Serving the Advanced Middle School Learner in the Heterogeneous Classroom.Report as inadecuate

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The Chapter 2-Carnegie Middle School Project was designed to develop educational programming and to provide appropriate services to advanced and gifted learners within the restricted middle school environment. This study examined the extent to which trained teachers could effectively implement advanced instructional techniques and curricula for gifted students in a heterogeneous middle school environment. Data were collected through field notes and unstructured interviews covering seven categories: (1) teacher assessment; (1) teacher self-perception of professional growth; (3) academic challenge; (4) curricular decisions; (5) instruction; (6) classroom environment; and (7) classroom management. Findings show that the teachers most successful in implementing thematic and interdisciplinary curricula were those who expressed enthusiasm for their discipline and excitement in learning new teaching skills. There was little evidence of instructional differentiation in depth, complexity, novelty, or acceleration for advanced and gifted learners. Teachers tended to underestimate their students' readiness for more sophisticated instructional experiences. Nonetheless, the results indicated that students showed understanding of their curricular themes and generalizations, and expressed enthusiasm for their classes. Contains 11 references. (AP)

Descriptors: Academically Gifted, Curriculum Design, Heterogeneous Grouping, Instructional Development, Instructional Materials, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Middle Schools, Special Education, Special Education Teachers, Talent, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Methods, Thematic Approach

Author: Guerrero, Janis K.


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