Programs and Services for Academically Talented Students
In order to provide quality work for all students, District 203 provides programs and services available to meet the needs of academically talented students in grades kindergarten through high school. The document Overview of Gifted and Talented Programs: A Handbook for Parents provides a convenient summary of the information on this website.
The programs and services are:
Project IDEA+ (Magnet Program)
Characteristics of Academically Talented
Frequently Asked Questions
Matrices - Math
The programs for academically talented students seek to develop, through integration of curriculum, the higher level thinking skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation as outlined in Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy (1956). (See diagram #1)
The ability to recall, remember, or recognize ideas or facts.
True understanding involves cognitive processes requiring more than simply memory.
Making use of what is received in instruction, without necessarily relating it to other things or seeing implications. Researchers believe that even success at this level is not yet true understanding.
The ability to use abstractions, rules, principles, ideas, and methods in appropriate situations. Experts agree that this ability demonstrates understanding.
The ability to break down communication into its constituent parts or elements.
The ability to take pieces, elements, or parts of things and re-combine them into a new pattern or structure.
The ability to decide if criteria have been satisfied.
Diagram #1 Moves from simple to complex (knowledge to evaluation)
In Project IDEA, Project IDEA+, and Honors teachers use higher level questions to promote challenge for students.
Description of higher level questions:
In class discussions and on tests, the teacher attempts to ensure that the highly able learner is presented with questions that draw on an advanced level of information, require leaps of understanding, and challenge thinking.
Rationale for the use of higher level questions:
- Can tap into talent as a thinker.
- Can develop metacognition (awareness of one’s own thinking.)
- Can move the student beyond easy facility with glib answers to developing logic and integrity in substantiating answers and opinions with reason and evidence.
How to use higher level questions:
- All learners need to think at high levels.
- What makes a question high level for an advanced learner is its combination of advanced information with complex thinking requirements.
- Require students to defend answers.
- Use open-ended questions.
For more information about programs available in Naperville Community Unit School District 203 for academically talented students, contact building principals, high school counselors or the Curriculum Office at 630-548-6008.