– Permission is hereby granted by the author to all schools and other interested persons to reproduce and distribute this article. Electronic reproduction is not permitted. Additional information related to this topic can be found at our web site. www.gifted.uconn.edu
Joseph S. Renzulli, Director
The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented
University of Connecticut
Einstein’s Definition of in-san’-i-ty . . .
Endlessly repeating the same process,
and hoping for different results.
Education’s Dirty Little Secret
If there is any single, unifying characteristic of today’s schools, that characteristic is surely a resistance, if not an immunity, to change. The ponderous rhetoric about school improvement and the endless lists of mission statements, noble goals, and the new kid on the block, standards, needs to be tempered with a little common sense about the purpose of schooling and the essential ingredients needed to make learning enjoyable and satisfying as well as efficient. We also need to have practice precede policy so that we eventually adopt what works rather than what politicians and others far removed from classrooms try to ram down the throats of the persons who deliver the services. Finally, we need to adopt gentle and evolutionary approaches to change that school personnel can live with and grow with, rather than be threatened by. Albert Einstein once said that problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them. We must consider these words of wisdom very thoughtfully if there is any hope whatsoever of turning around a public education system that is slowly but surely deteriorating into a massive warehouse of regimentation, boredom, underachievement, unfulfilled expectations, and broken dreams.
The factory model of schooling that gave rise to the clear and present danger now facing our schools cannot be used to overcome the very problems it has created. And yet, as we examine reform initiatives, it is difficult to find creative and innovative plans that are qualitatively different from the old top-down patterns of policy making that were based almost exclusively on rigidly prescribed curriculum, endless lists of state regulations, and state wide testing programs. We delude ourselves into thinking that the “new standards movement” is different from the behavioral objectives movement of the1960s or the mastery learning and minimum competency movements of the1970s and 1980s. And most of today’s so called “performance tests” differ very little from what we have previously called standardized achievement tests, norm referenced tests, criterion referenced tests, and competency based tests. Nor have we made significant progress beyond the traditionally rigid didactic models of learning that have dominated our schools.
We must also face up to a reality that almost everyone understands, but no one is willing to talk about because it has become education’s “dirty little secret.” The combined influence of standards driven curriculum and high stakes testing has turned our classrooms into what one teacher called the “ram-remember-regurgitate” model of learning. I have not talked with a single teacher who has not expressed concern about the deleterious effect that pressures to “get the scores up” have had on what they consider to be good teaching. Without any research whatsoever to support this massive investment in a standards/test driven curriculum, desperate policy makers, always in search for a silver bullet, have been lulled into believing that such an approach will allow them to tell the public that our schools are improving. The appearance of school improvement that may result from hosing students down with the facts and figures that prepare them for state tests may show small and temporary gains in scores, but such improvements are a far cry from the kinds of higher level thinking skills and problem solving capacities that will prepare our young people for productive lives in an ever demanding world of higher education and job performance. In fact, focus on low level skills, which researchers have documented to be what is measured by most standardized tests (Madaus, 1992), have actually squeezed higher level thinking and problem solving activities out of the curriculum. Also excluded have been opportunities for artistic endeavors, creative productivity, in-depth learning experiences, and a host of other things that make learning an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Little wonder that vast numbers of students are bored, countless number of teachers are discouraged, and growing numbers of administrators at the local level are frustrated.
Transcending Previous Levels of Consciousness
Those that are not smart enough to learn from history are doomed to repeat their mistakes over and over and over. Since the onset of the compensatory education movement in the early 1960s, billions of federal, state, and local dollars have been spent on deficit-based, compensatory learning models. Not only have these models failed to produce significant improvements in achievement, they actually have been counter-productive! In an effort to capitalize on the deficit-driven models of school reform, textbook publishers have engaged in a market place practice so extensive and pervasive that it has earned its own name—the dumbing down of curriculum. The research clearly and unequivocally shows that the later the copyright dates of our textbooks for the same grade, the easier they are, as measured by indices of readability level, maturity level, difficulty of questions, and the extent of illustrations. [Note: For an extensive review of the research on the dumbing down of curriculum, see Reis, Burns, & Renzulli, 1992.] Is it any wonder that our nationwide decline in achievement, including scores on the SAT, has paralleled the growth of compensatory learning models and the influence these models have had on instructional methods and materials.
Transcending previous levels of consciousness will not be an easy task because moving away from a deficit oriented model is counterintuitive (i.e., it goes against common sense). If students are not learning basic material, doesn’t it make sense to give them more drill and practice? And if more drill doesn’t work, let’s just give them ever increasing doses! It seems so logical and reasonable, but it simply has not worked. And unfortunately, the major effect of such approaches has been to turn schools into dreary and punitive places rather than places where personal and creative growth and the joy of learning become not only valued, but the necessary precursors to academic attainment.
Deficit-oriented models also lead to increased top-down punitive practices which, once again, have proven to produce results that are the opposite from what was intended. Witness the current trend toward grade level retention for underachieving students and denying graduation to high school students who fail to pass state tests. Both practices have no basis in research, and only serve to increase the number of unengaged and disaffected students, many of whom become the potential dropouts and push-outs of a system that is now failing them for a second time. Retention and the denial of graduation may provide good public relations material for the “get tough” rhetoric of politicians and other policy makers, but such practices do not address the problem of students who are not learning and students who are not being challenged to the highest levels of which they are capable. I receive endless letters, phone calls, and e-mail messages from frustrated educators and parents asking, “How can we motivate our students?” Rather than examining ways to make schools more inviting, friendly, and enjoyable places, we seem predisposed to looking for ways of blaming and punishing the victim! If we are to transcend the deficit/punitive level of consciousness that has characterized so much of our efforts to improve schools, we need to look at models of learning that pay more attention to the full development of the learner rather than merely how much we can stuff in their memory banks for the next round of standardized testing.
In the sections that follow, I will describe what has variously been referred to as high-end learning or enrichment learning and teaching. I am not advocating that this type of learning should be the only learning model that guides a school’s curriculum. I will argue, however, that meaningfulness, relevance, and enjoyment as well as advanced levels of knowledge, higher levels of thinking, and greater amounts of creative productivity are major outcomes of this approach to learning. For these reasons, at least a part every school day and week should be devoted to learning activities that are guided by the relatively easy procedures that can be used to implement this model.
Two Model Learning Theory
More books, articles, and papers have been written about the process of learning than perhaps any other topic in education and psychology. And when we add the vast amount of material that has been written about models of teaching and theories of instruction, the sheer volume of literature is nothing short of mind boggling! It is not my intention to review this multitudinous literature as background for the discussion on high-end learning that follows, nor will I argue about the number of unique theories that actually exist, or the advantages and disadvantages of various paradigms for guiding the learning process. I will argue, however, that in spite of all that has been written, every theory of teaching and learning can be classified into one of two general models. There are, obviously, occasions when a particular approach transcends both models; however, for purposes of clarifying the main features of high-end learning, we will treat the two main models as polar opposites. Both models of learning and teaching are valuable in the overall process of schooling, and a well-balanced school program must make use of both of these general approaches to learning and teaching.
Although many names have been used to describe the two models that will be discussed, I will simply refer to them as the Deductive Model and the Inductive Model. The Deductive Model is the one with which most educators are familiar and the one that has guided the overwhelming majority of what takes place in classrooms and other places where formal learning is pursued. The Inductive Model, on the other hand, represents the kinds of learning that take place outside of formal school situations. A good way to understand the difference between these two types of learning is to compare how learning takes place in a typical classroom with how someone might learn new material or skills in real world situations. Classrooms are characterized by relatively fixed time schedules, segmented subjects or topics, predetermined sets of information and activity, tests and grades to determine progress, and a pattern of organization that is largely driven by the need to acquire and assimilate information and skills imposed from above and from outside the classroom. The major assumption in the deductive model is that current learning will have transfer value for some future problem, course, occupational pursuit, or life activity.
Contrast this type of learning with the more natural chain of events that take place in inductive situations such as a research laboratory, business office, or film studio. The goal in these situations is to produce a product or service. All resources, information, schedules, and sequences of events are directed toward this goal, and evaluation (rather than grading) is a function of the quality of the product or service as viewed through the eyes of a client or consumer. Everything that results in learning in a research laboratory, for example, is for present use, and, therefore, looking up new information, conducting an experiment, analyzing results, or preparing a report is focused primarily on the present rather than the future. Even the amount of time devoted to a particular project cannot be determined in advance because the nature of the problem and the unknown obstacles that might be encountered prevent us from prescribing rigid schedules.
The deductive model has dominated the ways in which most formal education is pursued, and the “track record” of the model has been less than impressive. One need only reflect for a moment on his or her own school experience to realize that with the exception of basic language and arithmetic, much of the compartmentalized material learned for some remote and ambiguous future situation is seldom used in the conduct of daily activities. The names of famous generals, the geometric formulas, the periodic table and the parts of a plant are quickly forgotten; and even if remembered, they do not have direct applicability to the problems that most people encounter in their daily lives. This is not to say that previously learned information is unimportant, but its relevancy, meaningfulness and endurance for future use is minimized when it is almost always learned apart from real life situations.
Deductive learning is based mainly on the factory model or human engineering conception of schooling. The underlying psychological theory is behaviorism, and the central concept of this ideology is that schools should prepare young people for smooth adjustment into the culture and work force of the society at large. A curriculum based on deductive learning must be examined in terms of both what is taught, and how it is taught. The issue of what is (or should be) taught has always been the subject of controversy ranging from a conservative position that emphasizes a classical or basic education curriculum to a more liberal perspective that includes contemporary knowledge and life adjustment experiences (e.g., driver education, sex education, computer literacy). By and large, American schools have been very effective in adapting what is taught to changes taking place in our society. Recent concerns about the kinds of skills that will be required in a rapidly changing job market have accelerated curricular changes that will prepare students for careers in technological fields and what has been described as a post-industrial society. Nowhere is this change more evident than in the emphasis that is being placed currently on thinking skills, interdisciplinary approaches to curriculum, and the use of technology in the learning process. These changes are viewed as favorable developments so far as high end learning is concerned; however, the deductive model still places limitations on learning because of restrictions on how material is taught.
Although most schools have introduced teaching techniques that go beyond traditional drill and recitation, the predominant instructional model continues to be a prescribed and presented approach to learning. The teacher, textbook, or curriculum guide prescribes what is to be taught, and the material is presented to students in a predetermined manner. Educators have become more clever and imaginative in the teaching models employed, and it is not uncommon to see teachers using approaches such as discovery learning, simulations, cooperative learning, inquiry training, problem-centered learning, concept learning, and a host of variations on these basic models. More recent approaches include simulated problem solving through the use of interactive video discs and computer programs. Some of these approaches certainly make learning more active and enjoyable than traditional, content-based deductive learning, but the “bottom line” is that there are certain predetermined bodies of information and thinking processes that students are expected to acquire. The instructional effects of the deductive model are those directly achieved by leading the learner in prescribed directions. As indicated above, there is nothing inherently “wrong” with the deductive model; however, it is based on a limited conception of the role of the learner, it fails to consider variations in interests and learning styles, and it always places students in roles of lesson learners and exercise doers rather that authentic, first-hand inquirers.
