Posts Tagged GaTe

Using Renzulli and Gagne together

In an earlier post I discussed the way in which our school uses the trait’s of giftedness as identified by Renzulli – we focus heavily on ensuring that students who possess above average ability also develop high levels of task commitment and creativity.

The NSW DET, however, does not feature Renzulli’s traits of giftedness in their Gifted and Talented Policy.  Instead it uses Gagné’s (2003) Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT), which states that:

Gifted students are those whose potential is distinctly above average in one or more of the following domains of human ability: intellectual, creative, social and physical.

Talented students are those whose skills are distinctly above average in one or more areas of human performance.

What I like about Gagne’s model is that it explicitly recognises that students may be gifted in a range of domains; it is not limited to intellectual giftedness, but also recognises creative, social and physical giftedness.

I also think it is very useful to conceptualise ‘giftedness’ as being potential for excellence, while ‘talentedness’ is actual performance at an above average level.

But I still am unclear about how our school uses these two theories together.  Certainly they both bring something to the table, but are they supposed to work together in some way?  Anyone have any ideas?

I wonder if Renzulli would tell Gagne that combining task commitment and creativity with high ability is the key to moving gifted students beyond potential to performance!

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Gifted and Talented Action Research

In my school I am part of a group of beginning teachers that are completing action research projects in their gifted and talented classes.  Our school is half-selective, meaning half of the students had to sit an academic exam for entry.  The rest of the school is made up of local students, but we also run a G&T class in years 9 & 10 of the local stream.  The class I’m using for my action research is my Year 9 G&T class, and the unit I am studying is the videogame unit…fun research :)

In our school there is a focus on developing three traits of giftedness as identified by Renzulli:

  • above average though not necessarily superior general ability;
  • high level of task commitment or intrinsic motivation;
  • and creativity

The students in my class certainly do display above average ability, and my aim is for my teaching units thie year to boost their levels of task commitment, intrinsic motivation and creativity.  The videogame unit so far is proving successful in these areas – in today, the third lesson of the unit, students worked in their groups for the first time, taking turns at playing the games (Need For Speed: Carbon, and Street Fighter II) and at creating an account on our class wiki and making some new pages.

So far the level of task commitment and intrinsic motivation is sky high!  The creativity is off to a slow start in some respects, but I think we did some important work today in laying the foundations for creativity.  I spent a lot of times with the groups on the laptops today, making sure students were comfortable with their roles as writers/authors on the class wiki.  This creating of information, along with activities in later weeks where students will create their own video game concept and characters, is all designed to lead students into higher order thinking.

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Year 9 Wiki

I’ve just finished creating a new wiki, this time for my Year 9 class, and this time it is one that I am actually going to use!

I’ve created two other wikis before – one for my HSC class, which I made using wikispaces.  My Year 12s were struggling with the blog as it was, so the wiki never really got a start there.  The other wiki I made was a general purpose one, which I imagined all of my classes would contribute to, on every subject that they studied.  This way all of my classes, from years 7-12, over time would come to access this kind of mega-source of information.  What a plan!  What a community! But I decided not to run with the idea, because I don’t think the students really will go for the idea…I’m not convinced it’ll be so much fun adding to the site unless you really know the others that are making it too.

I’ve added a couple of YouTube videos on using PB wiki to my vodpod (click here or in the right-hand side bar).  Anyone else out there using a wiki ATM?  What is (not) working for you?

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Video Game Unit with PS2

I have finally gotten around to getting a printed quote from my local games retailer for TWO pre-owned black PS2 consoles.  Now I can get the cheque drawn from school and with the pink PS2 I am also getting next week, finally have enough equipment ready to begin my Video Games Unit with year 9 next term!

I am planning a short, 5 week unit for my Gifted & Talented year 9 class based around video games.  This will be the first time I have taught Video Games in school, and if it is successful it will form the basis of a forum I am running with Darcy at the ETA annual conference.

What I currently have in mind is a series of lessons for the first 3 weeks where students hear a mini lecture and participate in class discussion before breaking out into structured ‘workstation’ activities.  I will probably only give these ‘mini lectures’ one in every two lessons – each time we focus on a new aspect of the unit.  Three weeks will give me 15 x 80 minute lessons, in which I would love to cover:

  • video games as a legitimate ‘text’
  • genre in video games
  • gender issues (gendered avatars, worlds, audiences, marketing etc.)
  • violence in games & classification systems
  • video games and the media
  • games and fan fiction

In the final 2 weeks of the unit I was thinking of getting the students to develop their own games-related research questions.  They would use the 2 weeks mixing independent work on their research question with the composition of a range of set pieces of writing based on the games they had played in class or at home.

So, any ideas for what I can teach?

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