This course is endorsed and approved by Laurie J. Croft, Ph.D., Administrator, Professional Development - The Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, 600 Blank Honors Center, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA  52242-0454 USA
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The following outlines the content, terms, and conditions of workshops designed to fully train teachers as gifted program facilitators/teachers at the elementary and secondary school level.

Course Description

Participants are immersed in the exciting field of gifted education during three weeks of intensive learning sessions. They learn tested and proven approaches to teaching/facilitating gifted and talented students in regular classrooms, withdrawal programs, and full-time congregated and enriched classes.

Lessons involve learning the basic key elements in establishing a successful gifted program, followed by practice and application of the learning in discussions, simulations, creative assignments and other practical activities.

The emphasis is on how to teach skills instead of knowledge and facts and how to motivate gifted students to become self-directed, independent learning experts and specialists.

Through the added knowledge, understanding, and skills, facilitators/teachers can better meet the objectives of any school board that strives to educate identified gifted students effectively according to their needs. As well, course participants become more skilled in teaching other children and adults as well.

Learning the many skills results in greater effectiveness in teaching gifted students, improved ability to counsel and work with gifted students, and improved ability to custom administrate different kinds of formal gifted programs.

The course is presented by a qualified gifted program facilitator/teacher, Otto Schmidt (B.A., M. Ed., Special Ed. Specialist) who has worked directly with gifted students for 30 years. During his career in one of the largest Canadian school boards, Otto pioneered proven methodologies for effectively teaching gifted elementary and secondary students. He has worked with over 1500 gifted students - as well as their families and teachers - to maximize their gifts and enrich their lives.

Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify, discuss and reduce concerns about engaging with exceptionally bright students.
  • Understand and differentiate curriculum for different kinds and levels of giftedness.
  • Appreciate the importance of nurturing giftedness
  • Learn how to avoid and/or deal with the problems that result when the needs of gifted students are not met.
  • Learn about unique problems that gifted students encounter in their lives.
  • Understand and dispel some of the myths associated with giftedness.
  • Learn about identification/selection/programming processes: Identification, Placement and Review Committees, Individual Education Plans.
  • Learn techniques and methods that can be used in regular classrooms to modify and differentiate curriculum in order to meet the needs of gifted students: course compacting, accelerated learning, course enrichment, differentiating learning, engaging students in powerful independent studies.
  • Learn ways of working with gifted students that help them to become more independent, self-directed experts and specialists and producers of new learning.
  • Provide for the needs of gifted students with disabilities.
  • Learn ways to enrich regular classroom curriculum to meet the needs of gifted students.
  • Learn how to teach specific skills that gifted students need in the areas of: self-awareness, researching, creativity, spirituality, higher-level thinking, communication, leadership.

Curriculum Design

The emphasis is on empowering course participants so they can develop, control and positively influence learning in the following key elements in gifted education:

Content – how to find and provide the best and most challenging information and learning opportunities for gifted students.

Process – how to teach essential personal, thinking and creativity skills directly to students holistically. This is instead of providing knowledge and facts.

Products – how to motivate students to produce new, exciting, practical, creative, useful and meaningful products during their learning.

The following methodologies are used during the course: lectures, small/large group discussions, simulations, role-playing, research assignments, problem-solving situations, games, applied practical assignments and related research papers.

Course Materials

The required resource book, which is provided, is Accent on Essential Life Skills, Otto Schmidt, 2004. Other supplemental readings will be provided throughout the course. The website: www.DiscoverTeenergy.com also serves as a source of information.

Course Outline 
Length of Course: 120 hours

The course is taught on weekdays. Special arrangements may be made to engage on weekends.