Inductive learning, on the other hand, focuses on the present use of content and processes as a way of integrating material and thinking skills into the more enduring structure of the learner’s repertoire. And it is these more enduring structures that have the greatest amount of transfer value for future use. When content and processes are learned in authentic, contextual situations, they result in more meaningful uses of information and problem solving strategies than the learning that takes place in artificial, preparation-for-the-future situations. If persons involved in inductive learning experiences are given some choice in the domains and activities in which they are engaged, and if present experience is directed toward realistic and personalized goals, this type of learning creates its own relevancy and meaningfulness.
If we agree that people do, in fact, learn when they are outside of schools and classrooms, in the “real world” as it is sometimes called, then we need to examine the dimensions of this type of learning and the ways that real world learning can be brought into the school. But we must also be extremely cautious whenever we think about “bringing” anything into the school. Our track record in this regard has been one of structuring and institutionalizing even the most innovative approaches to learning. We recall how the much heralded concept of Discovery Learning ended up being what a colleague called “sneaky telling”; and how a focus on thinking skills and creative thinking fell prey to the same types of formulas and prescribed activities that characterized the content-based curriculum which has been criticized so strongly by thinking skills advocates. Even our present fascination with computers and video discs is, in some cases, turning out to be little more than “electronic worksheets.”
High-end learning is essentially an inductive approach to learning; however, it draws upon selected practices of deductive learning. My argument is not an indictment of deductive learning, but, rather, a need to achieve balance between the two major approaches. Introducing inductive learning into the school is important for several reasons. First, schools should be enjoyable places that students want to attend rather than places they endure as part of their journey toward assimilation into the job market and the adult world. Second, schools should be places where students participate in and prepare for intelligent, creative, and effective living. This type of living includes learning how to analyze, criticize, and select from among alternative sources of information and courses of action; how to think effectively about unpredictable personal and interpersonal problems; how to live harmoniously with one another while remaining true to one’s own emerging system of attitudes, beliefs, and values; and how to confront, clarify, and act upon problems and situations in constructive and creative ways. Finally, inductive learning is important because our society and democratic way of life are dependent upon an unlimited reservoir of creative and effective people. A small number of rare individuals have always emerged as the thinkers and problem solvers of our society. But we cannot afford to leave the emergence of leaders to chance, nor can we waste the undeveloped talents of so many of our young citizens who are the victims of poverty and the negative consequences that accompany being poor in America. All students must have the opportunity to develop their potentials and to lead constructive lives without trampling on or minimizing the value of others in the process.
Perhaps the best way to summarize the difference between deductive and inductive learning is to examine each model in terms of the three components that portray the act of learning. If we place each of these components on a continuum ranging from highly structured learning on the left side to unstructured learning on the right side, what emerges is a contrast such as the type portrayed in Figure 1. There is, obviously, a middle ground for each continuum, and each point on the continua has implications for the ways in which we organize learning situations. I do not believe that all learning should favor the right side of each continuum presented in Figure 1. Some learning situations are undoubtedly more efficient when carried out in structured settings, and even drill and worksheets have value in accomplishing certain goals of learning. But because I believe that schools are first and foremost places for talent development, there are times within the overall process of schooling when we can and should make a conscious commitment to apply high-end learning methods to selected aspects of schooling.
Figure 1. The dimentions of two model learnig theory. (Click on the figure to see it as a PDF file. )
High-end learning Defined
High-end learning is based on the ideas of a small number of philosophers, theorists, and researchers. Although it is beyond the scope of this article to review the work of these eminent thinkers, their names and the main concepts or ideas that each person has contributed to this approach to learning can be found elsewhere (Renzulli, 1994, p. 203).
The work of these theorists, coupled with our own research and program development activities, has given rise to the concept that we call “high-end learning.” The best way to define this concept is in terms of the following four principles:
- Each learner is unique, and, therefore, all learning experiences must be examined in ways that take into account the abilities, interests, and learning styles of the individual.
- Learning is more effective when students enjoy what they are doing, and, therefore, learning experiences should be constructed and assessed with as much concern for enjoyment as for other goals.
- Learning is more meaningful and enjoyable when content (i.e., knowledge) and process (i.e., thinking skills, methods of inquiry) are learned within the context of a real and present problem, and, therefore, attention should be given to opportunities to personalize student choice in problem selection, the relevance of the problem for individuals and for students who share a common interest in the problem, and strategies for assisting students in personalizing problems they might choose to study.
- Some formal instruction may be used in high-end learning, but a major goal of this approach to learning is to enhance knowledge and thinking skill acquisition gained through teacher instruction with applications of knowledge and skills that result from students’ construction of meaningfulness.
The ultimate goal of learning that is guided by these principles is to replace dependence and passive learning with independence and engaged learning. Although all but the most conservative educators will agree with these principles, much controversy exists about how these (or similar) principles may be applied in everyday school situations. A danger also exists that these principles might be viewed as yet another idealized list of glittering generalities that cannot easily be manifested in schools that are overwhelmed by the deductive model of learning. Developing a school program based on these principles is not an easy task. Over the years, however, we have achieved a fair amount of success by gaining faculty, administrative, and parental consensus on a small number of easy-to-understand concepts and related services, and by providing resources and training related to three service delivery procedures. The first two service delivery components (i.e., The Total Talent Portfolio and Curricular Modification) have been discussed in detail elsewhere (Purcell & Renzulli, 1998; Burns, Reis, & Renzulli, 1992). This article will round out the overall service delivery plan by describing a model that serves as the core of high-end learning. This model, entitled the Enrichment Triad Model (Renzulli, 1977), was originally developed in the early 1970s as an alternative to didactic models for talent development. In the ensuing years, numerous research studies (Reis & Renzulli, 1994) and field tests in schools with widely varying demographics have been carried out. These studies and field tests provided opportunities for the development of large amounts of practical know-how that are readily available for schools that would like to implement a high-end learning model.
How Can Teachers Learn How to Provide High-End Learning Experiences?
This frequently-asked question probably results from the ways in which we have overly prescribed and organized the work of teachers. Teaching in “a natural way” actually requires very little training! It does, however, require that teachers understand the importance of serving as a facilitator rather than an instructor. This method of teaching has been described in detail in the chapter dealing with Type III Enrichment in the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (Renzulli & Reis, 1997, Chpts. 9 and 10). This method also requires that teachers know what to do in a situation that purposefully avoids lesson plans, unit plans, and other types of prescribed instructional approaches. A related article (Renzulli, 1998) provides detailed directions for applying high-end learning practices to a particular organizational structure called enrichment clusters.
The most difficult part of facilitating high-end learning is getting teachers to stop teaching, and to replace traditional instruction with the kinds of “guide-on-the-side” responsibilities that are used by mentors and coaches. Persons who fulfill these roles instruct only when there is a direct need to accomplish a task that is part of developing a product or service. Many teachers who have served as yearbook advisors, drama club directors, 4-H Club advisors, athletic coaches, and facilitators of other extracurricular activities already have the techniques necessary for high-end learning. The basic characteristics of extracurricular activities are: (1) students and teachers select the area in which they participate, (2) they produce a product or service that is intended to have an impact on a particular audience, (3) they use the authentic methods of professionals to produce their product or service. They may operate at a more junior level than adult professionals, but their goal is exactly the same–to produce as high a quality of product or service as possible within their level of experience and the availability of resources. The teacher’s role is to assist in problem finding and focusing, the procurement of content and methodological resources, and to help students understand how to use the resources. The only time that direct instruction should take place is when the instruction is necessary to help produce and improve the product or service. Thus, for example, students doing a community survey in a social science cluster might receive direct instruction on procedures for developing an authentic questionnaire, rating scale, or survey instrument. A book such as A Student’s Guide to Conducting Social Science Research can be used for a series of Type II training activities (described in the Resource Guide at the end of this article) that are necessary to provide students with the know-how of preparing authentic instruments.
The Enrichment Triad Model
In order for high-end learning to be systematically applied to the learning process in the regular classroom, it must be organized in a way that makes sense to teachers and students. An organizational pattern called the Enrichment Triad Model (Renzulli, 1977) is used for this purpose. The three types of enrichment in the model are depicted in Figure 2. Type I enrichment consists of general exploratory experiences that are designed to expose students to topics and areas of study not ordinarily covered in the regular curriculum. Type II enrichment consists of group training in thinking and feeling processes, learning-how-to-learn skills, research and reference skills, and written, oral, and visual communication skills. Type III enrichment consists of first-hand investigations of real problems. Before discussing the role and function of each type of enrichment, it is necessary to discuss three considerations that relate to the model in general.
Figure 2. The enrichment triad model. (Click on the figure to see it as a PDF file. )
Learning in a Natural Way
The Enrichment Triad Model is based on the ways in which people learn in a natural environment rather than the artificially structured environment that characterizes most classrooms. Just as scientists “look to nature” when they attempt to solve particular types of problems, the process of learning is examined as it unfolds in the non-school world. This process is elegant in its simplicity! External stimulation, internal curiosity, necessity, or combinations of these three starting points cause people to develop an interest in a topic, problem, or area of study. Humans are, by nature, curious, problem solving beings; but in order for them to act upon a problem or interest with some degree of commitment and enthusiasm, the interest must be a sincere one and one in which they see a personal reason for taking action. Once the problem or interest is personalized, a need is created to gather information, resources, and strategies for acting upon the problem.
Problem solving in nature almost always results in a product or service that has a functional, artistic, or humanitarian value. The learning that takes place in real-problem situations is collateral learning that results from attacking the problem in order to produce a product or service. Consider a group of pioneers (or engineers, or Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts) who want to build a bridge across a creek or river. They do not stand at the river bank and say, “Let’s learn about geometry.” Rather, they examine the scope of the problem, what they already know, and what they need to know and do to build the bridge. In the process, they may learn about geometry, strength of materials, planning and sequencing, cooperativeness, structural design, spatial relationships, aesthetics, mechanics, and a host of other things necessary to get the job done. It was precisely this kind of natural problem solving situation that gave rise to the Enrichment Triad Model. The only difference between the natural learning that takes place in real life situations and the use of the Triad Model within the more structured world of the school is that we view products as vehicles through which a wide variety of more enduring and transferable processes can be developed. The products are essential because they give realness, purpose, and hopefully, satisfaction and enjoyment to the present endeavor. The processes developed within the context of real-problem learning are also essential because schools must be concerned with preparation for the future and with the continuity of development in young people over long periods of time. Learning that focuses on the interaction between product and process results in the kinds of learning experiences that enhance both the present and the future.
More Than a Sum of the Parts
A second general consideration about the Enrichment Triad Model is that the interaction between and among the three types of enrichment is as important as any type of enrichment or the collective sum of all three types. In other words, the arrows in Figure 2 are as important as the individual cells, because they give the model dynamic properties that cannot be achieved if the three types of enrichment are pursued independently. A Type I experience, for example, may have value in and of itself, but it achieves maximum payoff if leads to Type II or III experiences. In this regard, it is a good idea to view Types I and II enrichment as “identification situations” that may lead to Type III experiences, which are the most advanced type of enrichment in the model. As Figure 2 indicates, the regular curriculum and the environment in general (i.e., non-school experiences) can also serve as pathways of entry into Type III activities. An identification situation is simply an experience that allows students and teachers an opportunity (1) to participate in an activity, (2) to analyze their interest in and reaction to the topic covered in the activity and the processes through which the activity was pursued, and (3) to make a purposeful decision about their interest in the topic and the diverse ways further involvement may be carried out. Type I and Type II are general forms of enrichment that are usually pursued with larger groups of students, and they are oftentimes a prescribed part of enrichment offerings. Methods of presentation span the continuum from deductive to inductive methods of learning. Type III Enrichment, on the other hand, is pursued only on a voluntary and self-selected basis, and the methodology is mainly inductive.
