Diploma

During the first presidency of Prof, Dr. Franz Mönks (1992-1996) a teacher training programme has been developed and implemented in collaboration with Dr. Willy Peters at the Radboud University Nijmegen. Teachers who fulfill the requirements of this post graduate training receive the ECHA DIPLOMA. This diploma allows participants the following professional qualification:

‘Specialist in Gifted Education’

In the following guidelines the aims, contents, methods of assessment and prerequisites of the ECHA Diploma training programme are described. Other teacher training programmes that wish to be recognized by ECHA should meet these guidelines.

Aims of the course

To acquaint candidates with:
Knowledge of the history of the gifted from both national and international perspectives. Knowledge of the relevant terminology as well as of the most important people and theories in the field. This includes a personal philosophy and a well-reasoned rationale for the encouragement of the highly able1 and problems concerning the development of criteria for the recognition of exceptional abilities.

Major approaches to the measurement and assessment of high abilities, commonly used contemporary criteria, local considerations, the practical application and use of observational procedures currently available. A particular point of interest must be the understanding and enrichment of the student as an individual with needs not only academically but also in the area of emotional and social growth.

Contemporary approaches to educating the highly able, including specific procedures and evaluation.

The importance of creativity research and its influence on the potential development of the gifted; they are able to stimulate creative thinking and expression in gifted girls and boys.

Knowledge of the specific developmental needs regarding peer interaction. In addition, they know the different aspects of personality development, like achievement motivation, social-emotional aspects and specific gender aspects.

Knowledge of the development of gifted individuals from a life span perspective. They know what can contribute to a successful development of gifted potential, so that giftedness during childhood may lead to adult life success.

The ability to counsel and develop gifted programs for schools, the family, and government agencies.

Contents of the course

The program has a scope of approximately 500 hours. It consists of a theoretical and a practical part. During the course the educational and professional experience of the participants will be taken in account and their personal capacities will be strenghtened. Besides academic competence, social abilities are an important part of the course.

Theoretical part (approximately 250 hours)

The theoretical part consists of seminars regarding four thematic blocks and includes also meetings in groups to discuss the literature. The thematic blocks are structured according to the following contents:

CONCEPTIONS OF GIFTEDNESS
– Basic notions on human development
– Nature and conceptions of human intelligence and creativity: models and theories
– Theories and models on giftedness and talent: implicit, explicit, others
– Cognitive, affective, social characteristics of the gifted and talented

IDENTIFICATION OF THE GIFTED AND TALENTED
– Fundamentals of the identification process
– Identification as a decision making process
– Instruments in the identification process
– Models of identification
– Identification in practice: study of some research examples

EDUCATING THE GIFTED: INSTRUCTIONAL MODELS AND PRACTICES
– Acceleration and enrichment
– Curriculum planning and development
– Learning environment characteristics
– Content, process and product modifications
– Curricular strategies
– Acceleration
– Enrichment
– Ability grouping
– Programs for the gifted and talented
– Analysis of relevant institutions and programs worldwide
– Adapting the curriculum in the content areas

SPECIAL ISSUES
– Gifted and the family
– Social and emotional needs of the gifted
– Special groups of gifted: minorities, woman, underachievers, etc.
– Others

METHODOLOGICAL TOPICS
– Basic knowledge of educational research paradigms
– Notions of the psychoeducational research process
– Fundamentals of measurement and evaluation
– Program evaluation: basic notions
– Reading scientific literature
– How to carry out a small empirical research project

Literature (preliminary)

The students will have to study the literature for each of the five sections that is listed below. Literature may be replaced by texts in the local language. This has to be approved by the ECHA executive committee.

