Research Paper on an Education System for Advanced Learners
There has been an overwhelming challenge for teachers to meet the individual academic and personal need of every student in the classroom. This paper will focus on the gifted and or advanced learners that are in the regular classroom that doesn’t allow them to be challenged or share their creative characteristics. In research from Gomez –Arizaga et al. (2020, p. 137) Gifted students in regular classrooms have fewer opportunities to develop activities that are based on their characteristics as learners and address their needs. The focus should be on implementing a lesson plan that will meet the needs and support the culture creativeness of the students. With that said, the heart of this literature review will explain the strategies used by teachers to support gifted learners, with a focus on “Teaching through the arts”. For example, when children learn through the arts it promotes critical thinking, social skills, creativity, writing, emergent play and other area of learning that support developmental learning outcomes.
In addition, this paper will explain the development of a prototype that evolved from a teachers wondering of an advanced learner in her class that became bored and uninterested in school. Starting with a problem statement, the teacher and the student has the problem. Showing critical pedagogy the teacher is concerned about keeping the student focused on continued learning but doesn’t know how to go about it. Therefore the major problem stems from the curriculum being taught does not support the diversity of the student. This problem shows up throughout the day during whole group learning times. The quote from Skylee is “I already know this stuff”. She is feeling bored because when the teacher is going over the learning material according to her lesson plan she already knows the material. The characteristics relevant to the problem statement are, she is an advanced learner and she thinks school is easy. The goals for skylee is to enjoy school, be challenged and to read. After taking a closer look at the problem of supporting Skylee, it turns out that she needed to be supported in something that interest her based on her characteristics. In other words, seeking out what appeals to the student and keeping her engaged and learning throughout the day was the start of the solution to the problem.
The user of the prototype is a five year old preschooler that is shy at times and her interest is sparked when there is a conversation about art and during her times of creating in the art area. As revealed by the details of her art work she is very artistic. For this reason she needs more creative experiences to allow for her to be involved in her interest and be inventive. So the insight behind of this POV is, because she is artistic she wants to paint the world as she listens to the music form her favorite movie “Princess and the frog”.
The prototype that was designed is an art book with a picture of the characters from the princes and the frog movie that displays developmentally appropriate art work done by well-known artist. The artist use of various types of tools and material, such as Picasso -playdough faces, Gustav Klimt -tree of life, Vincent van Gogh- sunset of fields and his art for kids playdough sunflower, and Roy Lichtenstein –pop art, just to name a few. Along with the art work are sheets of paper that she can use to create the art pieces herself. In addition, the art supplies needed (pencils, crayons, playdough, watercolor, paint brushes, paint etc., are in an easy to carry basket. Additionally the art pieces can be interchangeable as the user completes the artwork or draws interest in a piece of art. Although this prototype is geared toward supporting a five year old female student in the classroom, after testing it out on four people of different age groups within the home setting, it was found to be an interest to people of any group and/or gender to be used anywhere..
Although gifted students are above in their academic standing compared to other students in their class and or grade level their overall development needs are not met. They are not being provided the learning activities that will challenge them and keep them motivated. According to Gomez-Arizaga et al. (2020), when their needs are not being met, some negative consequences can occur such as underachievement, school attrition, and low concept, among others. He further explains that, giftedness refers to the possession and use of high abilities (aptitudes or gifts) that are expressed naturally, at a level that places the gifted individual among the top 10% of their age group. Talent is deﬁned as an outstanding expression of one or more abilities, systematically developed in at least one ﬁeld of human activity (Gomez-Arizaga et al., 2020). Never the less, for the gifted students to gain enrichment during the school day, they need a teacher that will be intentional in caring about and seeking out what interest them so that they are actively engaged in learning. “In the school context, in general, creativity is not being developed as it should be. Most students often feel unmotivated because of a monotonous and repetitive teaching” (Piske, Stoltz, & Machado, 2014)
In accordance to my design challenge the articles chosen layout the framework for the use of visual arts in the classroom to support all learners focusing more so on the gifted learner.
Engagement within the arts nurtures the events of cognition, social, and private competencies, once well taught, the humanities give young kids with authentic learning experiences that interact their minds (Danko-Mcghee, & Slutsky, 2007). Critical thinking is increased and students are able to analyze, evaluate, and reflect on information as well as problem solve during social interactions as well as with materials.