THE SYSTEM OF TEACHER EDUCATION FOR MOTIVATIONAL TEACHING OF GIFTED STUDENTS

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1 THE SYSTEM OF TEACHER EDUCATION FOR MOTIVATIONAL TEACHING OF GIFTED STUDENTS Josef Trna and Eva Trnova Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic Abstract: The paper presents research results of motivation of gifted students and the system of teacher education for motivational teaching of gifted students. Motivation is a very important factor affecting cognitive development of gifted students. Science education is currently affected by the fast development of information and communication technologies. The pedagogical theory of connectivism was born as a response to this information and communication technologies development. We have to accept possible connectivistic influences on development and motivation of gifted students in science. Research uncovered unsatisfactory current situation in motivation of gifted students. School environment is the main factor in the realization of motivation and development of giftedness. The role of science teachers in development of gifted students is totally irreplaceable. Therefore our research results of motivation of gifted students have been implemented in the system of teacher education for motivation of gifted students as a part of continuous professional development. An example of this system is teacher training in inquire-based science education. Links between five stages of the development of teacher skills to apply inquire-based science education and levels of inquire-based science education have been identified by use of design-based research. A simple model describing these relations has been presented. The system of pedagogical professional teachers knowledge, understandings and skills to apply inquire-based science education has been supplemented. Keywords: giftedness, inquire-based science education, motivation, science education, system of teacher education INTRODUCTION Teachers all over the world face decreasing interest of students in science studies. Currently used teaching methods are considered to be one of the main reasons of this unfavourable situation (Rocard et al., 2007). Teaching methods used by most of the teachers often do not meet students needs (Duschl et al., 2007). Therefore it is necessary to look for innovative educational methods to increase interest and motivation especially of gifted students. Given that teachers play a significant role in education of all students, including the gifted, it is important to include information on methods suitable for gifted students in their education and teach them skills how to implement these methods in instruction. Students commonly consider science as a useful and promising subject, but requiring giftedness. Students giftedness in science might be latent. Therefore, teachers need to

2 learn how to create the conditions for its detection and subsequent development. Caring for students gifted in science is of great importance for the development of the whole society that cannot afford to lose gifted people, it is the best potential for the future. Teachers who teach students with different abilities need methods that allow them to access and educate individual students according to their abilities. Another problem teachers have to face is a different learning style of current generations and principles of connectivism (Oblinger & Oblinger, 2005) which are not generally accepted. Many methods used by teachers are inappropriate for students in terms of their different learning styles and similarly the educational content. Students are unmotivated and find the covered topics unrelated to their everyday lives. It's difficult to find an educational method that would meet fully all the above requirements. According to researches, such a method could be inquiry-based science education (hereinafter IBSE), because it focuses on the needs of all students (including the gifted), allows an individual approach and the curriculum is associated with everyday problems. The results of our and other researches confirm that IBSE motivates students as well as teachers. However, teachers have to learn how to apply this method, therefore is should be incorporated both into pre-service and in-service programmes and continual professional development (hereinafter CPD). We describe a specific CPD approach leading to the increased ability of teachers to implement IBSE into their everyday practice. The research results demonstrating its usefulness are also presented. The results of our research confirm the usefulness of IBSE strategy in science teaching. We present verified CPD approach leading to the increase of teachers skills in implementation of IBSE into practical use. RATIONALE The importance of IBSE for the development of the gifted is evident from the lack of links between intelligence levels and success in practical life, what is presented by D. Goleman (1996). He claims that IQ determines success in practical life in only 25 %. In other words, according to IQ tests, which often prove giftedness, you cannot tell whose career succeeds and whose fails. Our society requires not only adequate giftedness development, but also its application, because only this brings benefits to both gifted individuals and society. D. Goleman states that truly successful people in the field have other highly developed characteristics: sense of interpersonal relationships, communication skills, ability to guide, ability to work in a team, careful assessment of own abilities and consistent pursuit of objectives. IBSE could therefore help to develop giftedness by focusing not only on expertise and specific scientific skills, but also on the knowledge and skills essential for successful everyday and professional life, which is sometimes referred to as "learning for life and work." Classic skills acquired in instruction are enhanced by new ones, called "twenty-first century skills". These skills include mainly critical thinking, problem solving, cooperation, effective communication and self-education (Pellegrino & Hilton, 2012), which corresponds with the characteristics mentioned by D. Goleman.

