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Title: Design and implementation of ICT-supported education for highly able pupils
Authors: Mooij, Ton
Keywords: education design
gifted pupils
Information and Communication Technology
early education
school development
Issue Date: 9-Nov-2010
Abstract: Highly able pupils differ considerably from their age-mates with respect to their learning potentials, actual levels of development, and learning styles in various areas of competence. From very young onwards, these pupils may experience serious motivational, social, and cognitive problems when attending regular education. The research question focuses on how to specify and support learning processes of highly able pupils in such ways that these pupils can achieve according to their real potentials in primary education. A second related question asks for the empirical effects of adequate learning arrangements on highly able pupils in primary education. The method to answer these questions is as follows. First, theoretical specification of the required support of highly able pupils is based on characteristics of these pupils and on pedagogical, psychological, educational, and organisational outcomes of empirical research. It is shown that, even in learning arrangements designed for highly able pupils, the adequacy and progress of their learning processes may be blocked by education characteristics that come much too late, and offer much too less learning support or challenges. Second, this conclusion leads to the formulation and specification of three dimensions that seem to respond to the learning needs of highly able pupils. These dimensions refer to the differentiation of the curriculum, development and implementation of supportive Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and continuous monitoring and improvement of learning processes. Each dimension is made concrete in five guidelines. Third, prototypes of both relevant curricula and ICT support were developed in collaboration with school practice. Fourth, using a longitudinal intervention design, an experimental study is being conducted in which five randomly selected primary schools function as control schools and five randomly selected primary schools act as experimental schools. In the experimental schools, screening of relevant beginning characteristics of incoming four-year old pupils by parents and teachers is followed by a more diagnostic approach to assess the actual cognitive, social, and other competencies of each pupil. Then, development, playing and learning for each pupil are based as much as possible at the levels of their actual competencies in each area. Learning is organised in small groups of pupils, to enhance self-regulatory processes. In the conference paper and presentation, information will be given about each of the four research steps. With respect to the fourth step, the information given regards the characteristics of the experimental design and school situations, the various roles of the didactic ICT prototype, the training of teachers, the implementation of the experimental characteristics in school practice, and the main first effects of the experiment with the teachers in practice. Concrete effects of the intervention on the learning processes and outcomes of the highly able pupils will be presented in the future.
Description: Mooij, T. (2010, 25-27 August). Design and implementation of ICT-supported education for highly able pupils. Presentation at the European Conference on Educational Research, Helsinki, Finland.
Appears in Collections:2. LC: Presentations

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