Mornings, Afternoons

Day 1
Session 1

Day 1
Session 2

Introduction & Discussion - course content, giftedness in general, personal experiences

What is giftedness? –variety of definitions

History of Giftedness –from mid 70’s, reading

Kinds/Levels of Giftedness –underachieving to "severely" gifted, simulations & role-playing

Questions & Answers

The Need to Nurture Giftedness – excellence and equity, debate the issue

Giftedness Causes Problems - in schools & in society – simulations and role-playing

Myths Associated with Giftedness – stereotyping in the classroom and in society, role-playing, skits, problem-solving situations

Identification Processes: IPRC’s, IEP’s – examine the government legislation and related documents

Questions & Answers

Assignment/Practicum

 

Day 2
Session 1

Day 2
Session 2

Models of Gifted Programs – withdrawal, congregated, enriched regular classes

Modifying/Differentiating Courses for Gifted Students: compacting, accelerating, enriching, differentiating & others

Providing for the needs of gifted students with disabilities (overview only) – teaching skills instead of knowledge/facts

Independent, Self-Directed Learning – achieving the goal of being producers not consumers of learning

The Specialist and the Expert - the ultimate goals of all learning

Questions & Answers

Assignment/Practicum

 

 

Day 3
Session 1

Day 3
Session 2

 

Whole-School Enrichment – Content, Process, Products (meeting the needs of gifted students in their regular classrooms)

Will involve extensive internet searches and familiarization with several gifted related sites

Whole-School Enrichment – continued

Assignment/Practicum

 

 

Day 4
Session 1

Day 4
Session 2

Providing for the needs of gifted students with disabilities – teaching skills instead of knowledge/facts

Independent Studies –making them life-long interests or even careers, - use of simulations, role-playing

Independent Studies(continued)

Assignment/Practicum

 

 

Day 5
Session 1

Day 5 
Session 2

Skill Area 1:
Self Awareness

Learn the skills and how to teach them directly to students(skills are in "Accent on Essential Life Skills")

- Reading Body Language

- Identify Learning Styles

- Balance Right-Left Brain Activity

- Improving Perception

- Identifying Personality Types

& Self Awareness (continued)

- Positive Self-Affirmations

- Formal Relaxation Techniques

- Self Control

- Time Management

- "Who Am I" Videotape

Assignment/Practicum

 

 

Day 6
Session 1

Day 6
Session 2

Skill Area 2:
Researching

Learn the skills and how to teach them directly to students(skills are in "Accent on Essential Life Skills")

- Investigating Backwards

- Handling Differing Points of View

& Researching (continued)

- Internet Searching

- Summarizing & Note-taking

Assignment/Practicum

 

 

Day 7
Session 1

Day 7
Session 2

Skill Area 3:
Creativity

Learn the skills and how to teach them directly to students(skills are in "Accent on Essential Life Skills")

- Brainstorming

- Forced Associations

- Free-Flow Writing

& Creativity (continued)

- Guided Fantasies

- Creating & Designing Games

- Inventing

- SCAMPER Model for Creative Thinking

Assignment/Practicum

 

 

Day 8 
Session 1

Day 8 
Session 2

Skill Area 4:
Spirituality

Learn the skills and how to teach them directly to students(skills are in "Accent on Essential Life Skills")

- Being a Part of the Universal Energy

- Developing One’s Ethics & Morality

- Meditation

& Spirituality (continued)

- Developing a Personal Philosophy

- Spiritually Guided Walks

- What is Success in Life?

Assignment/Practicum

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Day 9
Session 1

Day 9 
Session 2

Skill Area 5:
Higher-Level Thinking

Learn the skills and how to teach them directly to students(skills are in "Accent on Essential Life Skills")

- Analyzing

- Bloom’s Taxonomy

- Convergent-Divergent Thinking

& Higher-Level Thinking (continued)

- Critical Thinking

- Inductive-Deductive Thinking

- Problem-Solving Models

Assignment/Practicum

 

 

Day 10
Session 1

Day 10
Session 2

Skill Area 6: Communication

Learn the skills and how to teach them directly to students(skills are in "Accent on Essential Life Skills")

- Advertising

- Debate & Logical Argument

- Essay Writing

Communication (continued)

- Interviewing Skills

- Public Speaking

- Sentence Variety in Writing

- Speed Reading/Writing

Assignment/Practicum

 

 

Day 11
Session 1

Day 11
Session 2

Skill Area 7:
Leadership

Learn the skills and how to teach them directly to students(skills are in "Accent on Essential Life Skills")