The interactiveness of the three types of enrichment also includes what are sometimes called the “backward arrows” in Figure 2 (e.g., the arrows leading back from Type III to Type I, etc.). In many cases, the advanced work of students (i.e., Type III) can be used as Type I and II experiences for other students. Thus, for example, a group of students who carried out a comprehensive study on lunchroom waste presented their work to other groups for both awareness and instructional purposes, and for purposes of stimulating potential new interests on the parts of other students. In this regard, the model is designed to renew itself and to bring students “inside” the pedagogy of the school enterprise rather than viewing learning from a spectator’s perspective. We hear a good deal these days about schools becoming a “community of learners,” and this model strives to create a role for students that makes them authentic members of a community of both learners and teachers.
A third consideration about the Enrichment Triad Model in general is that it is designed to help students gain personal knowledge about their own abilities, interests, and learning styles. If, as Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” then we should also consider a corollary to this axiom about life in school: “The unexamined lesson is not worth learning!” While it would be desirable to apply this corollary to all school experiences, the types of enrichment advocated in the Triad Model are excellent vehicles for examining preferences, tastes, and inclinations that will help students gain a greater understanding of themselves.
This corollary is operationalized in the model by recommending debriefings and post-learning analyses (sometimes called meta-learning) about both what has been learned, and how a particular segment of learning has been pursued. A scenario related to helping students understand learning and teaching style preferences, for example, might begin with the following teacher comment at the beginning of an instructional unit: “We are going to study the economic law of supply and demand by engaging in a simulation in which each of you will have control over the buying and selling of major food product groups.” The teacher should explain what a simulation is, why it has been selected for use in connection with this topic, and how it compares with other instructional styles through which the topic might be taught. These advanced organizers call attention to the pedagogy of the learning situation as well as to the content and processes to be learned.
Following exposure to a particular instructional style, a careful post-learning analysis should be conducted that focuses on the unique properties of the purposefully selected instructional technique. Students should be encouraged to discuss and record in personal journals their reactions to the instructional technique in terms of both efficiency in learning and the amount of pleasure they derive from the technique. The goal of the post-learning analysis is to help students understand more about themselves by understanding more about their preferences in a particular situation. Thus, the collective experiences in learning styles should provide: (1) exposure to many styles, (2) an understanding of which styles are the most personally applicable to particular subjects, and (3) and experience in how to blend styles in order to maximize both the effectiveness and satisfaction of learning. The ultimate goal of teaching students about learning styles should be to develop in each student both a repertoire of styles and the strategies that are necessary to modify styles to better fit tasks they will encounter in future learning or career tasks. In much the same way that a golf player examines distance, wind conditions, and obstacles before selecting the appropriate golf club, so also should we teach students to examine learning situations with an eye toward selecting and applying the most appropriate styles.
In a certain sense, the type of training and analysis of styles suggested here might be viewed as a specific form of flexibility training typically associated with the pedagogy used in creative thinking. Although there are undoubtedly a variety of ways in which such training might be organized, the approach recommended in the Enrichment Triad Model focuses on a retrospective analysis of both what was learned (i.e., content) and how it was learned (i.e., process). Continued examination of these two aspects of learning helps students develop more concentrated future interests, and it also helps them gain an appreciation for their own learning style preferences on the scale of structured to unstructured learning.
In the sections that follow, each component of the Triad Model will be presented. As you review these sections, it will be helpful to keep in mind the interactions between and among the three types of enrichment, and the ways in which this interaction can be heightened through debriefing and post-learning analysis. It will also be helpful to keep in mind that the Triad Model is part of the service delivery component that is targeted on three school structures: the regular curriculum, the enrichment clusters, and the continuum of special services. In many ways, high-end learning can be thought of a transparent overlay which can be applied to these three school structures.
Type I Enrichment: General Exploratory Experiences
One of the enduring problems of teaching is how to motivate students to such an extent that they will act on their interests in a creative and productive way. The major purpose of Type I Enrichment is to include within the overall school program carefully selected experiences that are purposefully developed to be highly motivational. This type of enrichment consists of experiences and activities designed to expose students to a wide variety of disciplines, topics, ideas, concepts, issues, and events that are not ordinarily covered in the general curriculum. A number of typical Type I methods of delivery are listed in the side bar of this page. Type I can be based on regular curricular topics or innovative outgrowths of prescribed topics, but in order to qualify as a bona fide Type I Experience, any and all planned activities in this category must be purposefully designed to stimulate new or present interests that may lead to more intensive follow-up on the parts of individual students or small groups of students. An activity can be called a Type I Experience only if it meets the following three conditions: (1) students are aware that the activity is an invitation to various kinds and levels of follow-up, (2) there is a systematic debriefing of the experience in order to learn who might want to explore further involvement, and the ways the follow-up might be pursued, and (3) there are various opportunities, resources, and encouragement for diverse kinds of follow-up. An experience is clearly not a Type I if every student is required to follow-up an activity in the same or similar way. Required follow-up is a regular curricular practice; and although prescribed follow-up certainly has a genuine role in general education, it almost always fails to capitalize on differences in students’ interest and learning styles. The Resource Guide at the end of this article provides references to detailed planning guides and strategies for implementing and following up on Type I activities.
Three issues related to Type I experiences need be emphasized. First, Type I experiences should be carefully selected and planned so that there is a high probability that they will be exciting and appealing to students. Visiting speakers, for example, should be selected for both their expertise in a particular area and their ability to energize and capture the imagination of students. Persons presenting Type I experiences should be provided with enough orientation about the model to understand the objective described above and the need to help students explore the realms and ranges of opportunity for further involvement that are available within various age and grade considerations. Without such an orientation, these kinds of experiences may be viewed as merely informative; and thus, even a very exciting experience will not have the “feed forward” context that should characterize Type I Enrichment activities.
A second issue related to Type I Enrichment concerns the audiences for whom a given experience is made available and the ascending order of complexity of these kinds of experiences. A majority of Type I activities should be presented to all students in a classroom, grade level, or cross-grade group. The primary purpose of Type I is to introduce students to topics or activities that are new to the majority of the group. Because lack of exposure to the almost unlimited range of topics that can be used for Type I Enrichment, students may not know whether or not they might develop a sustained interest in a particular topic unless they are required to participate. Thus, for example, it may be worthwhile to introduce all middle grade students to a topic such as computer assisted design (CAD) through a demonstration or presentation by a specialist on this topic. Following the activity and an assessment of the levels of interest of all students in the group, an advanced Type I might be planned for highly interested students that pursues the material in greater depth or that involves a field trip to a company or laboratory that uses CAD technology. In this case, there is an interest-based rationale for a special grouping or field trip that is different from offering field trips only to high ability students. A general or introductory Type I should, of course, include all students at given grade(s) levels.
A third issue related to Type I Enrichment is the position of a given experience on the structured to unstructured continuum. Although Type I experiences are, by definition, planned and presented, we can still achieve a fair amount of flexibility by following a few simple guidelines. First, whenever possible, some estimate of general student interests should be obtained as part of the planning for a series of Type I activities. A good menu of Type I experiences should be diversified across many topics and curricular categories. Such diversification improves the probability of influencing broader ranges of student interest, and, accordingly, increasing the number of students that will select an area in which they may like to pursue follow-up activities. Second, even prescribed Type I topics should be planned in a way that encourages maximum student involvement in an activity. High-end learning is more than just presenting unusual topics. Rather, hands-on, problem solving activities, and activities that require discussion, debate, and confrontations with topics and issues are much more effective in prompting the kinds of affective reactions that help students to personalize a topic and to make a commitment to more intensive follow-up.
The Type I dimension of the Enrichment Triad Model can be an extremely exciting aspect of overall schooling because it creates a legitimate “slot” within the school for bringing the vast world of knowledge and ideas that are above and beyond the regular curriculum to students’ attention. It is also an excellent vehicle for teams of teachers, students, and parents to plan and work together on a relatively easy-to-implement component of the model. Type I Enrichment is an excellent vehicle for getting started in an enrichment cluster. For example, a group of students in a film making cluster used the suggestions of a local professional in this area to explore options and to determine the kinds of films they could produce within the time, budget, and equipment constraints to which they were bound. Specific procedures and planning guides for organizing and implementing Type I Enrichment are included in related publications listed in the Resource Guide at the end of this article.
Type II Enrichment: Group Training Activities
If there is one area of school improvement about which virtually all educators agree, that area is the need to blend into the curriculum more training in the development of higher order thinking skills. In this section, we will discuss a systematic approach for organizing a process skills component within the overall Schoolwide Enrichment Model. Type II Enrichment consists of instructional methods and materials that are purposefully designed to develop a broad range of process skills in the following five general categories: (1) Cognitive Training, (2) Affective Training, (3) Learning-How-To-Learn Training, (4) Research and Reference Procedures, and (5) Written, Oral, and Visual Communication Procedures. We will use the term “process skills” to include all of these categories. Examples of specific skills within each of these four general categories (and related subcategories) can be found in a Taxonomy of Type II Thinking Skills in the book entitled The Schoolwide Enrichment Model (Renzulli & Reis, 1997, pp. 161-167).
Type II Enrichment also serves a motivational purpose similar to that discussed in connection with Type I activities. The sections that follow will discuss two general considerations that should be taken into account in developing a schoolwide plan for Type II Enrichment. These considerations are (1) levels and audiences for Type II activities, and (2) the objectives and strategies for implementing this component of the Enrichment Triad Model.
Levels and Audiences
Within each category of Type II Enrichment, the targeted skills exist along a continuum ranging from very basic manifestations of a given skill to higher and more complex applications of any given process. Thus, for example, skills such as conditional reasoning or recording data from original sources can be taught to students at any grade, but the level and complexity of the specific activities will vary according to students’ developmental levels. Primary grade students, for instance, can learn observational and data gathering skills by counting and recording the number of times that different kinds of birds come to a bird feeder during a given period of time. These data might be presented by using simple tallies or pictograms. Older students can develop the same skills at higher levels by, for example, observing and recording pulse and blood pressure measures while controlling for factors such as age, height/weight ratios, and specified periods of exercise. And the advanced mathematics and computer skills of older students might enable them to engage in more sophisticated statistical analyses of their data.
Teachers’ knowledge of students’ developmental levels, together with students’ and previous experiences in using a particular thinking skill, are important considerations when selecting materials and activities for Type II training. One of the ongoing activities of teachers and curriculum specialists using high-end learning is to be continually searching for and examining enrichment materials that might enhance regular curriculum topics, or that might serve as useful resources for enrichment clusters or special service situations. Professional journals, publishers’ catalogs, and displays of materials at conferences are good sources of new materials.
