Archived InformationTalent and Diversity: The Emerging World of Limited English Proficient Students in Gifted Education - August 1998
Project GOTCHA is a Title VII, Academic Excellence program, under the Office of Bilingual Education and Language Minority Affairs, U.S. Department of Education. It was developed and implemented in Broward County Public Schools, Fort Lauderdale, Florida during the funding cycles of 19871996. Currently, dissemination activities have been assumed by the coordinator and trainers of the GOTCHA Project under International Educational Consultants, Inc.
The goals of the program are to:
Project GOTCHA evolved from the Bilingual Exceptional Student Education Demonstration Project, funded by OBEMLA in Broward County, Florida, from 1980 to 1985. After 7 years of successfully meeting its objectives and providing data to document its success, Project GOTCHA was awarded for its promising practices and effectiveness. Project GOTCHA became one of the Academic Excellence Programs in 1987. In the following 9 years (19871996) Project GOTCHA disseminated its program practices and trained teachers that met eligibility criteria. Project GOTCHA was implemented in 15 states, identified and served over 5,000 students, trained over 800 teachers, and trained well over 2,000 parents.
Project GOTCHA identifies and serves gifted, creative, and talented limited English proficient (LEP) students in grades 18. This program is designed to reach nationwide local education agency personnel who wish to develop similar programs, and individual teachers who wish to incorporate these methods in their classroom activities. There are two major characteristics that differentiate the GOTCHA Project from other LEP gifted programs. The first is the emphasis on the unique creative abilities of each child; and the second is early intervention of language minority students. The program consists of four components: Student Identification, Staff Development, Instructional Approach/Materials, and Parent Training.
The identification of students is one of the main components of the program. It is unique in its reliability for selecting students who possess creative and talented characteristics within a unique population. Linguistically, these children are more likely to demonstrate their superior abilities in their home language.
Consideration, therefore has been given to their experiential background; home, community, and school values; and other cultural factors. There are three stages in the identification process:
Awareness Presentation: Provides all interested personnel with an overview of the program components, goals, objectives, implementation alternatives, instructional/training materials, and adoption options.
Training Session: Focuses on the role of the classroom teachers. Trains teachers on the following topics: characteristics of language and culturally diverse gifted and talented students, nomination procedure, strategies that incorporate critical thinking, modification of curriculum to meet the needs of gifted and talented minority students, specific techniques to foster creativity, modification of learning environment, variety of ideas to induce product performance and alternative assessment.
Paraprofessional Training Session (one-half day): The focus of this training is to provide information about the role of the paraprofessional in the GOTCHA classroom.
Administrators Training Session (one-half day): The focus of this session is to heighten the awareness of specific needs of the gifted/talented, ESOL/bilingual students, to discuss implementation of the program, to address issues of future funding, and other administrative concerns.
Parent Training: Parent involvement is a critical part of any educational program. This training provides parents with the following: description of the program objectives, goals, identification process, instruction approach, rights and responsibilities, suggestions and recommendations for improving their childs education, and activities to motivate creativity at home.
The units in the GOTCHA curriculum follow a thematic approach. The activities reflect the six levels of Blooms Taxonomy. Students Process, Product and Environment are modeled after June Makers Modification Model. The design of the activities incorporate Gardners Multiple Intelligences Theory; Social Studies and Science Units provide opportunity for developing Problem Solving Skills. The learning environment emphasizes the Cooperative Learning Style. Creativity is fostered through the use of Torrances Creative Thinking Skills of fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration; and Metacognitive Skills are taught to instill in students the desire to become life-long learners.
The teachers implementing Project GOTCHA receive specialized training in "Power Teaching." Power Teaching is the compilation of strategies and techniques that have been validated as exemplary practices to produce effective academic gains.
Project GOTCHA assists educational agencies with the design and structuring of gifted and talented programs by providing a model that has met rigorous Academic Excellence standards. Project GOTCHAs unique features:
For more information about adopting Project GOTCHA, please contact:
Dr. Norma E Hernandez
Nilda M. Aguirre
Visit the Project GOTCHA Web site @ http://www.kreative-kids.com