The teacher’s role in developing higher level thinking skills in young people
Joseph S. Renzulli
This article provides a rationale and practical set of guidelines for enrichment clusters, a program that supports a different brand of learning from the deductive and prescriptive approach that dominates activities in so many of today’s classrooms. Enrichment clusters are interest-based and student-centric, and provide a space for inductive, investigative high-end learning that can fit into any school program. This article describes the learning theories and goals that guided the development of enrichment clusters and describes in detail the meaning of highend learning and real problems. Also discussed are results from studies of Enrichment Cluster implementations regarding the specific learning outcomes that students demonstrated and teachers ob- served, which include: problem finding and fo- cusing, determining the relevance and bias of found information, planning and sequencing, metacognition, argumentation, problem solving, communication, collaboration, and evaluating data for patterns and discrepancies. This approach has been adopted in thousands of schools around the world and it seeks to develop gifted behaviours in larger numbers of students than most programs that focus only on high IQ students.
Please, cite this article as follows: Renzulli, J. S. (2021). El papel del profesor en el desarrollo de habilidades cognitivas complejas en personas jóvenes | The teacher’s role in developing higher level thinking skills in young people. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 79 (278), 13-32. https://doi.org/10.22550/REP79-1-2021-01
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Joseph S. Renzulli is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut, where he also served as director of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (https://nrcgt. uconn.edu/). He currently leads the Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development at the same university (https://gifted.uconn.edu/).
He is a leader and pioneer in gifted education and applying the pedagogy of gifted education teaching strategies to all students. His research has focused on the identification and development of creativity and giftedness in young people and on organisational models and curricular strategies for total school improvement. A focus of his work has been on applying the strategies of gifted education to the improvement of learning for all students.
Renzulli is known for his contributions to understanding giftedness. He developed the Three-Ring Conception of Giftedness, which promoted a broadened conception of giftedness. He also developed the Schoolwide Enrichment Model for developing children's talents in schools. He argues that high potential individuals may only turn their asset into talent if their environment encourages it.
His work on the Three Ring Conception of Giftedness, the Enrichment Triad Model, Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM), Curriculum Compacting and Differentiation were pioneering efforts in the 1970s. He has contributed hundreds of books, book chapters, articles, and monographs to the professional literature, many of which have been translated to other languages. Dr. Renzulli’s enrichment-based and differentiated teaching model has been utilised by more tan 35,000 teachers from around the world since 1978.
The American Psychological Association named him among the 25 most influential psychologists in the world. He received the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Award for Innovation in Education, considered by many to be “the Nobel” for educators, and was a consultant to the White House Task Force on Education of the Gifted and Talented.
His most recent work is the Renzulli Learning System (https://renzullilearning.com/), an online personalised learning program that provides profiles of each student’s academic strengths, interests, learning styles, and preferred modes of expression. This unique program also has a search engine that matches multiply coded resources with student profiles. Teachers also use the program to select and infuse high engagement enrichment activities into any and all standardised curriculum topics. This programme is being adapted into Spanish by Javier Tourón (Vice-Rector for Innovation and Educational Development at the Universidad Internacional de La Rioja) thanks to the agreement signed between Renzulli Learning and UNIR.
Dr. Renzulli is also the founder, along with Dr. Sally Reis, of the Joseph S. Renzulli Gifted and Talented Academy in Hartford, Connecticut which has become a model for local and national urban school reform for high potential/low income students.
As a result of his publications, Professor Renzulli, according to Google Academics, has received 26797 citations. His most cited works include the book The three-ring conception of giftedness: A developmental model for promoting creative productivity - which has received 3074 citations - and the article "What Makes Giftedness? Reexamining a Definition", which has been cited 2810 times