VanTassel-Baska, J. & Little, C. A. (Eds.) (2003). Content-Based Curriculum for High-Ability Learners.VanTassel-Baska, J. & Little, C. A. (Eds.) (2003). Content-Based Curriculum for High-Ability Learners. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.
Content-Based Curriculum for High-Ability Learners is an extraordinary resource book for anyone working in gifted education Gifted education is a broad term for special practices, procedures and theories used in the education of children who have been identified as gifted or talented. Programs providing such education are sometimes called Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) or , including teachers and teacher educators. It is written in lively, clear, intelligent prose and grounded in decades of lived experience, in a way that facilitates teachers' understanding solid pedagogical ped·a·gog·ic also ped·a·gog·i·cal
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of pedagogy.
2. Characterized by pedantic formality: a haughty, pedagogic manner. theory and implementing it in their practice. Stocked with Adj. 1. stocked with - furnished with more than enough; "rivers well stocked with fish"; "a well-stocked store"
furnished, equipped - provided with whatever is necessary for a purpose (as furniture or equipment or authority); "a furnished apartment"; richly described examples, evidence-based suggestions, and insightful case studies, it is an invaluable resource for helping educators work creatively with diversely gifted learners. It is full of stories of children and teachers working together to make learning as productive and relevant as possible, in ways that meet and exceed national and state standards of practice.
For those who are seriously interested in supporting the development of early talent into authentic high-level achievement, this is the book you've been waiting for. It is comprehensive and demanding:
Thus we hope this text breaks new ground in demonstrating that it is possible to develop high-powered, rich, and complex curricula that treat content, process, and product considerations as equal partners in the task of educating gifted learners. Moreover, the model on which the text is based represents a further meta-level of development in that an overarching concept or theme binds the curricular study together within and across areas of learning so students can appreciate the world of ideas as a superordinate bridge to understanding their world. (p.2)
I refer frequently in my work in gifted education to the accomplishments of Joyce VanTassel-Baska and her colleagues at the Center for Gifted Education The Center for Gifted Education is a program at the College of William and Mary created in 1988, under the direction of Joyce VanTassel-Baska, with a specific mission statement and goals, based on an understanding of the needs of gifted and talented individuals across the lifespan. at the College of William and Mary Noun 1. William and Mary - joint monarchs of England; William III and Mary II . Perhaps their biggest contribution to the field has been their richly extensive development of the integrated Curriculum Model for Gifted Learners. For the past several years, they have been investigating ways to integrate differentiated learning experiences into the regular curriculum, such that gifted learners receive the accommodations that they require, while systematically mastering the regular curriculum in alignment with educational standards. They have developed flexible models of enrichment enrichment Food industry The addition of vitamins or minerals to a food–eg, wheat, which may have been lost during processing. See White flour; Cf Whole grains. and acceleration in all subject areas, and comprehensive field-tested curriculum resources across subject areas and grade levels. They bring their extensive expertise together beautifully in this book.
The various authors individually and collectively provide the necessary scaffolding for teachers to integrate gifted learning options in their classrooms across the curriculum and across grade levels. The first section of the book is a discussion of foundations of adapting curriculum, including acceleration, higher order process skills, creativity, and concept development. The second section provides examples of these approaches as incorporated into the core content areas, with a chapter each on language arts language arts
The subjects, including reading, spelling, and composition, aimed at developing reading and writing skills, usually taught in elementary and secondary school. , mathematics, science, and social studies. In the final (third) section, the authors address overarching o·ver·arch·ing
1. Forming an arch overhead or above: overarching branches.
2. Extending over or throughout: "I am not sure whether the missing ingredient . . . and administrative concerns, including selecting resources, decision-making, assessment, aligning curricula with standards of practice, and implementation specifics, at the level of the classroom, the school, and the system.
The authors respect their readers' commitment to excellence, but they also work to synthesize To create a whole or complete unit from parts or components. See synthesis. their understandings, and provide simple clear summaries of ideas and suggestions along the way. For example, in discussing the basics of differentiated curriculum: "The curricular level for gifted learners must be adapted to their needs for advancement, depth, and complexity" (p. 3). And in discussing ways of aligning gifted curricula with exemplary secondary programs: "It is important to note that, with gifted students, the processes through which they arrive at their products are just as important as the products themselves. Student initiation of topics for exploration, problem finding and problem solving problem solving
Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error. , and the teacher's role as a 'consultant' to the project are key factors to keep in mind" (p. 348). In particular, Joyce VanTassel-Baska's chapters are consistently strong, and each one merits a close and careful reading. Each has a sure, thoughtful, and respectful re·spect·ful
Showing or marked by proper respect.
re·spectful·ly adv. writing voice, with clear, focused, and elegant prose that gives such richness and depth.
Overall, I found this book to be well-organized, credible, informative, and highly useful in educational practice. It incorporates excellent references and helpful illustrations. I highly recommend it to educators interested in working intelligently with gifted learners, and plan to use it as the assigned text for the curriculum development courses I teach in the graduate program in gifted education at Hunter College Hunter College: see New York, City University of. .
Reviewed by Dona Matthews, Hunter College Center for Gifted Studies and Education, City University of New York The City University of New York (CUNY; acronym: IPA pronunciation: [kjuni]), is the public university system of New York City. .