There are three different methods for presenting Type II Enrichment. The first method consists of planned, systematic activities that can be organized in advance for any unit of instruction within the general curriculum. These are the kinds of Type II activities that are planned in advance, and are a part of an ongoing framework to develop a comprehensive “scope and sequence” of process-oriented activities that parallel regular curriculum topics. The main criterion for selecting Type II activities in this category is that the activity bears a direct or indirect relationship to the subject matter being taught. For example, an activity entitled Gold Rush: A simulation of life and adventure in a frontier mining camp (Flindt, 1978), can be used in connection with a social studies unit on westward expansion in United States history. This activity is designed to develop decision making and creative writing skills within the context of the historical period covered in the unit. Activities in this category are ordinarily used with all students in a classroom, although advanced-level follow-up or related Type II training should take student interests and learning styles into account.
The second method for presenting Type II Enrichment consists of activities that can not be planned in advance because they grow out of students’ reactions to school or non-school experiences. In other words, this dimension is characterized by responsiveness to student interests rather than preplanning. Thus, for example, a group of students who developed an interest in investigative reporting were provided with advanced training in questioning and interviewing techniques, verifying information sources, and other skills related to this area of specialization. The interest resulted from a Type I presentation by a local journalist; however, the interest could also have been an outcome of a unit on journalism in the language arts curriculum, or a reaction to an important local or national news event. Enrichment in this dimension can also fulfill the motivational goal of the model by stimulating interests that may lead to more intensive follow-up in the form of Type III Enrichment.
Type II Enrichment in this category can also be used to provide direction for students in a particular enrichment cluster. Because a cluster is composed of students and teachers who have already declared interests in particular areas of study, Type II training that provides methodological skills within the area will help the group generate problems to which the methods can be applied. For example, a group of students who expressed strong interests in environmental issues was provided with a mini-course that taught them how to analyze the chemical properties of soil and water. A brainstorming and problem focusing session resulted in making contact with a state agency, meeting with water pollution specialists, and eventually conducting a very professional study on acid rain in their geographic area. This is a good example of how learning the methodology first provided the impetus for the extended work of the cluster that followed.
The third method for presenting Type II Enrichment consists of activities that are used within the context of already initiated Type III investigations. Activities used in this way represent the best application of inductive learning. Simply stated, an individual or group learns a process skill because they need the skill to solve a real and present problem. In the section on Type III Enrichment later in this article, we will discuss ways of finding resources especially relevant to this use of Type III Enrichment.
Objectives and Strategies for Type II Training
The Type II component of the Enrichment Triad Model is designed to provide students with training opportunities to improve a wide variety of process skills not normally taught within the grade level curriculum. Teachers or other adults who provide Type II training do so for diverse purposes, in multiple settings, with varied teaching strategies and resources, and for a wide range of students. Seven major objectives for students participating in Type II training are as follows:
- Improve their ability to use higher order cognitive skills to organize, analyze, and synthesize new information;
- Improve their leadership and interpersonal skills;
- Improve their ability to gather, organize and analyze raw data from appropriate primary and secondary sources;
- Improve their ability to use a wide range of sophisticated reference materials and techniques when searching for answers to their personal research questions;
- Demonstrate a more organized and systematic approach to research, experimentation and investigation;
- Improve the quality and appropriateness of the products that they create in conjunction with real world problem solving; and
- Use the methods and techniques of various adult professionals to find problems, gather and organize data, and develop products.
In general, the goals of Type II training are to provide students with various learning opportunities designed to improve their independent learning skills as well as the quality of their personal assignments, projects and research. Type II Enrichment also includes a broad range of affective training activities designed to improve interpersonal and intrapersonal skills and to promote greater degrees of cooperativeness and mutual respect among students. By placing this instruction within the framework of the regular curriculum or the enrichment clusters, teachers can offer these valuable training activities without the risk of having the training viewed as an end in and of itself.
The Type II Taxonomy and Resource Database
Since the need for Type II training with a specific skill varies from student to student, from grade to grade, and from one subject area to another, there is no finite list of skills that “should” be taught as part of the Type II component. The developers of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model have, instead, used the objectives listed above as category labels to collect and organize a set of over 400 process skills within a document called the Type II Taxonomy (Renzulli & Reis, 1985). This taxonomy can be used by teachers to gain a holistic perspective on the Type II component and its comprehensive nature. The Taxonomy can also be used as a “menu” to help teachers select the most appropriate Type II skills for their students.
In some districts, a committee of faculty members has used this list to create a scope and sequence document that specifies which Type II skills will be taught through large group instruction in the regular classroom or within enrichment clusters or other multiage groupings. The scope and sequence document also ensures that schools using a high-end learning model are offering a comprehensive set of training opportunities within and across all grade levels and to all students in the school. The seventeen skill categories within the Type II Taxonomy have also been used to create a data base of selected commercial materials for the teaching of process skills (Burns & Reis, 1991). Although many teachers may prefer to create their own Type II lessons and units, many of these commercial materials can be used for supplementary activities or as resources for teachers who are unfamiliar with Type II instructional techniques.
The Who, When, Where, and How Decisions
Type II training can be offered as a result of observed student need, as a follow-up to a Type I exploration, as a result of expressed student interest, or within the parameters of a student’s individual Type III investigation. It is extremely important to ensure that a specific Type II skill is offered at the appropriate time, in the appropriate setting, with the appropriate teaching strategies, and for the appropriate students. Teachers or faculties should use their knowledge of students and curriculum to make the best decisions possible about which students will receive specific kinds of Type II training, and which settings and teaching strategies will be most advantageous.
Some classroom teachers who have modified their textbook-based curriculum and are designing their own curriculum units (Conn, 1988; Osborne, Jones, & Stein, 1985; Renzulli, 1988) may integrate or infuse Type II training within these units as a way of teaching related process skills (e.g., teaching students how to conduct oral history interviews during a unit on the Vietnam War). At other times, classroom teachers may prefer to develop a stand-alone unit that focuses exclusively on a single Type II skill to ensure that novice learners receive explicit instruction in how to acquire and use this skill process (e.g., teaching a unit on creative problem solving). Still, other Type II skills can be embedded within students’ investigations or research projects and taught only when they are needed for specific and immediate purposes (e.g., a student wants to learn how to recognize the trees in the woods behind the school because she is creating a nature trail).
In addition to varying the nature of the instructional strategy used to teach Type II skills, teachers should also vary the audience of students who will receive this training. Some Type II lessons can and should be taught to all students in a class or grade level, some skills can be taught in a small group setting to only those students who have not already acquired the skill, and other skills might be taught to only those students interested in learning them. Teachers who sponsor or facilitate interest clusters may also find their students need or request Type II training as a result of their common interest in a subject area or local problem. A cluster of students interested in journalism might receive training in editing, proofreading, layout or advertising techniques. An interest cluster concerned with environmental problems might receive Type II training in how to draft a petition, how to lobby effectively, how to write an editorial or how to write a letter to key government officials.
The resources for teaching these Type II skills can also vary. Although many classroom teachers will assume responsibility for teaching specific Type II skills to all students, or small groups of students within their class, enrichment specialists can also schedule a variety of mini-courses for interested students. This approach facilitates multiclass and multiage groupings and allows teachers to progress to advanced levels because of heightened student interests. Community resources (doctors, gardeners, lawyers, dietitians, etc.) can also be recruited to offer Type II training to interested groups of students. Content area teachers or specialists from the faculty or among the student population can also be recruited to teach Type II lessons. In addition, learning centers, computer software, pamphlets, videos and how-to books can be used by individual students who prefer self-instruction for selected Type II skills. Care should be taken, however, to ensure that Type II training is offered on an as-needed basis as often as possible. Teachers must be aware that some students have already acquired many of the Type II skills through modeling or informal learning opportunities; other students require a great deal of time, explicit teaching and coaching in order to master new skills; and still others won’t be ready to learn a given Type II skill until they see the immediate relevance for the skill’s use.
Whether Type II skills are infused in the content curriculum, taught explicitly, or embedded in a student’s interest exploration or problem solving endeavors, all students who participate in Type II training should have numerous extension opportunities to transfer and apply their learned skills to new academic content, to their own research questions or to their product development efforts. Although process skill training has been a staple of gifted education programs for many years, our research has shown that this kind of training can be used with all students. While it may be true that not all students will use their newly acquired skills for personal research, experimentation or investigation, all students can apply these skills to new and challenging academic content. When successful, Type II training helps students improve their academic achievement by showing them how to acquire and assimilate new content more rapidly and effectively, and these skills also have important transfer value to subsequent learning and the world of work.
Type III Enrichment: Individual and Small Group Investigations of Real Problems
The Assembly Plant of the Mind
Type III Enrichment consists of investigative activities and the development of creative products in which students assume roles as first-hand investigators, writers, artists, or other types of practicing professionals. Although students pursue these kinds of involvement at a more junior level than adult professionals, the overriding purpose of Type III Enrichment is to create situations in which young people are thinking, feeling, and doing what practicing professionals do in the delivery of products and services. Type III Enrichment experiences should be viewed as vehicles in which students can apply their interests, knowledge, thinking skills, creative ideas, and task commitment to self-selected problems or areas of study. In addition to this general goal, there are four objectives of Type III Enrichment:
- To acquire advanced-level understanding of the knowledge and methodology used within particular disciplines, artistic areas of expression, and interdisciplinary studies.
- To develop authentic products or services that are primarily directed toward bringing about a desired impact on one or more specified audiences.
- To develop self-directed learning skills in the areas of planning, problem finding and focusing, organizational skills, resource utilization, time management, cooperativeness, decision making, and self-evaluation.
- To develop task commitment, self-confidence, feelings of creative accomplishment, and the ability to interact effectively with other students and adults who share common goals and interests.
Type III Enrichment should be viewed as the vehicle within the total school experience through which everything from basic skills to advanced content and processes “comes together” in the form of student-developed products and services. In much the same way that all of the separate but interrelated parts of an automobile come together at an assembly plant, so, also, do we consider this form of enrichment as the assembly plant of mind. This kind of learning represents a synthesis and an application of content, process, and personal involvement. The student’s role is transformed from one of lesson learner to first-hand inquirer, and the role of the teacher changes from an instructor and disseminator of knowledge to a combination of coach, resource procurer, mentor, and, sometimes, a partner or colleague. Although products play an important role in creating Type III Enrichment situations, a major concern is the development and application of a wide range of cognitive, affective, and motivational processes.
Since this type of enrichment is defined in terms of the pursuit of real problems, it is necessary to define this term at the outset of our discussion. The term “real problem,” like many other concepts in education, gets tossed around so freely that after a while it becomes little more than a cliché. Research on the meaning of a real problem (Renzulli, 1982) did not produce a neat and trim definition, but an examination of various connotations of the term yielded four characteristics that will serves as the basis for our discussion. First, a real problem must have a personal frame of reference for the individual or group pursuing the problem. In other words, it must involve an emotional or internal commitment in addition to a cognitive or scholarly interest. Thus, for example, stating that global warming or urban crime are “real problems” does not make them real for an individual or group unless they decide to do something to address the problem. These concerns may affect all people, but until a commitment is made to act upon them, they are more properly classified as “societal issues.” Similarly, telling a person or group that “you have a problem” does not make it real unless the problem is internalized and acted upon in some way.
