Do Teachers Who Are Differentiating Show Evidence of Their Own Giftedness?: A Review of Recent Findings

Do Teachers Who Are Differentiating Show Evidence of Their Own Giftedness?: A Review of Recent Findings

Joyce Lenore VanTassel-Baska (The College of William and Mary, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5879-8.ch016

Abstract

The classroom observation scale-revised (COS-R) was used to analyze characteristics of the teachers who might be gifted and talented (GATE). Existing data sets are reviewed and re-analyzed to ascertain the use of differentiation in classrooms working with gifted learners. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence and effectiveness of differentiation practices in selected classrooms across K-12 in three districts on the East Coast, each with well-established gifted programs, to see if the use of these practices shows a relationship with the most effective teachers. The evidence suggests that teachers who work with the gifted in particular types of programs appear to be more effective in their use of differentiated teaching behaviors. Are these teachers gifted or GATE? The pattern evident throughout the data is that few teachers are observed using more nuanced differentiation strategies, raising the question of whether specific behaviors on the COS-R could be identifiers of gifted teachers.
Chapter Preview
Top

Purpose Of The Study

With new standards of best practice in place only since 2012, it may be important for the field of gifted education to reexamine the issues surrounding use of differentiation practices and learn how teachers are doing in districts that have strong gifted education programs and services in place at all levels. Given access to multiple modalities of professional development and the use of in-district training opportunities, do the most effective teachers use differentiation practices in their classrooms to the benefit of both gifted and non-gifted learners? The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence and effectiveness of differentiation practices in selected classrooms across K-12 in three districts on the East Coast, all of whom have well-established programs for the gifted in place to see if the use of these practices shows a relationship with the most effective teachers. If the relationship exists then could this be an indicator of the teacher’s gifted and talented characteristics?

Key Terms in this Chapter

Classroom Observation Scale-Revised: Developed by a team of researchers from The College of William and Mary, this observation tool enables observers look for specific areas of instruction seen in differentiation for highly able learners, including curriculum planning and delivery, accommodation for individual differences, critical thinking strategies, creative thinking strategies, and analysis and inquiry.

Teacher Effectiveness: The degree to which the teacher is able to engage learners and impact student learning.

Differentiation: A term used to describe content, process, product, and assessment accommodations for high ability learners.

AP and IB Programs: Advanced placement (AP) and international baccalaureate (IB) programs are accelerated and enriched programs for high school students.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset