The Talents Unlimited Model (TU) was founded on the belief that all students, whether gifted identified or not, should receive enrichment services focused on fostering critical thinking skills. With a strong emphasis on teacher training, the Talents Unlimited Model stresses the importance of designing lessons that utilize the six talent areas: productive thinking. decision making, planning, forecasting, communication, and academic (Schlichter, 2009, p. 436).
Criterion 1: Respect for individuals with diverse abilities, strengths, and goals (FULLY MET)
The Talents Unlimited Model was created under the philosophy that all students, both those identified as gifted and those not, would benefit from enrichment programs. The model is used to educate teachers on how to use differentiated instruction to use “higher order cognitive tasks to help students with varying abilities use their preferred thinking talents to manipulate instruction to solve problems, see broad relationships, evaluate varying perspectives, draw comparisons among disparate viewpoints, and predict causes and effects” (Schlichter, 2009, p. 434).
Criterion 2: Provide for identification of out-of-school learning opportunities that match students abilities and interests (NOT MET)
This is not a key component of this model.
Criterion 3: Incorporate use of differentiated pre-and post-performance-based assessments to measure the progress of students with gifts and talents. (NOT MET)
The Talents Unlimited Model seems to be primarily focused on teaching thinking skills and not driven by specific pre and post assessments. Rather, these assessments have been used as evidence of the model’s success.
Criterion 4: Allow for use and interpretation of qual...
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...t would benefit gifted students is not the focus of this model.
Criterion 12: Provide opportunity to regularly use individualize learning options such as mentorships, internships, online courses, and independent study (NOT MET)
“Talents Unlimited is a staff development model for helping teachers recognize and nurture diversity in all students’ intellectual potential (Schlicter, 2009, p. 451). As a result, it is mostly a classroom model.
OVERALL: NOT MET
While there are some areas that received a rating of MET or PARTIALLY MET, the model’s narrow focus on Talent Areas leaves many of the other areas of a good gifted model untouched. It might be proposed that instead of using the Talents Unlimited Model as a school or district’s gifted program, it could be use to pull important and beneficial teaching and learning strategies to enrich learning for all students.
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