A second characteristic of real problems is that they do not have existing or unique solutions for persons addressing the problem. If there is an agreed-upon, correct solution or set of strategies for solving the problem, then it is more appropriately classified as a “training exercise.” As indicated earlier, it is not our intent to diminish the value of training exercises. Indeed, many of the activities that make up the Type II dimension of the Triad Model are exercises designed to develop thinking skills and research methods. They fail, however, to qualify as real problems because they are externally assigned, and there is a predetermined skill or problem-solving strategy that we hope learners will acquire. Even simulations that are based on approximations of real world events are considered to be training exercises if their main purpose is to teach content or thinking skills.
The third characteristic of a real problem is best described in terms of why people pursue these kinds of problems. The main reason is that they want to bring about some form of change in actions, attitudes, or beliefs on the parts of a targeted audience, or they want to contribute something new to the sciences, arts, or humanities. The word “new” is used here in a local rather than global way; therefore, we don’t necessarily expect young people to make contributions that are new “for all mankind.” But even replications of studies that have been done many times before are new in a relative sense if they are based on data that have not been gathered previously. Thus, for example, if a group of young people gathered data about television watching habits across grade levels in their school or community, these data and the resulting analysis would be new in the sense that they never existed before.
The final characteristic of real problems is that they are directed toward a real audience. Real audiences are defined as persons who voluntarily attend to information, events, services, or objects. A good way to understand the difference between a real and contrived audience is to reflect for a moment on what students might do with the results of a local oral history project. Although they might want to practice presenting the material before their classmates, an authentic audience would more properly consist of members of a local historical society or persons who choose to read about the study in a local newspaper, magazine, or shopping guide. The practicing professional, upon whose work Type III Enrichment is modeled, almost always begins his or her work with an audience in mind. Audiences may change as the work evolves, but they serve as targets that give purpose and direction to the work.
Essential Elements of Type III Enrichment
The preceding discussion of characteristics of real problems may appear to be a hairsplitting one, but it is necessary if we are to avoid common misconceptions of the term and resulting activities that are only approximations of real problems. For example, the difference between students operating a school store that is authentic in every way, versus a play store with toy money and empty soup cans is equivalent to the difference between lightning and a lightning bug! There is nothing inherently wrong with using a play store to teach mathematics and other skills to young children, but it should not be confused with the authenticity of a business that must succeed according to real world economic principles and practices. In this section, we will discuss how the characteristics of real problems, coupled with our earlier examination of inductive learning, can be used to guide teachers and students in theType III process. The discussion that follows is organized around five essential elements of Type III Enrichment.
A Personal Frame of Reference
The first essential element is that problems being pursued through this type of learning experience must be based on individual or group interests. Teachers and other adults can certainly provide guidance and some creative steering toward the formulation of a problem, but they must avoid at all costs crossing the line from suggestion to prescription. If a problem is forced upon students, we endanger the personal frame of reference discussed above, and the kind of affective commitments that result in a willingness to engage in creative and demanding work. The Resource Guide at the end of this article lists books that describe specific techniques for spotting action information that might lead to student-selected problems, and for assisting students in problem finding and focusing. These resources also describe how students in a given group can become involved in different ways within the same problem or problem area. In most cases, the division of labor that takes place in group Type III situations causes a broader range of talents to be developed and promotes the kinds of real-world cooperativeness and mutual respect that we are attempting to achieve in the high-end learning. In addition to allowing for various types of involvement, problems that require a diversity of specialties also create opportunities for more personalization on the parts of individuals in the group. When each person feels that she or he “owns” a part of the problem, the first characteristic of a real problem is met.]
A Focus on Advanced-Level Knowledge
The second essential element of Type III Enrichment is that it should draw upon authentic, advanced-level knowledge. If we want young people to approximate the roles of practicing professionals, then it is important to examine the characteristics of persons who have displayed high levels of expertise in their respective domains of knowledge. During the past two decades, cognitive psychologists have devoted much research to the topic of experts and expertise, and the role of knowledge in attaining expert performance. Studies ranging from the characteristics of chess masters to the acquisition of routine tasks in unskilled or semi-skilled jobs (e.g., taxi driving) have uncovered a number of generalizations across the various domains that have been studied. Glaser (1988) has summarized some of the key characteristics of experts’ performance, and these characteristics can be used to provide guidance for this dimension of the Enrichment Triad Model.
Experts mainly excel in their own domain, and they spend much more time than novices analyzing information within their respective fields of study. Experts also perceive large, meaningful patterns in their domain and they have an understanding of how knowledge is organized in their domain. They tend to represent problems at deeper levels by creating conceptual categories rather than categories based on surface or superficial features, they are goal-oriented, and they access knowledge mainly for its applicability to present problems. Finally, experts develop self-regulatory skills such as judging problem difficulty, apportioning their time, asking questions, reviewing their knowledge, and predicting outcomes.
High levels of expertise in a topic or domain obviously emerge from extensive experience gained over long periods of time. If we contrast this characteristic of expert performance with the forty-two minute period, traditionally found in schools, and the rapid march through numerous topics at superficial levels, the first hint that can be derived from the research on expertise is that we must radically extend the amount of time that young people are allowed to work on problems that have a personal frame of reference. Time allocations for individual or small group Type III investigations, whether in enrichment clusters, regular classes or other organizational arrangements, should be unbounded and expandable, as long as motivation remains high and progress toward goals is clearly evident. The amount and complexity of knowledge available to students pursuing advanced studies and investigations must also be expanded. Guidelines for identifying both advanced-level content and methodology can be found in Schools for Talent Development (Renzulli, 1994, Chapt. 6)., and the subject area standards carried out by various professional associations, such as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, provides another vehicle for identifying advanced-level content. Finally, there has been a significant movement within teacher education programs to emphasize subject area competency as well as pedagogy. When all is said and done, the amount of advanced level knowledge that teachers possess will be a major determinant of the level of the courses they teach.
A Focus on Methodology
The third essential element of Type III Enrichment is the use of authentic methodology. This characteristic is essential because one of the goals of Type III Enrichment is to help youngsters extend their work beyond the usual kinds of reporting that often results when teachers and students view “research” as merely “looking up” information. Some reporting of previous information is a necessary part of most investigations. Indeed, the pursuit of new knowledge should always begin with a review of what is already known about a given topic. The end result of a Type III investigation, however, should be a creative contribution that goes beyond already existing information that is typically found in encyclopedias and other all-about-books.
Every field of organized knowledge can be defined, in part, by its methodology, and the methodology of most fields can be found in certain kinds of guidebooks or manuals. These “How-To” books are the key to escalating studies beyond the traditional report writing approach that often passes for research. I have described some of these books at length in the Resource Guide at the end of this article.
Every field of knowledge can also be partly defined by the kinds of data that represent the “raw material” of the field. New contributions are made in a field when investigators apply well-defined methods to the process of making sense out of random bits and pieces of information. Although some investigations require levels of sophistication and equipment that are far beyond the reach of younger investigators, almost every field of knowledge has entry level and junior level data gathering opportunities.
We have seen scientifically respectable questionnaire studies on food and television preferences carried out by primary grade students. A group of middle grade students gathered and analyzed water samples as part of a large regional study on the extent and effects of acid rain. This work was so thoroughly and carefully done that the students’ findings were requested for use by a state environmental agency. Another group of elementary students used very professional techniques in every aspect of producing a weekly television show broadcast by a local cable television company. A fifth-grade student wrote a guidebook that was adopted by his city’s government as the official historical walking tour of the city; a group of high school students engaged in a very sophisticated community research and citizens’ action project that resulted in the appropriation of $200,000 for a citywide system of bike paths. The success and high level of product development reflected in these examples can be traced to the proper use of authentic methods and techniques, even if these techniques were carried out at a somewhat junior level than those used by adult inquirers.
The teacher’s role in providing methodological assistance is to help students identify, locate, and obtain resource materials and/or persons to provide assistance in the appropriate use of investigative techniques. In some cases, it may be necessary to consult with librarians or professionals within various fields for advice about where and how to find methodological resources. Professional assistance may also be needed in translating complex concepts into material students can understand. Although methodological assistance is a major part of the teacher’s responsibility in Type III Enrichment, it is neither necessary nor realistic to expect teachers to have mastered a large number of investigative techniques. A good general background and orientation toward the overall nature of research is necessary, but the most important skill is the ability to know where and how to help students obtain the right kind of material and the willingness to reach out beyond the usual school resources for specialized kinds of materials and resource persons.
Sense of Audience
The fourth essential element of Type III Enrichment is that products and services resulting from this kind of involvement are targeted on real audiences. The magic key that has unlocked the success of so many Type III projects is the “sense of audience” that students have developed in connection with their work. It is this sense of audience which helps give students a reason for wanting to improve the quality of their products and develop effective ways of communicating their results with interested others. A sense of audience is also a primary contributor to the creation of task commitment and the concern for excellence and quality that has characterized so many Type III investigations.
If the Type III dimension of our model is to have maximum value in the overall development of young people, major attention must be given to helping them find appropriate outlets and audiences for their most creative efforts. This concern is modeled after the modus operandi of creative and productive individuals. If we could sum up in a few words the raison d’être of creative and productive people, it would certainly be impact upon audience. Type III Enrichment provides natural opportunities for the kinds of personal satisfaction and self-expression that result from bringing an important piece of work to fruition. Writers hope to influence thoughts and emotions, scientists do research to find better ways to contribute new knowledge to their fields, and artists create products to enrich the lives of those who view their works. Teachers can help young people to acquire this orientation by encouraging them to develop a sense of audience from the earliest stages of a Type III investigation.
The teacher’s role regarding outlets and audiences requires helping students take one small but often neglected first step in the overall process of product development. This important step is to consider what people in a particular field produce, and how they typically communicate their results with other interested persons. Once again, we can look to the activities of practicing professionals and the How-To books for guidance. In most cases, young artists and scholars will be restricted to local outlets and audiences, but there will be occasions when products of unusual excellence can be shared with larger audiences. Examples of vehicles that have been used regularly in programs organized around the Triad Model can be found in books listed in the Resource Guide at the end of this article.
Although school and local audiences are obvious starting points in the search for outlet vehicles, teachers should always help students gain a perspective for more comprehensive outlet vehicles and audiences beyond local opportunities. Many organizations, for example, prepare newsletters and journals at the state and national levels, and virtually every interest group has a broad array of web sites and other means for electronic communication. These potential outlets are usually receptive to high-quality contributions by young people. Similarly, state and national magazines oftentimes carry outstanding work by young people. The search for more widespread audiences should only be encouraged when student work is high in quality and when it has achieved recognition locally. Exploring external audiences will help young people develop standards of quality, and it will also provide them with “real world” experiences about the rigors and challenges of reaching out to wider audiences. Exploring external audiences involves an element of “risk-taking” and the chances of not having work accepted in the wider arenas of publications and dissemination. But by beginning a search for audiences at the local level, an element of success is likely to be achieved.
