ESE 593 Middle School and Gifted
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Center for Excellence in Education
Northern Arizona University
ESE 593
Middle School and Gifted

General Information
Instructor: Pat Hays
Office Phone: 520-523-3952
Office e-mail:
Office Location: Room 207 F, Eastburn Education Building
Credits: 1 credit
Meeting times: On Internet

This course is designed to provide a brief introduction to gifted education and then relate it to middle schools. Traditionally, a course such as the introduction to gifted education is a three-hour course. Since this course is only a one-hour course, it will only highlight the issues normally covered in a three-hour introduction to gifted education course. The one-hour of credit this course provides can be used to meet a portion of the gifted endorsement provided by the AZ Department of Education.


Students will:
  • Investigate the problems of gifted education and the middle school relationship.
  • Recognize issues related to curricular alignment.
  • Become familiar with charcteristics of gifted student.
  • Become aware of different state mandates concerning gifted education.
  • Become aware of issues related to currently to the field of gifted education.
Textbook: No textbook is required. Required reading will be located on-line or in selected sections of web pages.

Course Modules
This course is divided into four modules.

Module One- General Overview of Gifted Education - This module provides an overview of the course. It is the time for you to learn how to access mini-lectures on-line, articles on-line, use the Virtual Conference Center (VCC) and make sure you can communicate with me on-line. This module will be completed by 9/4.

Module Two- Characteristics of Gifted Students and Definitions of Giftedness - Information on these topics will be provided with mini-lectures, short informational readings, and web site locations. This module will be completed by 9/12.

Module Three- Curricular Alignment and Content Modification for Gifted - Information on these topics will be provided with mini-lectures and readings and examples. T his module will be completed by 9/18.

Module Four- Middle School and the Gifted -You will be reading one article and responding in the VCC. This module and all course requirements will be completed by 9/24.

Course Requirements
  • Article Responses
    You will need to respond to three articles Reading 1 (Gallagher) in Module One, Reading 2 (Renzulli and Reis) in Module One, and Reading Five (Rosselli and Irvin) in Module Four. Directions for article responses follow the listing of course requirements.
  • Virtual Conference Center
    You are expected to participate in any discussions that go with the modules. You can respond to others in the course or me. Please keep your comments brief and to the point. For Module One there is a VCC to introduce yourself to the class and a VCC to post comments or ask questions related to Readings 1 and 2. For Modules Two there will be a VCC for you to ask questions and post information collected from two web sites related to gifted education in states other than AZ. For Module Three there is a VCC for you to ask questions. For Module Four there will be a VCC for you to post comments related to Reading Seven.
  • Student Profile
    You will be required to submit a profile of a gifted student or potentially gifted student. This student should be a current or previous student. Directions for student profile follow listing of course requirements.
  • Course Reflection
    For the final reflection paper you will be responding to what you know and what you feel you need to know about gifted education and middle schools.


All assignments and must be completed to receive a passing grade in the course.

  1. Article Responses
    • 10 x 3=30 points
  2. VCC Participation
    • 10 points for comments on articles in Module One
    • 10 points for information sharing from other states in Module Two
    • 10 points for article comments in Module Four
  3. Student Profile
    • 30 points
  4. Course Reflection
    • 10 points
59-- =F

Directions for Article Responses
Listing of Articles:
Module One
  • Reading One---Gallagher, J.J. (2000). Unthinkable thoughts: Education of gifted students. Gifted Child Quarterly 44(1), 5-12.
  • Reading Two---Renzulli, J.S. & Reis, S.M. (1991). The reform movement and the quiet crisis in gifted education. Gifted Child Quarterly 15(1), 26-35.
Module Two
  • Reading Three---Drews, E. (1963). The four faces of able adolescents. Saturday Review , 68-71.
Module Three
  • Reading Four---Taba, H., Durkin, M.C., Fraenkel, J.R. & McNaughton, A.H. (1971). A Teacher's Handbook to elementary Social Studies. (Chapter three pp. 19-37) Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Module Four
  • Reading Five---Rosselli, H.C. & Irvin, J.L. (2001). Differing perspectives, common ground: The middle school and gifted education relationship. Middle School Journal 32(3), 26-35.
Reading One
Gallagher poses four questions. Respond to each of these four questions with your own opinions. You can agree or disagree with his ideas, but you need to provide your own reasoning to support your views.

Reading Two
Renzulli and Reis discuss two noble goals. The first goal is past educational history at this point and reflects the 1991 date of this article. The rest of the article talks about many of the questions still being discussed in relationship to gifted education. Select two ideas example: tracking, identification of gifted students, differentiated learning for gifted students)discussed in the article and reflect on those ideas related to your own experience and opinions. Remember to provide reasoning for your ideas.

Reading Three
The Drews article to provide background for your student profile. No response is required, but questions and opinions are welcomed in the VCC.

Reading Four
The Taba et. al. Chapter is to provide with a clear, practical understanding of Bruner's ideas from The Process of Education.

Reading Five
Rosselli and Irvin discuss the relationship of gifted education and middle school education. Discuss the idea of equity and excellence as it relates to gifted students and middle school philosophy. You can use information from the article, but provide your own reasoning from your experience, education and opinions to support your views. This balance between equity and excellence is at the heart of gifted education.

Directions for Student Profile
Read Reading Three - Drews article.
Using Drews categories of rebel, social leader, or creative intellectual, select a current or former student who you consider gifted or potentially gifted.
  • Provide some background information about the student.
  • What characteristics make you think that this student is gifted?
  • What about this student made you decide their Drews category?
  • Has this student ever been a part of a gifted program?
  • Have any accommodations been made in school to serve this student's talents?
  • What is school like for this student?
  • Describe an ideal school program for this student that would maximize the student's talents.
Directions for Final Course Reflection
This course covered an overview of gifted education, characteristics of gifted education, definitions of gifted students, curriculum alignment, and the relationship between gifted and the middle school. Write a paragraph summary about each of these topics.

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