Mönks, F.J. & Mason, E.J. (2000). Developmental Psychology and Giftedness: Theories and Research. In: K.A. Heller, F.J. Mönks, R.J. Sternberg & R.F. Subotnik (Eds.) International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd Edition) (pp. 141-155). Oxford: Pergamon.
Sternberg, R. J. (2000). Successful Intelligence: A Unified View of Giftedness. In: C.F.M. van Lieshout & P.G. Heymans (Eds.) Developing talent across the life span (pp. 43-65). Philadelphia, PA, US: Psychology Press/Taylor and Francis.
Tannenbaum, A.J. (2000). A History of Giftedness in School and Society. In: K.A. Heller, F.J. Mönks, R.J. Sternberg & R.F. Subotnik (Eds.) International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd Edition) (pp. 23-53). Oxford: Pergamon.
Thompson, L.A., & Plomin, R. (2000). Genetic Tools for Exploring Individual Differences in Intelligence. In: K.A. Heller, F.J. Mönks, R.J. Sternberg & R.F. Subotnik (Eds.) International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd Edition) (pp. 157-164). Oxford: Pergamon.
Perleth, C., Schatz, T., & Mönks, F.J. (2000). Early Identification of High Ability. In: K.A. Heller, F.J. Mönks, R.J. Sternberg & R.F. Subotnik (Eds.) International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd Edition) (pp. 297-316). Oxford: Pergamon.
Riksen-Walraven, J.M., & Zevalkink, J. (2000). Gifted Infants: What Kinds of Support do They Need? In: C.F.M. van Lieshout & P.G. Heymans (Eds.) Developing talent across the life span (pp. 203-229) Philadelphia, PA, US: Psychology Press/Taylor and Francis.
Feldhusen, J.F., & Jarwan, F.A. (2000). Identification of Gifted and Talented Youth for Educational Programs. In: K.A. Heller, F.J. Mönks, R.J. Sternberg & R.F. Subotnik (Eds.) International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd Edition) (pp. 271-282). Oxford: Pergamon.
Gallagher, J.J., & Gallagher, S.A. (1994). Teaching the Gifted Child. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Chapter 2: Characteristics of Gifted Students
Chapter 3: School Adaptations for the Gifted
VanTassel-Baska, J. (2000). Theory and Research on Curriculum Development for the Gifted. In: K.A. Heller, F.J. Mönks, R.J. Sternberg & R.F. Subotnik (Eds.) International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd Edition) (pp. 345-365). Oxford: Pergamon.
Freeman, J. (2001) Gifted Children Grown Up. London: David Fulton. (Results of a 27 year follow-up of gifted and non-gifted children)
Freeman, J. (1998) Educating the Very Able: Current International Research. London: The Stationery Office. (Translated into Thai) (Free on www.joanfreeman.co.uk)
Freeman, J. (2000) ‘Families, the essential context for gifts and talents’, (pp. 573-585) in K.A. Heller, F.J. Mönks, R. Sternberg & R. Subotnik, International Handbook of Research and Development of Giftedness and Talent. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Freeman, J. (2000) ‘Teaching for talent: lessons from the research’, in Lieshout, C.F.M. & Heymans, P.G. (Eds.) Developing Talent Across the Lifespan. (pp. 231-248) London: Psychology Press.
Colangelo, N., & Assouline, S.G. (2000). Counseling Gifted Students. In: K.A. Heller, F.J. Mönks, R.J. Sternberg & R.F. Subotnik (Eds.) International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd Edition) (pp. 595-607). Oxford: Pergamon.
Peters, W.A.M., Grager-Loidl, H., & Supplee, P. (2000). Underachievement in Gifted Children and Adolescents: Theory and Practice. In: K.A. Heller, F.J. Mönks, R.J. Sternberg & R.F. Subotnik (Eds.) International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd Editition) (pp. 609-620). Oxford: Pergamon.
Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Wolfe, R. (2000). New Conceptions and Research Approaches to Creativity: Implications of a Systems Perspective for Creativity in Education. In: K.A. Heller, F.J. Mönks, R.J. Sternberg & R.F. Subotnik (Eds.) International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd Editition) (pp. 81-92). Oxford: Pergamon.
Boulanger, M., Peters, W., & Hoogeveen, L. (2000). Help, mijn dochter is hoogbegaafd. Utrecht: Lemma.
Mönks, F.J., & Ypenburg, I. (1995). Hoogbegaafde Kinderen Thuis en op School. Alphen aan den Rijn: Samsom H.D. Tjeenk Willink.

Assessment
The following items belong to the theoretical part of the course:
– Independent evaluation of an article concerning the gifted.
– Candidates will have shown evidence that they have a good understanding of the literature of the course. This may be in the form of a written, oral or presentation submission.

Practical part and final thesis (approx. 250 hours)

The practical part will consist of three items:

Internship: working with gifted boys and girls
Content: practical work with gifted students.
Requirements: under the guidance of a supervisor appointed by the local institution.
Duration: at least three months (including the empirical work for the thesis)
Conclusion: writing a paper that analyses and evaluates the project.