The fifth essential element of Type III Enrichment is that work carried out using this approach to learning is evaluated in an authentic rather than artificial manner. The ultimate test of quality in the world outside the school is whether or not products or services achieve a desired impact on clients or selected audiences. For this reason, Type III products should never be graded or scored. This traditional school practice is antithetical to the ways in which work is evaluated in the real world. Students can be provided with categorical feedback using a guide such as the Student Product Assessment Form (Renzulli & Reis, 1997, pp. 262-271), but even this instrument should only be used to help students refine and improve their work. Teachers and other adults should view their role in the feedback process as that of a “resident escalator.” Sensitive and specific recommendations about how particular aspects of the work can be improved will help students move slowly but surely toward higher and higher levels of product excellence. Every effort should be made to pinpoint specific areas where suggested changes should be implemented. This approach will help avoid student discouragement and reconfirm a belief in the overall value of their endeavors.
Applying the Type III Process to Enrichment Clusters
The enrichment clusters are ideal places to implement Type III Enrichment. By using information from the Total Talent Portfolio to form the clusters, we are assured of at least some commonality of interest on the parts of students in the various clusters. Mutual interests are a good starting point for accelerating motivation and promoting harmony, respect, and cooperation among group members. Getting an enrichment cluster started is not an easy task for students or teachers who have not had previous experience in these types of inductive situations. Teachers often feel vulnerable without a lesson plan in hand, and students frequently become wary if the traditional rules of learning are changed. The most important message to students during the early meetings of an enrichment cluster is that the cluster is more like a club or extracurricular activity than a regular class. An orientation session should emphasize the objectives and essential elements of Type III Enrichment and the characteristics of a real problem. Experience has shown that students catch on quickly to this approach to learning if teachers are consistent in their transformed role as coach and mentor rather than conventional instructor.
The biggest single problem in implementing enrichment clusters is getting started! Type III Enrichment represents qualitatively different learning experiences, and it is important for teachers to realize that they themselves must engage in some activities which differ from the traditional activities that define the traditional teacher’s role. This point cannot be overemphasized. It is impossible to foster differential types of learning experiences through the use of ordinary teaching methods. If we want young people “to think, feel, and do” like practicing professionals (or first-hand inquirers), then teachers must also learn how to raise a few of the questions that professionals ask about the nature and function of their own work. In other words, teachers must go one step beyond the questions that are ordinarily raised in problem solving situations. This step involves problem focusing and product focusing. This kind of focusing is how practicing professionals begin their work.
Almost everything that young people do in traditional classrooms casts them in the role of lesson learners. Even when working on so called “research reports,” students nearly always perceive their main purpose as that of “finding out about . . . .” One need only ask youngsters why they are working on a particular report. Invariably, they reply: To find out about the eating habits of the gray squirrel; about the exports of Brazil; about the Battle of Gettysburg. There is nothing wrong with finding out about things–all student and adult inquirers do it, but the big difference is that practicing professionals do it for a purpose beyond merely finding out about something for its own sake. This purpose, which we might refer as the application purpose, is what Type III Enrichment is all about. Thus, the key to helping youngsters feel like first-hand inquirers rather than mere absorbers of knowledge is to explore with them some of the questions that professionals raise. The three essential questions that should be used at the outset of an enrichment cluster are the following:
- What do [ecologists, film makers, historians, puppeteers, etc.] produce?
- How do they produce it?
- How and to whom do they communicate the results of their work?
Exploration of these questions can be pursued in a variety of ways. Type I experiences in the form of visiting speakers, discussions of career education materials, displays of typical products from the field(s) around which a cluster is organized, or videos of professionals at work can provide a picture of the products, services, and activities that characterize various fields of study. A library trip organized around a scavenger hunt format is a good way to help students broaden their perspective about the products and communication vehicles associated with various areas of inquiry.
Type II activities that provide direct or simulated experiences of typical pursuits in a particular field are also useful in helping young people to answer the above questions. How-To books are an especially valuable source for locating such activities. Thus, for example, a social science cluster can experience data gathering and analysis methods by using one of the sample activities on surveying, observing, or developing a research hypothesis that can be found in the book, A Student’s Guide to Conducting Social Science Research (Bunker, Pearlson, & Schultz, 1975). This entire book can be used at the introductory stages of a cluster to provide know-how and to generate ideas that will help students identify their own research interests. It is important, however, for students to be informed in advance that planned, deductive activities are preparatory for the self-selected, inductive work that should be the primary focus of an enrichment cluster.
A combined brainstorming and webbing technique can also be used to explore the types of products and communication vehicles that characterize given fields of study or topical interests. This activity can be done by individuals or small groups, after which the responses of the entire group can be entered on a wall chart. An activity such as this can be enhanced by asking students to interview local professionals, obtain career-related literature from professional societies and associations, and to explore library products within selected fields and topics.
The teacher’s role in the above situations is three-fold. First, teachers should organize and guide, but not dominate, the exploration process. Second, teachers should assist in the location of methodological resource materials such as a book on puppet making or presenting data in graphic or tabular forms. In this regard, the teacher functions as a methodological resource person. The third role of the teacher is to open doors for “connecting” student products with appropriate audiences. This role involves activities such as: telephoning a day care or senior citizens’ center to ask if a puppet show can be presented; meeting with a shopping mall manager to ask if a student display can be set up; arranging transportation to a radio or television station; and helping students locate a book such as The Directory of Poetry Publishers (Fulton, 1993). Our experience has shown that when teachers assume these different kinds of responsibilities, students develop an entirely new attitude toward both their work and their teachers. There is one overriding goal to developing learning opportunities based on the concept of Type III Enrichment. This goal is larger than the products students prepare or the methods they learn in pursuing their work. The largest goal is that students begin to think, feel and do like creative and productive individuals. This goal of high-end learning is designed to develop an attitude that has reinforced the work of effective people since the beginning of time: I can do . . . I can be . . . I can create.
This resource guide is divided into four sections. Each section is designed to provide practitioners with specific information that will assist in the implementation of high-end learning. The first section, Background Information, includes books that provide helpful background reading for those unfamiliar with the Enrichment Triad Model and the Schoolwide Enrichment Model. The second section, Type I Activities, includes information and know-how related to the creation and implementation of exploratory experiences. An annotated bibliography of selected methodological resource books to help with Type II Enrichment is contained in the third part of this Resource Guide. It serves as a beginning list for teachers interested in purchasing how-to books for their districts. This third section also includes an annotated bibliography of how-to books that may be useful to facilitators initiating enrichment clusters. The final section, Type III Activities, contains selected examples of Type III activities that have been completed by students
Title: The Enrichment Triad Model
Author: Renzulli, J. S.
Description: In this book Dr. Renzulli addresses some of the age-old questions that haunt persons attempting to develop defensible programs for exceptional youth. He draws a distinction between enrichment activities that are good for all children and those that are relatively unique to those with high abilities. Three types of enrichment (Type I, Type II, and Type III) are introduced in this book, along with recommendations for their use in the school setting.
Publisher: Creative Learning Press, P.O. Box 320, Mansfield Center, CT 06250, (860) 429-8118. Order #658, Price: $9.95.
Title: The Schoolwide Enrichment Model: A Comprehensive Plan for School Change
Author: Renzulli, J. S., & Reis, S. M.
Description: This book is about schools and how they can change to achieve the much-sought-after goal of excellence. Essentially, the concept of enrichment for highly able students is used to develop enrichment programs on a schoolwide basis. These programs seek to establish an atmosphere of excellence by building upon the strengths and interests of school staffs and by focusing on the delivery of five services to students: (1) identifying student strengths, (2) curriculum compacting, (3) general exploratory activities, (4) group training activities to develop higher level thinking and affective skills, and (5) individual and small group investigations of real problems.
What makes this book truly unique is the practical, step-by-step guidance that is offered to supplement the theory that underlies this model. The authors have developed a series of action forms and in-service training materials that have been field-tested in schools throughout the United States. Useful materials include, for example:
- Checklists for long- and short-term planning
- Procedures for developing schoolwide enrichment teams
- Strategies for creating program ownership and faculty involvement
- Sample letters, memos, and announcements for students, parents, and faculty members
- Instruments for assessing students’ strengths, interests, learning styles
- Guidelines for developing interest development centers
- A taxonomy of over 150 thinking skills and affective processes
- Sample evaluation questionnaires and forms
- Descriptions of advanced level resource books for students
- Guidelines for developing a faculty/community mentor system
Publisher: Creative Learning Press, P.O. Box 320, Mansfield Center, CT 06250, (860) 429-8118. Order #691, Price: $42.95.
Title: The Schoolwide Enrichment Model: A Videotape Training Program for Teachers
Description: This videotape training program is based on the Schoolwide Enrichment Model and features Drs. Joseph Renzulli and Sally Reis. It consists of nine tapes in which various components of the model are described. Each tape is approximately 25-30 minutes long and can easily be incorporated into any workshop program.
Tape 1 (26 Minutes): Orientation and Overview of The Schoolwide Enrichment Mode
Tape 2 (35 minutes): The Conception of Giftedness Underlying The Schoolwide Enrichment Model
Tape 3 (23 minutes): Forming the Talent Pool in a Schoolwide Enrichment Program
Tape 4 (28 minutes): Introduction and Overview of Curriculum Compacting
Tape 5 (25 minutes): An In-Depth Look at Curriculum Compacting
Tape 6 (30 minutes): Type I Enrichment: General Exploratory Activities
Tape 7 (30 minutes): Type II Enrichment: Group Training Activities
Tape 8 (30 minutes): Type III Enrichment: Investigations Into Real Problems
Tape 9 (26 minutes): Implementing The Schoolwide Enrichment Model at the Secondary Level
Publisher: Creative Learning Press, P.O. Box 320, Mansfield Center, CT 06250, (860) 429-8118. Order #MR09, Price: $1,800.00 for the entire program; $200.00 each tape; shipping and handling is $25.00 per order.
The General Approach to Type I Planning
There are two ways to approach Type I planning, although in reality, both approaches almost always proceed simultaneously. The first approach is to identify various topics that might serve as important subjects of Type I without immediate consideration each one’s method of delivery (e.g., video tape, mini-course, guest speaker, interest center). For example, the group of teachers might decide that the topic, the influence of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, would be an important supplementary enrichment topic for students studying the Civil War. Listing the topics does not immediately tell us what the ultimate method of delivery might be. The important issue at this point is to obtain consensus among the group that this topic is indeed important enough to be included in our planning of enrichment topics related to the Civil War. Later on, we can explore various ways in which the topic may be delivered to our students. We might subsequently review film or video catalogues, examine our list of faculty and community resource persons, or check with the History or English departments at a nearby college or university to determine if they have a person who specializes in this topic.
The second approach to organizing Type I experiences is to begin with already existing methods of delivery. For example, we might not have the topic of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in mind beforehand, but this might emerge as we review film catalogues or lists of faculty and community resource persons and their areas of interest or specialization. We might, for example, discover that a nearby college professor specializes in this topic. One of the responsibilities of the Enrichment Team (a small group of teachers and parents who oversee the development, implementation, and evaluation of Type I and Type II Experiences) is to then make contact with the person and set up a date for a lecture on the topic in question. Or we may discover an audio cassette that can serve as the focus of a classroom discussion or debate on the role that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book played in events leading up to the Civil War.