3 According to experts, motivation is a very important factor affecting the cognitive development of gifted students. Renzulli (1986), Mönks & Ypenburg (1993) justify the need to motivate gifted students in their models of giftedness. According to Mönks development of giftedness depends largely on a supportive motivational environment. Giftedness of students is also associated with high intelligence (Sternberg, 2007). Development of giftedness takes place in difficult conditions that affect science teaching and learning. Rapid development of information and communication technologies (hereinafter ICT) started ranking among significant cognitive factors. Also science education is strongly affected by the fast development of ICT. The new pedagogical theory of connectivism was born as a response to invasive ICT development. According to Siemens (2005, p. 4) learning (defined as actionable knowledge) can reside outside of ourselves (within an organization or a database), is focused on connecting specialized information sets, and the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing. Thus a need occurred to examine possible connectivistic influences on development and motivation of gifted students in science. Educators try to find and develop teaching/learning methods, leading to effective education of students gifted in science. Emphasis should be put on motivation, which is the basis of success in the support of giftedness. IBSE has been considered such an educational method for a few years. It s a constructivist educational method, important for the whole range of students including, the gifted (Rocard et al, 2007). Our researches confirmed that IBSE with connectivist elements is also suitable for motivation of gifted students. All researches will be useless until the results get into professional knowledge of teachers. Therefore, in the long run we pay attention to the implementation of these methods in science teacher education. Our goal is to create a system including: (a) Detection of educational (especially motivational) needs of gifted students (b) Development of appropriate educational (especially motivational) methods for gifted students (c) Implementation of educational (especially motivational) methods for gifted students in teacher education This strategy corresponds to the structure of our study, where all the three parts are included. METHODS Development of science giftedness with connectivistic impulses opens our main research objectives: motivation of gifted students and the system of teacher education to motivate gifted students. Our research questions/problems correspond to the above strategy: (1) What opinions have gifted students about their own motivation? (2) What motivational methods are appropriate for gifted students?

4 (3) How to create a system of teacher education to motivate gifted students? Sufficient methods/tools for our research objectives connected to our research questions were: (1) Questionnaire (2) + (3) Questionnaires, observations, interviews, didactic tests, students and teachers portfolios, action research, design-based research (Reeves, 2006), cooperative action research based on ICT (Trna & Trnova, 2010). In the first part of our research we used a questionnaire for gifted students. The questionnaire focused on the status of motivation of gifted students in current schools. We looked for the answers to the second and third research question using design-based research combined with other research methods. RESULTS Our research brought many new findings about motivation of gifted students. This study presents only the part corresponding to the above research questions. First, we try to find out the status of motivation of gifted students in current schools. An analysis of specific motivational needs of gifted students follows. Finally, we pay attention to the system of teacher education to motivate gifted students. Status of motivation of gifted students in current schools First, we found out gifted students opinions of their motivation in instruction using a questionnaire. Our questionnaire (2011/2012) was distributed to 86 gifted students (aged 16 to 18) in the Czech Republic (Trnova, E., Trna, J. & Skrabankova, 2013). An example of the most significant items: Question No. 1: Does your school environment motivate you to study physics? Figure 1. Frequency of responses to question 1.

5 Our research has shown that the current situation in motivation of gifted students is unsatisfactory. School environment is the main factor in the realization of this motivation and the development of giftedness. Then we discovered specific motivational needs of gifted students (Trnova, E. & Trna, J., 2012). We used (2011) a questionnaire with a representative sample of 138 non-gifted and 15 students gifted in science of an upper secondary school in the Czech Republic (aged 15-18). We are presenting a part of the questionnaire results (Table 1): Table 1 Specific science educational needs of students. Which activities would you like to do in classes, which activities interest and attract you? Gifted students N =15 (%) Non-gifted students N = 138 (%) Difference gifted/nongifted (%) Measurement Analyzing of phenomena Verification of hypotheses Identifying processes in the nature Observation Creating of hypotheses Experimentation Formulating conclusions Substantiation of solutions Data processing Evaluation Describing of phenomena Expressing and defending of opinion Solving of projects Questionnaire research and design-based research produce new findings that may be applied in the development of innovative motivational teaching methods. Most of the identified educational needs of gifted students are met in IBSE that we focused on when analysing the development of motivational teaching / learning methods. How important it is to create suitable conditions for the development of giftedness and to motivate students is evident from the data presented by experts at giftedness. They argue that there are two to three percent of the exceptionally gifted. However, if conditions necessary for the development of students individual abilities were optimal, up to 25% of them could significantly excel in some areas (Freeman, 2001). It is therefore necessary to