Visits of schools, classes or institutions for the gifted
Participation in meetings, visitation of at least four schools or other facilities, that have some connection with the gifted enrichment. These visits must be arranged in conjunction with the supervisor. The activities connected with the excursion are concluded with a short critical essay.

Thesis
The final thesis consists of a project of gifted education (in a school). In writing the thesis the Guidelines for the thesis must be observed.

Prerequisites

This course is meant for persons working in the field of education, teachers and school employees who intend to specialize in gifted education.

Candidates for the exam must fulfil one of the following conditions:

– Bachelor of Arts, or equivalent, or nationally acknowledged as a teacher
– Employment in the field of primary or secondary education and/or in the field of teaching
– A similar degree or profession (evaluated per individual by the supervisor)

Preferably also:
– Experience with gifted children or adolescents
– A good command of English
– Membership of ECHA

Costs

The fee will be determined locally and will be based upon the amount of service which participants will receive. It will include membership of ECHA for the duration of the course.

Language

Predominantly English

At present the ECHA Diploma is offered by the following institutions from which further information may be obtained:

University of Nijmegen
Center for Giftedness (CBO)

University of Muenster
International Center for Giftedness (ICBF)
WWW: www.icbf.de

Akademie für Erwachsenenbildung
Paedagogische Hochschule Zentralschweiz
WWW: www.echa-switzerland.ch

Prof. Dr. Franz J. Mönks
e-mail: [email protected]

Dr. Christian Fischer
e-mail: [email protected]

Joelle Huser
e-mail: [email protected]

Dr. Willy Peters
e-mail: [email protected]

Appendix

Guidelines for the thesis

The thesis is the final part of the course. The thesis will prove clearly that participants are capable:

to recognise, to analyse and to solve a problem of gifted education;
to find the relevant literature for that particular topic and to incorporate it in the thesis;
to develop a research design and to apply it (e.g. schoolwide enrichment program; new didactics);
to analyse the collected data, to present it systematically and to discuss it in the context of existing gifted programs. The thesis should also clarify to what extend the project contributes to new insights and what has to be done to put it into practice.

The paper must also make clear to what extent it contributes to new insights and what steps have been taken to develop the presented findings.

Length 30 to 60 pages, line space 1.5, one page containing approximately 200 words. No hand written manuscripts. Pages must be numbered.
Style and language must be understandable for the lay person. Foreign language terms and abbrevations must be avoided if possible, otherwise they should be explained. If an abbrevation is used often, then it must be written in full or explained the first time it is used.
Figures and tables must have distinct titles and explanations which make it possible to understand them independently of the text.
Literature references in the text: last name of author only, followed by the year of publication.

Examples for quotations in the text: last name of the author, followed by year of publication:

……….. so Sternberg (l960) states …….
Mönks and Peters (l987, p. 87) already said
psychologically speaking (Sternberg, 1960) the case is …….
Repeatedly, it has been emphasized (Rollet, 1991; Oerter, 1993) …….

The list of references at the end of the thesis should contain only the titles mentioned in the text: no additional titles are allowed.

Examples for literature references in the list of references:

Books:

Peters, W.A.M., Grager-Loidl, H., & Supplee, P. (2000). Underachievement in Gifted Children and Adolescents: Theory and Practice. In: K.A. Heller, F.J. Mönks, R.J. Sternberg, & R.F. Subotnik (Eds) International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd Edition) (pp. 609-620). Oxford: Pergamon.

Journals:

Robinson, N.M. (1995). Rescuing the baby: A commentary on The Bell Curve. Gifted Child Quarterly, 39, pp. 180-182.

Possible project themes:
1. Gifted underachievers
2. Differentiation of ability groups, within a class
3. Differentiation of ability groups between classes
4. Compacting – Theory and practice
5. Enrichment and/or acceleration? – Theoretical and practical applications
6. Non academic measures
7. Creativity training for school subjects
8. Measurements for gifted and talented students – enrichment programs for colleagues
9. Theoretical presentation and description of an enrichment project for individual gifted students or a group of gifted students: identification, aims and methods of enrichment, concrete interventions.
10. Execution and evaluation of multiple programs in general education
11. Presentation of case studies with critical analysis and potential solutions
12. Writing an article about gifted education, in a publishable form