It may be useful to set some target objectives regarding the number of experiences that might be desirable in connection with any given topic or subject matter area and some target objectives with regard to the diversity that will be employed using various methods of delivery. For example, a secondary social studies department might decide before instruction that they would like to have at least one Type I for each social science covered in the curriculum. Similarly, they might also decide that they want to include at least six or eight various methods of delivery in order to accommodate differences in learning styles among students. Although this two-fold approach is optimally desirable, what is oftentimes the case is that the availability of resources will dictate the method of delivery for any given topic.
Guidelines for Identifying Sources of Type I Enrichment
A major factor in determining the success of the Type I dimension of the curriculum will be the extent to which the teachers can identify a large number and variety of resources that are specifically designed to expose the students to topics and areas of study not ordinarily covered in the regular curriculum. Fortunately, there are literally thousands of sources to draw upon, and our major task in pursuing the Type I objectives is to identify and organize the sources so that they can be effectively utilized by all members of the nuclear school family. In the sections that follow, we have attempted to identify the major categories of sources and to provide some examples of important sources that have been identified already.
An important factor to keep in mind as you begin work on identifying Type I sources is that this is a developmental approach that should be accomplished over a long period of time. In other words, work should begin on a modest scale and attempt to added to continuously over a long period of time. This work is most effectively accomplished by assigning specific tasks to members of the Enrichment Team and subgroups of teachers who should be asked to volunteer to identify sources in areas of specialized interest. For example, a subgroup of science teachers or teachers in the arts might be asked to serve as special groups for the identification of Type I sources in their respective areas of interest.
As the number of Type I sources increases over the years, procedures for disseminating information about this dimension of the curriculum should be formalized so that eventually a “Type I Source Guide” can be published and distributed on a regular basis throughout all schools in the district. The Type I dimension can be a very exciting aspect of the school program because it will bring into the learning community an almost unlimited number and variety of experiences that are not ordinarily found in the general curriculum. Further, it provides a remarkable opportunity to bring into the schools community members who will, in the process, learn more about the schoolwide enrichment program. This approach holds promise of increasing the number of supporters and advocates of enrichment programming and, therefore, its payoff can be both in terms of public relations and support as well as the many educational experiences that will be provided for students.
In a previous section, we have discussed procedures for surveying faculty and community resources and recording information for easy and efficient retrieval and dissemination of these resource persons. There are a number of other ways in which human resources can be recruited and the following represents a partial list of “places” that should be explored for the purposes of identifying Type I resources. These include the following:
- College and University Catalogs. These catalogs are always well organized by department, and, in many cases, we can determine the specialty of individual faculty members by the titles of the courses they teach. Many universities also maintain a public service speakers bureau, and a telephone call to the university’s office of public information will ordinarily enable you to learn about the extent of already existing procedures for obtaining speakers as well as other services that might be available such as visitations, departmental lecture series, artistic presentations, and other events sponsored by colleges and universities. You might also want to request a copy of the college or university faculty directory so that you can make direct contact with individual faculty members. Many universities are interested in offering services to schools because such involvement not only helps universities in fulfilling a community service function, but it also provides an opportunity for universities to familiarize young people with programs and faculty members that might result in the later enrollment of undergraduate students. In a certain sense, this “recruitment function” provides a benefit to the college or university as well as an important service to the schools seeking the assistance of resource persons. In recent years, universities have become more competitive in the recruitment of potential students, and, therefore, they frequently have expanded their community service function in an effort to familiarize young people with opportunities for higher education.
- Professional Organizations and Societies. Many professional organizations and societies will provide assistance in identifying resource persons in a local area or within a state or region. An excellent resource for obtaining the names of such organizations is The Encyclopedia of Associations (Gale Research, Inc., 835 Penobscot Building, Detroit, Michigan 48226). This book, which can be found in most college and university libraries, might be the major starting point for making contact with the several thousand professional societies and organizations included in the encyclopedia. Some of the organizations listed in this book already have prepared categorical lists of community resource opportunities. For example, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1776 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036) has published a booklet called “Out of School Programs in Science.” This booklet, which is organized on a state-by-state basis, lists numerous science museums, environmental educational centers, archaeological field sites, and state and local scientific organizations that have already existing resources for young people. An introductory section describes how the book can be used in identifying local, national and regional resources as well as Junior Academies of Science. These academies are programs coordinated by state academies of science and offer various opportunities for students in almost every state of the union.In a similar fashion, many state historical societies, commissions or councils on the arts, and other special interest groups maintain directories of local organizations that can serve as an invaluable source of Type I experiences. Since most of the state-level organizations are located in the capital cities of the respective states, the search can begin by looking in the Yellow Pages of the telephone directory under the guide word of “Associations.” The Hartford, Connecticut telephone directory, for example, lists approximately one hundred different professional organizations, hobby groups, and other special interest groups. The Blue Pages also list a wide variety of governmental organizations that might be highly viable sources of speakers, films, demonstrations, field trip opportunities, and other resources that might be highly effective Type I experiences for students.
- Senior Citizens’ Centers and Groups. A valuable source of human resources can be found among the oftentimes overlooked interests and talents that can be found within any group of senior citizens. Almost every city, town, or county has some type of organized senior citizens’ center, and the coordinators of such centers can easily be identified by checking in the Blue Pages of the telephone directory. The use of senior citizens as Type I resources not only provides a wide diversity of occupations, hobbies, talents, and other areas of interest, but it also can serve as a ready-made audience for several of the presentations and Type III products developed by students.
- Interest Development Centers (IDC). A major source of Type I experiences consists of teacher-developed centers specifically designed to stimulate new interests in young people. The main difference between an Interest Development Center and the traditional kinds of “learning centers” found in many classrooms is that IDCs do not focus primarily on skill development, the completion of worksheets, or other activities that are primarily designed to develop basic skills. For this reason, IDCs ordinarily do not contain task cards, worksheets or “Skill Builders.”Interest Development Centers provide teachers with an opportunity to pursue their own interests and exercise their own creativity by producing dynamic collections of materials and activities that are purposefully designed to achieve the objectives of Type I Enrichment. Although the Triad Model does not require teachers to be the writers and developers of their own curriculum, the IDC represents one of the opportunities within the model whereby interested teachers can make use of curriculum development interests and skills. We believe that any activity related to curriculum development should be voluntary rather than required, but we also have found from experience that IDCs represent a specific approach to curriculum planning that has had a great deal of appeal to teachers who like to translate their own interests and creative ideas into purposeful activities for young people.
- Additional Sources. There are a number of other ways that we can identify valuable resources for Type I experiences. Brief presentations about the enrichment program at local service clubs followed by requests for Type I speakers or presentations have proven to be an effective way of recruiting persons for the Type I directory. Examination of the separate sections of newspapers (community events, arts columns, community announcements and other special feature sections) will bring to your attention various persons in the community who are involved in a variety of professional activities, artistic presentations and hobby and recreational groups. And, of course, a category-by-category analysis of the Yellow Pages of the telephone directory will give you a fast overview of the many different occupations and areas of specialization that are available in your community. Contact should also be made with museums, art galleries, planetariums, outdoor education centers and science centers. These organizations frequently have regularly scheduled programs and also sponsor periodic events that can serve as valuable sources of Type I experiences. Each center or organization should be contacted and requests made to place the enrichment program on their mailing list. Large corporations, military installations, and other organizations (both private and public) oftentimes have specially designated persons or divisions that provide free or inexpensive services to schools and community groups. Many of these places also provide excellent opportunities for field trips, and they may even be sources of mentors for students who develop a highly specialized interest in some of the activities that take place within such organizations and centers.
An almost endless supply of Type I experiences can be obtained through the careful analysis of catalogs that describe films, filmstrips, audio and video cassettes, slides and other forms of non-print media. Almost every state department of education publishes an annual guide of instructional television programs and resources; both commercial and public television frequently provide Viewer’s Guides for several of their programs that are of special interest to young people. Enrichment team members can review these viewing guides on a regular basis and alert faculty members to programs that hold promise as Type I experiences for students.
Books Related to the Development of Type I Activities
Title: Change for Children
Authors: Kaplan, S., Kaplan, J., Madsen, S., & Gould, B.
Age level: Grades K-6
Description: Change for Children is a guidebook designed to assist primary and elementary teachers tailor instruction for classroom members through the use of interest centers. Interest centers can be used as one way to provide Type I activities for students, and this resource contains over 21 ready-to-use centers, as well as practical instructions on how to construct them based upon students’ interests. The guide includes step-by-step procedures for changing the classroom environment to accommodate the centers, developing and placing learning activities in the room, and devising plans and schedules of student and teacher time. Ideas for record-keeping and evaluation are also included.
Publisher: Scott, Foresman and Company. Price: $14.95.
Note: Most of the books listed below can be obtained from Creative Learning Press, P.O. Box 320, Mansfield Center, CT 06250, (860) 429-8118
Title: How to Make Visual Presentations
Author: McBride, D.
Age level: Grades 7-12
Description: This guidebook provides information about and tips regarding visual presentations in a variety of contexts. It includes sections on: overhead projectors, charts, slides and movies/video. General tips are provided about charts, graphs, diagrams and illustrations, as well as lettering. Order #229, Price: $7.95.
Title: How to Write and Give a Speech
Author: Detz, J.
Age level: Grades 7-12
Description: This guidebook takes students from the beginning of the speech writing process to the nitty-gritty details of the presentation. Included are sections on assessing the audience, researching and writing the speech, style, uses of humor, delivery, and preparing for the delivery. Order #258, Price: $14.95.
Title: Joining In: An Anthology of Audience Participation Stories & How to Tell Them
Author: Miller, T.
Age level: Grades 4-11
Description: This book is an anthology for those who are interested in audience participation stories. Eighteen classic stories are included, each containing the teller’s recommendations about actions and strategies for dealing with audience responses. Historical perspectives are provided on each story. Order #253, Price: $14.95.
Title: The Knowhow Book of Puppets
Authors: Philpott, V. & McNeil, M. J.
Age level: Grades 3-6
Description: This book explains how children can make their own puppets, how to make them move, create special effects and work backstage. Instructions detail how students can construct finger puppets, sock creatures, mouth monsters and stick puppets. Order #231, Price: $8.95.
Title: Writing for Film and Television
Author: Bronfeld, S.
Age level: Grades 3-6
Description: Written by a professional writer of films and television scripts, this book includes how-to advice on writing for the visual media. The author explains how to create stories, characters and dialogue, and provides tips on scenecraft and camera concerns, as well as the packaging and selling of a script. Order #252, Price: $10.95.
Title: Writing for Kids</em
Author: Benjamin, C. L.
Age level: Grades 3-6
Description: This guidebook contains clear explanations on how children can come up with ideas, choose words, move from sentences to paragraphs to finished works and edit their own writing. Directions are included for making books of various sizes. Order #251, Price: $16.95.
Title: Chi Square, Pie Charts and Me
Authors: Baum, S., Gable, R. K., & List, K.
Age level: Grades 4-12
Description: This book is designed for students and teachers because it provides easy-to-understand descriptions of the research process, types of research, management plans, and statistical techniques. Examples of research done by students are provided. Order #526, Price: $14.95.