6 provide teachers with appropriate motivational teaching methods for gifted students. According to the above findings, IBSE is one of these methods. The system of teacher education to motivate gifted students The role of the teacher in the development of gifted students is totally irreplaceable. Therefore it is necessary to include specific motivational methods in pre-service and inservice teacher training. Since education of gifted students is realized in very variable conditions and situations, it is necessary for the teacher to be creative. The experience shows no innovation will be sustained unless systematic and ongoing CPD is provided to support the changes required in the instruction (Osborne & Dillon, 2008). We try to develop the system of teacher education to motivate gifted students as an integral part of CPD. An example of this system is teacher training in IBSE: IBSE is one of innovative methods for students, but also for teachers. To make IBSE effective, it is essential for teachers to acquire professional competency to apply IBSE consisting of a set of specific professional skills. Teachers need to be able to determine what level of IBSE can be used, what knowledge and skills should their students acquire, at what level etc. We can identify by use of design-based research links between five stages of the development of teacher skills to apply IBSE and IBSE levels (Trna, J., Trnova, E. & Sibor, J., 2012). This simple model describes the relationship (Table 2). Table 2 Model of development of teacher skills for IBSE. Period of teacher training Main objective of teacher training Acquiring stage of skills for IBSE application Levels of IBSE with full teacher competency to apply Teacher training methods (examples) Preservice Initial professionalization (a) Motivation (b) Orientation (c) Stabilization (1) Confirmation (2) Structured The actual training using IBSE; video analysis; practical application of IBSE in school practice Experience with teaching Inservice Continuous professional development (d) Completing (e) Integration (3) Guided (4) Open Action research; design-based research This model can become the basic structure for a CPD programme. This will bring full competency to apply IBSE as a system of pedagogical professional teachers knowledge, understandings and skills:

7 (i) Knowledge and understanding: IBSE paradigms, objectives and levels. (ii) Skills: Selection of appropriate contents Transformation of contents into IBSE levels Motivation Observation and experimentation Asking questions in accordance with IBSE Implementation of action research Applying ICT Encouraging students in communication skills Organization of student activities Using a wide range of educational methods and aids DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION Support of gifted students in science involves not only the identification of gifted individuals, but also the offer of appropriate educational methods. Motivation is a core factor of cognitive development of gifted students. Motivational development of science giftedness with connectivistic impulses is an important objective in the system of science teacher education. REFERENCES Duschl, R. A., Schweingruber, H. A., & Shouse, A. W. (Eds.). (2007). Taking science to school: Learning and teaching science in grades k-8. Washington, D. C.: National Academy Press. Freeman, J. (2001). Gifted Children Grown Up. London: David Fulton Publications; Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis. Goleman, D. (1996). Emotional Intelligence. London: Bloomsbery. Mönks, F. J., & Ypenburg, I. H. (1993). Unser Kind ist hochbegabt. München: Reinhardt. Oblinger, D., & Oblinger, J. (Eds.). (2005). Educating the Net Generation. Washington, DC: Educause. Retrieved from Osborne, J., & Dillon, J., (2008). Science education in Europe: Critical reflections. London: Nuffield Foundation.

8 Pellegrino, J.W., & Hilton, M. L. (2012). Education for life and work: developing transferable knowledge and skills in the 21st century. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. Reeves, T. C. (2006). Design research from the technology perspective. In J. V. Akker, K. Gravemeijer, S. McKenney, & N. Nieveen (Eds.), Educational design research. (pp ). London, UK: Routledge. Renzulli, J. S. (1986). The three-ring conception of giftedness: a developmental model for creative productivity. In R. J. Sternberg & J. E. Davidson, J. E. (Eds.), Conception of giftedness (pp ). Cambridge: Cambridge univ. Press. Rocard, M., Cesrmley, P., Jorde, D., Lenzen, D., Walberg-Herniksson, H., & Hemmo, V. (2007). Science education NOW: A Renewed Pedagogy for the Future of Europe. Brussels, Belgium: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. Retrieved from Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Elearnspace. Retrieved from Sternberg, R. J. (2007). Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized. New York: Cambridge University Press. Trna, J., & Trnova, E. (2010). ICT-based collaborative action research in science education. In IMSCI'10. The 4th International Multi-Conference on Society, Cybernetics and Informatics. Proceedings. Volume I. (pp ). Orlando: International Institute of Informatics and Systematics. Trna, J., Trnova, E., & Sibor, J. (2012). Implementation of Inquiry-based Science Education into Science Teachers' Training. In ICONTE- 3rd International Conference on New Trends in Education and Their Implications (pp ). Ankara, Turkey: Pegem Academy Publishing. Trnova, E., & Trna, J. (2012). Development of Science and Technology Gifted Students through Inquiry-Based Science Education. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Education (pp ). Samos, Greece: Research and Training Institute of East Aegean, Greece. Trnova, E., Trna, J., & Skrabankova, J. (2013). Science Teacher Professional Development in Education of Gifted Students. Journal of Educational and Instructional Studies in the World, 3(2), ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The study initiated within the project Special Needs of Pupils in Context with Framework Educational Program for Primary Education (MSM ).

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