Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Evaluating a Newly Developed Differentiation Approach in Terms of Student Achievement and Teachers' Opinions

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Evaluating a Newly Developed Differentiation Approach in Terms of Student Achievement and Teachers' Opinions

Article excerpt

Consciously selected tools, and equipment and consciously organized teaching environments and activities that are presented to gifted students support these children in a healthy way and enable them to use their own capacities at their highest levels (Mesleki Egitim ve Ögretim Sisteminin Güçlendirilmesi Projesi [MEGEP], 2007). Individual diversity and individual differences create obstacles to teaching and developing learning activities at school, and ignoring individual differences is the basic defect of the education system. This indicates that both education systems and individuals differ in terms of personal features, intelligences, and behaviors, and it is wrong to teach according to one uniform plan (Taller, 2004).

Noting the individual skills of gifted students will ensure that they use their learning capacities to the maximum degree, help them to fulfill their potential, and provide additional teaching opportunities that consider these students' special needs (Tunçdemir, 2004; Tüzünak, 2002). Peterian (1916) says that, "Giftedness is always an opportunity for success, and it makes achievement possible, but it is not the success itself." (as cited in Taller, 2004). In other words, gifted children cannot succeed with only their intelligence; they need to use this intelligence in suitable conditions (Taller, 2004). Zalman Usiskin (2000) was the first person who talked about "improving skills of students to the advanced levels." (as cited in Karp, 2011). Abilities related to giftedness can improve under encouraging conditions, but it is necessary to establish these conditions (Karp, 2011).

Enriching the education services that are provided to gifted children means conducting activities that suit their needs and features in standard classroom programs. To accomplish this, it is necessary to plan differentiated learning experiences in typical classrooms (Ersoy & Avci, 2001 as cited in Karakurt, 2009). Using this differentiation program model, activities are prepared that reflect and take advantage of the skills, interests, and curiosity of gifted children; teaching under this model entails using specially planned educational exercises- individual, group and small group- that address real-life problems. In place of the monotonous and meaningless tasks and activities of more standard classroom programs, the differentiation approach presents intriguing activities that fulfill gifted students' individual needs. It is essential in standard classroom programs to make adaptations that suit the needs and features of gifted students. Enrichment has a structure that involves all children irrespective of their skill levels, unlike other educational practices. Non-gifted children also benefit from these activities (MEGEP, 2007).

Enrichment can be defined as target audience and their needs, interests and skills; content and objectives of the subject area that will be taught; how pedagogy will be used for teaching content, attainments and both and where teaching will take place in order to implement curriculum (Kaplan, 2009). The multiple intelligences approach is used in establishing new schools, defining individual differences, planning and developing curricula, and evaluating education strategies. It is widely used because it can be implemented with different students, subject areas, and grade levels (VanTassel-Baska & Brown, 2009).

Within the scope of the program for noticing individual skills that is compared with the differentiation approach developed in this study and that is implemented in science and art centers in our country, the students are grouped by their individual skills and capacities along with feedback and observations that are made by supportive teachers. Programs are being prepared that consider individual differences among students and uncover their creativity using academic tools that help students realize their skills. Learning environments are equipped with modern teaching instruments that support creativity. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.