From the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development

2e Center News

By Susan Baum, Ph. D.

November, 2016

About this Column

The 2e Center for Research and Professional Development is located on the campus of Bridges Academy in Studio City, California. In this column, we share what’s happening at our center and report research findings, teaching ideas, and parenting suggestions we have found to be successful in helping 2e kids thrive.

— SB

In our last column (September, 2016), we described Putting the Person in Personalized Learning, a suite of tools that we use to develop strength-based and talent-focused opportunities for students. Now, the 2e Center is focused on training teachers locally, nationally, and internationally to use these tools. Schools that have participated lately range from the Knox School, a private Santa Barbara, California, school for gifted and 2e students; to the Greenwich, Connecticut, Public Schools; to the Santa Cruz Community School, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

We are excited about the positive reaction the tools have received and will be asking these schools to participate in a study on the tools’ effectiveness in promoting student success. In addition, we are collaborating with Twice Exceptional Children’s Advocacy (TECA) to conduct workshops and training sessions on these tools in the New York area. For more information about this professional development, please contact Kim Vargas at kim.vargas@bridges.edu.  

Building on What is Right About Our Students

The 2e Center for Research and Professional Development is spending much of its time these days working with teachers on the many ways to use the strengths of our students. As mentioned in earlier columns, at the start of the school year we collect information about students that includes their strengths, interests, learning styles, and personality preferences through our suite of tools, Putting the Person in Personalized Learning. Collecting this data provides us with much information about how to engage our students in learning. We see the benefits of gathering and using this information not only with twice-exceptional youngsters, but with all youngsters. The focus of this and future columns over the next year is to provide practical examples of how to develop curriculum and instruction around what is right about students.

It’s all About Personality!

In an article in an earlier issue of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter (Baum, Novak, Preuss, & Dann, 2009), and published again in the Spotlight on 2e Series booklet The Mythology of Learning, we introduced a personality model known today as the Quick Personality Indicator (QPI) (Baum & Nicols, 2016). Personality theory tells us that we have unique personality profiles that underlie who we are, our learning preferences, and our strengths and talents. Based on the personality archetype approaches first introduced by Carl Jung, the QPI reveals a four-style profile. These styles, described in the table below are Practical Manger, Learned Expert, People Person, and Creative Problem Solver.

Style

Description

Characteristics

Learning Preferences

Practical Managers

Have a gift for organizing people and things

  • Have neat rooms, with clothes usually hung up and possessions put away in an organized fashion
  • Appreciate and follow rules and directions and make sure others do the same
  • Are generally happier socially with one or two friends who share their interests and talents 
  • An orderly, predictable environment
  • Having expectations and directions be clear and detailed
  • Being allowed to elaborate on an idea

Learned Experts

Have a talent for scholarly pursuits

  • Often have advanced vocabularies and can express themselves eloquently
  • Love to hypothesize and synthesize information
  • Usually earn good grades and enjoy discussions, debates, research, and writing papers
  • Are logical and enjoy verbal controversy –frequently arguing for the sake of the debate
  • An intellectual environment rich with resources
  • Assignments that require analytical thinking and inquiry along with opportunities for debate
  • Having opportunities to give their opinion (which fuels their motivation)

People Persons

Have a talent for human relations and creating harmony

  • Live in a world of feelings
  • Can identify the emotional climate of the room as soon as they enter
  • Have many friends and enjoy social interaction
  •  Often talented in the visual or performing arts
  • Having opportunities to connect meaningfully with others inside and outside of school
  • Being part of a colorful, social environment with many opportunities for group work
  • Doing assignments that allow for creative expression

Creative Problem Solvers

Have a talent for innovation

  • Live in a world of possibilities, inventions, and originality
  • Can energetically leap from one idea to another
  • Are never satisfied with the status quo
  • Are always seeking a better way to do things and would much prefer to do it their way
  • Happiest when given choices and when working on multiple projects at once
  • Prefer open-ended assignments and opportunities to be creative
  • Do best when allowed to pursue assignments or tasks their own way with a few general guidelines

While we manifest all four of these styles, they appear in varying intensities in each individual, giving each of us a unique personality profile. We may be balanced across all four or have preferences in one or two.

Putting this Knowledge to Use

Knowing this information about our students can help us personalize education for them. Let us suppose that the students in a botany class have been studying plants, including the concepts of photosynthesis and phototropism. To help them grapple with the concepts and assess their understanding, the teacher provides the series of performances tasks, shown in the following tables, to entice the different kinds of learners in the class and to help them to be independent.

Performance Task for Practical Managers

What to Do

Directions

Make and present a 3 dimensional model of a plant cell to show understanding of the cell structure and the use of the cell parts.

  • Design a model of the plant cell following the diagram distributed in class.
  • Collect the materials that you wish to use for your model from the project table.  
  • Complete all work at your own desk.
  • Label the parts and be able to explain what happens to these parts during photosynthesis.
  • Take 3 class periods to complete your model.

Notice the specificity of the directions in the table above. The focus is on completing a concrete model from which these students will explain cell structure and its relation to the concepts of the unit.

Performance Task for Learned Experts

What to Do

Directions

Write an educational article to be posted on the class/school website to inform others of what you have learned about the transfer of light into plant energy in class and through further research. Your article does not have to only be words, but can show information using video links and images. 

Notice that the task in the table above is more complex and requires students to synthesize their findings into a coherent article with an authentic audience. Providing criteria for excellence reminds students of the quality desired.

The assignment in the following table is especially appropriate for People Persons because it uses the arts to build understanding of concepts through metaphor. Collaboration among the students to create and perform is appealing to these learners.

Performance Task for People Persons

What to Do

Directions

Design a performance to show the concept of photosynthesis using a personification.

  1. In a small group create a personification of the process of photosynthesis.
  2. Add music and dance to enhance the meaning.
  3. You may also be in costume for your performance.
  4. Find a place outside of the classroom to rehearse your dance.
  5. The piece needs to be 3-5 minutes in length and ready for you to perform it at the end of the third day.
  6. Make sure each part of your dance can be explained in terms of the process of photosynthesis.

The choices below allow Creative Problem Solvers to use their creative ideas to design and invent products that show their understanding of the concepts. It’s important to provide enough directions to these learners to remind them of what they need to show in their creations in order to give their projects a finished look.

Performance Task for Creative Problem Solvers

What to Do

Directions

Choose a project from the following options that you think can best show your understanding of the concepts covered in this unit.

  1. Use iMovie to explain how plants get their energy from the sun.
  2. With recyclable materials in the class, create 3D models to show the different stages of growth.
  3. Create a flip book to visually show the process of a plant growing, from seed to mature plant.
  4. Design a board game that helps others understand the stages of photosynthesis. Make sure the game is ready to market — include an aesthetically pleasing board, directions, and any tokens or spinners you might need.
  1. Outline the major points you will need to include your project.
  2. Choose the option that will work best to convey your understanding.
  3. Take three days to complete your work.

To conclude, understanding students’ strengths and the natural ways their personalities present helps us to identify conditions under which students can be at their personal best. With this knowledge, we are able to create opportunities for 2e students, as well as all other students, to be successful and exhibit high levels of motivation and engagement.

References

  • Baum, S. & Nicols, H (2008, revised 2016). Quick Personality Indicator. Studio City, California: 2e Center for Research and Professional Development.
  • Baum, S., Novak C., Preuss, L., & Dann, M. (2009). The 2e profile: Multiple Perspectives. 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter, Oct/Nov, 2009. Issue 36.

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