Title: The Craft of Interviewing
Author: Brady, J.
Age level: Grades 8-12
Description: The author of this book provides tips about interviewing. Along with traditional suggestions about background research, taping and note-taking, he gives insider tips on how to get interviews, develop rapport, ask questions to promote interesting responses, get tough, and verify and write the final report. Order #519, Price: $10.95.
Title: How to Conduct Surveys: A Step-by-Step Guide
Authors: Fink, A. & Kosecoff, J.
Age level: Grades 8-12
Description: This guidebook contains information about all aspects of conducting surveys. Included are chapters on survey design, data analysis and presentation of results. Examples are provided to illustrate positive and negative examples of points being made. Order #521, Price: $18.95.
Title: How to Think Like a Scientist
Author: Kramer, S. P.
Age level: Grades 2-5
Description: Designed for young children, this book includes an explanation of the scientific method in simple terms. The author provides examples of the five steps in the scientific method, illustrates the concept of control groups and provides a chapter which helps children identify questions they might want to answer. Order #513, Price: $15.95.
Title: Looking for Data in All the Right Places
Authors: Starko, A. & Schack, G.
Age level: Grades 3-12
Description: The author of this book invites students to go out into the real world to gather and analyze data and share their results. Chapters are devoted to steps in the research process and include: finding a problem, focusing a problem, formulating research questions and hypotheses, choosing research designs, gathering data, analyzing data and sharing results. Order #958, Price: $18.95.
Title: A Student’s Guide to Conducting Social Science Research
Authors: Bunker, B., Pearlson, H. B., & Schultz, J. W.
Age Level: Grades 5-10
Description: The authors of this guidebook ground their work by relating research to real life experiences. Subsequently, they provide information about research design, testing hypotheses, surveys, observation and experiments. Finally, the authors provide several hands-on, ready-to-use activities. Order #508, Price: $18.95.
Title: Students and Research: Practical Strategies for Science Classrooms and Competitions
Authors: Cothron, J. H., Geise, R. N., & Rezba, R. J.
Age level: Grades 3-12
Description: This is a hands-on guidebook, and the authors present field-tested strategies to help teachers develop sophisticated research skills with students of all ages. Through involvement with the activities and reflection afterwards, students gain an understanding about hypothesis formation, experimental design, gathering and analyzing data and communicating findings. Order #530, Price: $21.95.
Title: It’s A Free Country: A Young Person’s Guide to Politics and Elections
Author: Samuels, C. K.
Age level: Grades 5-9
Description: The author invites student participation in elections and politics in two ways. First, she provides stories of men and women in politics. Second, she explains what is involved in the process of nomination, campaigning, and election. Order #318, Price: $15.95.
Title: The Kid’s Guide to Social Action
Author: Lewis, B.
Age level: Grades 4-12
Description: This guidebook explains “power skills”–letter writing, interviewing, speech-making, fund raising and media coverage–which can be used by students to make a difference. Examples of real students who have been successful in campaigns related to social issues are included. Samples of actual projects and blank forms help others get started. Order #320, Price: $17.95.
Title: Like It Was: A Complete Guide to Writing Oral History
Author: Brown, S. C.
Age level: Grades 6-12
Description: The author’s history of the civil rights movement serves as a backdrop to this guidebook. Clear directions are included about using a recorder, conducting the interview, transcribing and developing a product, such as short articles and full-length biographies. Order #324, Price: $14.95.
Title: Save the Earth: An Action Handbook for Kids
Author: Miles, B.
Age level: Grades 4-12
Description: This resource book for teachers provides examples of ways students can make a difference in the areas of land, atmosphere, water, energy, plants and animals, and people. Each chapter suggests problems for students as well as examples of actions taken by students. Order #321, Price: $9.95.
Title: Making Your Own Nature
Author: Alford MacFarlane, R.
Age level: Grades 3-8
Description: This resource book explains ways to make displays without killing organisms, by using evidence of animals, plants, photographs, drawings, and rubbings. Additionally, the author provides illustrations and a list of supply companies. Order #434, Price: $14.95.
Title: Math Projects for Young Scientists
Author: Thomas, D.
Age level: Grades 7-12
Description: The author of this guidebook presents almost 100 intriguing math problems in combinatorics and probability, Fibonacci numbers, number theory, sequences and series, geometry and topology, and dynamical systems, Julia sets and fractals. Order #436, Price: $8.95.
Title: The Whole Cosmos Catalog of Science Activities
Authors: Abruscato, J. & Hassard, J.
Age level: Grades 3-9
Description: This oversized guidebook provides readers with puzzles and games related to a variety of science topics. Sections include life sciences, earth sciences, physical sciences, aerospace sciences, and science fiction. Order #440, Price: $14.95.
How-To Books Especially Appropriate for Enrichment Clusters
Enrichment Cluster: The Young Astronomers’ Society
Title: Usborne Guide: The Young Astronomer
Author: Snowden, S.
Age level: Grades 5-9
Description: A great book for those who aspire to be astronomers! Following a brief introduction to observing and different types of observational equipment, the author provides information about constellations, stars, galaxies, nebulae, planets, comets, meteors, the moon, the sun and eclipses. The observation tips, sky maps, and a chart of astronomical sights provided by the author promote first-hand involvement. Order #423, Price: $8.95.
Enrichment Cluster: The Young Meteorologists’ Research Team
Title: Making and Using Your Own Weather Station
Authors: Tannenbaum, A. J., & Tannenbaum, H.
Age level: Grades 4-12
Description: Along with information about air, moisture, winds, clouds, and storms, each chapter includes suggested activities and directions for making a different weather instrument, including: barometer, thermometer, sling psychrometer, rain/snow gauge, wind vane, and anemometer. Order #437, Price: $14.95.
Enrichment Cluster: An Environmental Protection Association
Title: Usborne Guide: The Young Naturalist
Author: Mitchell, A.
Age level: Grades 2-6
Description: The guidebook is filled with suggestions and instructions for observing and experimenting with plants, birds, insects, mammals, ecosystems and wildlife. It also contains excellent ideas for making collections that involve evidence of living things, such as bones, shells, sounds, plaster casts, etc. Order #402, Price: $8.95.
Enrichment Cluster: Creative Greeting Cards Guild
Title: How to Make Pop-Ups
Author: Irvine, J.
Age level: Grades 3-12
Description: Clear directions and illustrations characterize this guidebook which details pop-up strategies for making different kinds of cards. Material lists are supplied as are tips on getting started. More advanced activities include the creation of a pop-up book. Order #254, Price: $9.95.
Enrichment Cluster: The Young Geologists’ Guild
Title: Understanding and Collecting Rocks and Fossils
Author: Branwell, M.
Age level: Grades 6-12
Description: This book is full of interesting and informative illustrations explaining the forces continually changing the earth’s surface. Many experimental activities are included to stimulate and challenge the minds of young geologists, such as identifying minerals and fossils, making time charts, showing how geological processes work and establishing collections. Order #420, Price: $7.95.
Enrichment Cluster: The Architecture for Learning Research Team
Title: Carpentry for Children
Author: Walker, L.
Age level: Grades 4-12
Description: This resource guide starts with chapters on using tools and building a workshop. Subsequent chapters deal with one-day projects, such as a tugboat or birdhouse, and weekend projects, including a lemonade stand. This book provides the enrichment cluster facilitator with the foundation necessary for experimental activities with students. Order #801, Price: $13.95.
Enrichment Cluster: The Future Fashion Research Institute
Title: Usborne Guide to Fashion Design
Author: Everett, F.
Age level: Grades 6-12
Description: The author of this guide books takes readers behind the scenes to learn how clothes are designed, made and sold. In addition to learning about the business and artistic aspects of fashion design, readers will learn about the materials and skills used by fashion illustrators. Order #812, Price: $9.95.
Enrichment Cluster: The Creative Cartographers’ Guild
Title: How Maps Are Made
Author: Baynes, J.
Grade level: Grades 4-12
Description: This guidebook contains information about different kinds of map’s and the author discusses mapmaking techniques such as scale, signs, grid references, surveying and cartographic tools. The book contains many color photos and drawings. Order #325, Price: $15.95.
Enrichment Cluster: The Video Production Company
Title: Kid Vid: Fundamentals of Video Instruction
Author: Black, K.
Grade level: Grades 4-12
Description: Nine easy lessons are contained in this book about video production. Topics include scripting, story boarding, program treatment, production, editing, and evaluation. Appendices provide useful items, including sample scripts, storyboarding sheets, video production proposals and suggested materials for the classroom. Order #255, Price: $16.95.
Enrichment Cluster: The Visual Artists’ Workshop
Title: How to Draw and Paint What You See
Author: Smith, R.
Age level: Grades 7-12
Description: Aspiring artists are taken step-by-step through a variety of projects. The author gives precise directions for projects so the reader can concentrate on techniques being taught. Sample projects include: the use of black and white, color and elements of picture-making, landscapes, still lifes, and portraits. Order #810, Price: $31.95.
Title: Usborne Guide to Pottery
Author: Potter, T.
Age level: Grades 3-12
Description: Bowls, jewelry and race cars are just a few of the projects beginners can learn about in this resource book. The author provides clear explanations for potters and teaches basic pottery techniques along the way. Later chapters contain information about glazes and how to design and market artists’ work. Order #821, Price: $7.95.
Title: The Kid’s Multicultural Art Book
Author: Terziam, A. M.
Age level: Pre-K to Grade 5
Description: This guidebook introduces young children to art and craft experiences from around the world. Using materials commonly found at home, the book provides directions for making more than 100 projects which represent African, American, Eskimo, Indian, Asian, Hispanic and Latino cultures. Order #443, Price: $12.95.
Resources for Teachers: Identifying Student Abilities
Title: Thinking Smart: A Primer of the Talents Unlimited Model
Authors: Schlichter, C. L., & Palmer, W. R.
Description: Talents Unlimited is a classroom-based model designed to develop creative and critical thinking skills. It is based on the work of Calvin Taylor’s multiple talent theory which proposes that students have talents in creative and productive thinking, decision making, planning, forecasting, communication and academic talents. In this handbook, thirteen chapters explain various aspects of the model including: theory and research, classroom and school applications, evaluations and new directions for the model. This book is designed to help teachers develop talents in all students. Order #961, Price: $23.95.
Resources for Teachers: Problem Finding and Problem Focusing
Title: Pathways to Investigative Skills: Instructional Lessons for Guiding Students from Problem Finding to Final Product
Author: Burns, D. E.
Grade level: Elementary-Junior High
Description: This is an all-in-one teacher resource book written by one of the nation’s leading experts on thinking skills. It consists of ten step-by-step lessons designed to teach children about interest finding, problem finding, topic webbing, topic focusing, and creative problem solving. The numerous resources provided in this notebook are the following:
- 28 slides and a script for a slide show featuring Type III projects completed by students.
- 9 classroom posters (11″x17″).
- A pathways planning sheet that keeps students on target and helps them visualize their goals.
- Blackline masters needed in each lesson.
- A 273-item interest-finder form.
- A one-page summary of each lesson with goals, key ideas, and materials needed.
Order #951, Price: $49.95.