2015

Gifted Children and STEM 

STEM: Meeting a Critical Demand for Excellence

Statewide Public High Schools for Advanced Students

National Consortium of Secondary #STEM Schools

STEM – Its Importance and Promise for Gifted Students (pdf)

Cultivating Talent: Gifted Children and STEM

STEM Resources for Educating Gifted Students (pdf)

STEM and Gifted Education: Questions and Answers for Parents (pdf)

STEM ming the Tide: Colorado Response to National Crisis in STEM Education (pdf)

STEM is Gifted Education

Partner with STEM to Enhance Opportunities for Gifted Children

STEM to STEAM Education for Gifted Students (Amazon)

Relationship Between #STEM Education & #Gifted Education – Part 1

Relationship Between #STEM Education & #Gifted Education – Part 2

Putting Art in #STEM

Energizing Your Gifted Students’ Creative Thinking & Imagination (Amazon)

Why did ‘nerd’ become a dirty word?

K – 12 Summer Programs from The Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented

Google Science Fair 2015

Is Your Gifted Student Being Supported in Public School?

Cybraryman’s STEM/STEAM Page

STEM vs. STEAM: Why The “A” Makes All The Difference

Partners Create STEM Hubs in Ogden Schools

The Value of STEM Education Infographic

 

STEM Graphic: Courtesy Lisa Conrad

Photo: Courtesy of Pixabay.

%d bloggers like this: