Differentiation for the Gifted: Opportunities Provided by Distance-Online Education

Differentiation for the Gifted: Opportunities Provided by Distance-Online Education

Gülşah Avcı Doğan (Ordu University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5053-6.ch004
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This chapter aims to recommend the Differentiated Hybrid Education Model for the gifted and a differentiation proposal for STEM education. Differentiation is examined along with educational models and strategies in gifted education. Effective differentiation methods and techniques in the field are constantly being renewed. These renovations include the use of technological instruments and technology-based program designs in education. As forms of technology-based environments, distance and online education are the models that are rarely used under normal conditions have become a necessity with the pandemic period. This period naturally created an opportunity for distance-online education to be seen as a differentiation strategy for the gifted. STEM, which is an effective approach in the education of the gifted, stands out as a good example that can be adapted to the Differentiated Hybrid Education Model.
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Various educational strategies are proposed for the effectiveness of teaching gifted students considering their characteristics and educational needs. The rapidly changing era, and thus, the changing needs lead to various spontaneous arrangements. In this regard, even if the characteristics of the gifted student remain the same, the quality of education required is constantly changing. A rapid shift that can be called the beginning of a new era occurred with the Covid-19 pandemic (World Health Organization [WHO], 2020). All known orders have been transformed, and all applications have been updated. Naturally, crowds could not be physically held together, and everything was carried out through internet-based applications and platforms. The weakening of the pandemic and the fact that this process took too long has prompted all countries of the world to return to the habits before the pandemic under the name of “new normal” or “controlled normalization.” As each field underwent a re-organization process, a large audience also faced new regulations ranging from early childhood to graduate education levels. The regulations are evaluated together with the advantages and disadvantages of online life. In this manner, although the process is fraught with difficulties in fighting the disease, making positive gains from these life experiences is aimed. It is known that there have been predominantly disadvantages at all levels in the field of education during the pandemic (Anderson, 2020). Adverse consequences are encountered due to students’ staying away from schools that are the heart of their academic, social, and emotional development. Although many studies and reports revealed negativities, attempts are being made to create educational proposals for gifted students who have experienced some advantages in the process. This section aims to examine the areas where distance-online education can be used for the education of the gifted and to present a differentiation proposal with the combination of formal education and distance-online education. The aim of this study is to contribute to the field with a proposal for the education of gifted students. In this section, the educational needs of the gifted are explained in line with their characteristics, and a synthesis is suggested in which distance-online education is integrated. Educational differentiations for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), which is the application area where the distance-online education model can be used effectively, are discussed. The following topics are examined in order to create the synthesis referred to as a differentiated hybrid model:

  • General characteristics and learning characteristics of the gifted

  • Educational needs of the gifted

  • Training strategies and distance-online learning applications for the gifted

  • What distance-online education brought after the pandemic

  • Integrated use of face-to-face training and distance-online education

  • Program differentiation for STEM education

Key Terms in this Chapter

Differentiated Hybrid Programs: It is the synthesis of necessary training strategies in a common educational model. For example, the targeted acceleration strategy for the program will be a hybrid model that you will use with distance education.

Gifted and Talented: The gifted and talented is the person who is noticed by the appearance of the own gift. Talent refers to outstanding performance in any field. In some areas, superior performance emerges as a result of the evaluation with a standard measurement tool. In some areas, the resulting product also becomes an indicator of outstanding performance.

Differentiation: This means a reorganization of the standard program for students whose characteristics don't exactly match with the program, regardless of grade level or any education-level course.

Mentor: The person who is inspiring for the student in every sense.

Enrichment: It is the strategy of supporting any element of the education program in accordance with the characteristics of the student.

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