- Elements of Activism

- Complaining Effectively

- Models for Decision-Making

Leadership (continued)

- Emotional Maturity

- Handling Criticism

- Elements of Leadership

Assignment/Practicum

 

 

Day 12 
Session 1

Day 12
Session 2

Completion of Skills Training (if necessary)

Administration of Gifted Programs

– group/individual meetings/appointments with students, developing useful administrative forms, establishing good public relations, communications with students, dealing with parents, regular classroom teachers, community, - simulations and role-playing

& Administration of Gifted Programs (continued)

Assignment/Practicum

General Review of Course Content/Skills

 

Day 13
Session 1

Day 13
Session 2

Assignment/ Practicum Culmination

- review skills, design forms

& Team Presentations Preparation Time

 

 

Day 14
Session 1

Day 14
Session 2

Assignment/ Practicum Team Presentations

- generating ideas and designing of support for students, developing self-esteem, risk-taking, practice teaching skills

Problem-Solving Teams and Presentations

To develop experience and responses to real-life situations/problems that arise when working with gifted students. – role-playing, simulations, discussions, debates, problem-solving situations

& Assignments/ Practicum Team Presentations Begin

 

 

Day 15
Session 1

Day 15
Session 2

Assignments/ Practicum Team Presentations

(end)

& Review, discuss issues still of concern, problem-solve,

last minute fine-tuning

Graduation

Course Evaluation



PRACTICUM: 30 hours (included in the 120 course hours) will be devoted to the practical application of learned concepts in: development of teaching/learning materials, networking in the school and community, designing/gathering curriculum enrichment possibilities, research on the internet and in other media, reflective writing/journals, practice teaching of the skills learned. 


Participant Requirements

 

  1. Attend all sessions of the course (15 days, 120 hrs.) and actively participate in all class activities.
  2. Complete all assignments on time.
  3. Keep a journal and/or notes that summarize the major ideas and their application in schools and/or classrooms. (These will not be evaluated.)

Evaluation

Evaluation will be based on participation, contributions to discussions, personal expressions of satisfaction and interest. At the end of the course, participants will be expected to review the course content and other learning that took place in the workshops and submit a personal, written evaluation of the course outlining strengths, weaknesses, concerns, insights, and/or difficulties. These will be collected and a response will be provided to each participant.

Registration

  • There are no pre-requisites for this course
     
  • This course may be contracted for 15 days and also additional days for optional further practice and skill development. Sessions will be Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm, on consecutive days unless otherwise arranged. There will be a 1-hour lunch period. OPTIONAL -as an alternative, Weekend classes may be held Sat. 9:00 am-4:00 pm

  • Catering: (optional) - can be provided by Accent on Skills Consulting at cost + 10% or participants will be responsible for their own meals.
     
  • Course location(s) within the school board district will be determined by the school board.
     
  • The school board will be responsible for selection of participants and submit a list of registered participants and their full contact information on or before the date of the first session.
     
  • No substitution of participants will be allowed once the course has begun. All registered participants are expected to be present at and complete all sessions of the course and extra days if contracted.
     
  • The school board will provide the following facilities: room, PC for each participant, white or chalk board, access to a photocopier, overhead projector, computer projector and screen.
     
  • Fee structure for participation is available upon request.
     
  • Confirmation: Course location, dates and times will be provided to the facilitator and participants 2 weeks prior to the start of the course.
     
  • Returned NSF cheques fee: $25.00 for each
     
  • Participant Cancellation: Must be received two weeks prior to course start date to avoid a $50 cancellation fee (not to be confused with the deposit) OR a substitute participant is allowed.
     
  • Participants will receive a certificate at the conclusion of the course.
     
  • Included in the fees: all participants may contact Accent on Skills Consulting (emails, telephone) for advice/assistance to an agreed upon date after completion of the course.
Special note to participants: 
Dress comfortably and casually. 
Personal recorders/video cameras are not permitted. 
Please be on time – we start on time!

(Participant registration forms will be provided upon signing of a formal contract for services.)

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