Project STREAM (Support, Training, and Resources for Educating Able Minorities)
Project STREAM is a collaborative effort between three Wisconsin universities and six school districts for the purpose of improving identification and programming options for gifted and talented students with major focus on students from minority populations. STREAM has five principal goals: (1) To develop multiple ways to identify the diverse talents and abilities of minority students; (2) To promote a conceptualization of giftedness which embraces the idea of multiple intelligences; (3) To increase the representation of minorities in gifted programs to the level proportionate to their representation in the population; (4) To help provide systematic and continuous programming for students in the program during middle and senior high school; (5) To increase the likelihood that students will stay in school through high school and subsequently elect to start and complete a baccalaureate degree.
STREAM is based on seven basic assumptions:
- Talents and abilities are distributed equally without regard for gender, race or nationality.
- Multiple talents and intelligences exist.
- Early identification of talents and abilities is necessary.
- Systematic and continuous attention to students is required.
- Psychological components are as important as the academic.
- Universities need to link with minority students, their teachers and their parents when students are at an early age.
- Parents need to be involved in their children’s education.
The Process. Each spring a number of sixth grade students in Beloit, Delavan-Darlen, Kenosha, Waukesha, Racine, and Milwaukee are identified for the program. Identification is done in several ways: Traditional ways of identifying students may be used (grades, achievement scores, etc.), but focus is on developing nontraditional means of finding abilities such as creativity, problem solving, leadership, and the arts. Observational analyses are of special interest. Once in the program, students stay throughout middle and senior high school. Each year a new group is added, thus enlarging the STREAM. As talents and abilities are identified, students are integrated into existing gifted and talented school programs which meet their needs.
Student Programming. During the school year, students come to the UW-Whitewater and UW-Parkside campus at least once a semester. Emphasis during the day is on skills and psychosocial factors. One visit includes a cultural event. During the school year special programs are offered for students in their school districts. When necessary, academic assistance is provided. Mentoring is also made available. In summer, students come on campus for a week’s residency. They work on skills such as writing, speech, math and on psychosocial dimensions such as self-esteem and confidence. Special talents are fortified through offerings in dance, art and theater. Students work with both minority and non-minority staff, including university faculty, live in the dorm, and learn to use university resources.
Staff Development. STREAM also sponsors staff development opportunities and provides special assistance to teachers of STREAM and other minority students. A practicum-oriented class is offered in conjunction with the Summer Institute and a class is given in Milwaukee once a year. Curriculum for meeting the needs of gifted students in the classroom is being developed, and material resources are made available to both students and staff.
Parent Programs. Programs for parents of STREAM students are also offered. Emphasis is on meeting the needs of parents with the belief that a major way to assist students is through the parents.
For more information on UW-Whitewater STREAM, please contact Dr. Donna Rae Clasen at 6038 Winther Hall, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI 53190 (414-472-1960 or 472-5379) or Eve Johnson (414-475-8459). At UW-Parkside contact Dr. Barbara Shade at Box 2000, UW-Parkside, Kenosha, WI 53141 (414-5532376).
The Gifted Education Policy Studies Program
James J. Gallagher
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Gifted Education Policy Studies Program, under the direction of James J. Gallagher at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was established to analyze and seek solutions to two major issues which interfere with providing full educational services to gifted students. These issues are: (1) state and local policies regarding eligibility for gifted programs which tend to reduce the participation of some gifted students (minority, disabled, and underachievers); and (2) educational reform efforts (cooperative learning and the middle school movement) which may reduce services designed for gifted learners.
In examining the first issue, underserved gifted students, an analysis of existing state policies is being conducted to identify specific policy barriers to identification, as well as states with model policies. A case study of three states which seem to have policies that enable broader identification of gifted students to take place will be conducted to determine how this goal was accomplished. As a result of this work, legislative designs will be developed as models for states wishing to address this issue.
The second study, an examination of the impact of school reform on gifted students, will investigate ways which reform efforts and gifted programs can work together successfully to enhance services to gifted students. A survey designed to identify the current obstacles to this cooperation, and suggested strategies to combine efforts will be conducted. Further investigation will involve the identification of sites where school reform efforts and gifted programs have been successfully interfaced to enhance services for gifted students. From this investigation a paradigm for successful collaboration between school reform initiatives and gifted programs will be developed.
Any one with information regarding cooperative learning or middle school programs which have been designed with particular attention to the needs of gifted students, please contact us:
James J. Gallagher, Director
Mary Ruth Coleman, Associate Director
Gifted Education Policy Studies Program
CB 8040, NCNB Plaza, Suite 301
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040
Javits 7+ Gifted Program
Joyce Rubin, Joel Rubenfeld
Community School District 18, Brooklyn, New York
Community School District 18 in Brooklyn, New York, was funded by the United States Department of Education under the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act to develop a demonstration project that would explore ways to identify and provide appropriately differentiated curriculum for students who are usually not identified as gifted through the use of traditional assessment methods, and are often overlooked in the classroom. This includes the economically disadvantaged, students with limited English proficiency, and individuals with handicapping conditions. The theoretical foundation for District 18’s project, the Javits 7+ Program, is Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. District 18 created an early childhood program designed to discover and develop multiple intelligences identified by Gardner’s research. Under the leadership of Joyce Rubin, Director of Gifted Programs, and Joel Rubenfeld, Project Coordinator, a team of teachers and staff developed a series of intelligence-fair performance based assessments.
The project director, coordinator and curriculum specialists conduct workshops where the teachers are presented with a variety of strategies, such as using learning centers and contracts to individualize instruction. Supervisors, teachers and visual and performing artists work collaboratively to create an appropriately differentiated curriculum which is presented through conceptual themes. These interdisciplinary units of instruction provide opportunities for students to develop their multiple intelligences, as well as their critical and creative thinking skills. The Javits 7+ teachers create a supportive learning environment, which values all intelligences equally, and enables students to recognize and appreciate their own uniqueness and that of their peers. A team of artists from Young Audiences/New York works cooperatively with program teachers to develop interdisciplinary activities. Because parents are partners in the education of their children, workshops are provided enabling parents to develop strategies which nurture their children’s multiple intelligences at home.
There are four pilot classes this year: a first grade at P135; a first grade at P268; a first grade class and a first/second grade bilingual bridge class at P219. Next year the funding will serve ten classes: first and second grade at P135; first and second grade at P268; two first grade classes, a second and a third grade class at P219; and two special education classes in early childhood for youngsters with handicapping conditions (MIS IV) at P279. Additional classes will open at other schools (first grade at P233, kindergarten and first grade at P279), although they are not included in the funding for this project.
Identifying Underrepresented Disadvantaged Gifted and Talented Children: A Multifaceted Approach
Dennis P. Saccuzzo
San Diego State University, University of California, San Diego
A series of studies and statistical analyses are being conducted to develop the fairest possible method for selection of gifted and talented education (G.A.TE.) students. These analyses are expected to lead to the development of a selection model that will increase the numbers of underrepresented disadvantaged gifted children in proportion to the ethnic populations enrolled in the San Diego City School District, grades 3-12. Anonymous data consisting of information on gender, ethnic background, various ability and achievement test scores and disposition concerning giftedness are being provided by the seven G.A.TE. psychologists of the San Diego Unified School District. Approximately 5,000 children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds including African-American, Caucasian, Asian, Filipino, and Hispanic will be tested each year for three years. A major focus of the study will be to test the efficacy of the Raven Progressive Matrices Test and Locus of Control Scales in providing unbiased data pertaining to giftedness. A selection model tailored to each ethnic group will be determined utilizing both breadth and depth models. At the end of Year One, a report detailing the fairest and most equitable model will be presented. Year Two will consist of the implementation of the model. In Year Three, the model by which the giftedness in underrepresented disadvantaged children is identified and nurtured will be subject to cross-validation.
In addition, selected gifted and non-gifted African-American, Caucasian, Filipino, and Hispanic children will be given the opportunity to respond to a set of microcomputerized information-processing tasks. These tasks evaluate abilities that cannot be measured by traditional paper and pencil or standard IO tests.
Archival data from approximately 15,000 gifted students of various ethnic backgrounds will be evaluated. The primary focus of the archival data analyses will be to determine the unique cognitive strengths and weaknesses of children of various ethnic backgrounds.