Introduction to the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) by Joseph Renzulli

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 1998
12 Pages, Grade: 1



The Schoolwidc Enrichment Model, where a Talent Pool oflO - 15 % of above average ability students can be identified as gifted, is a theoretical model in which educators give students the best support in principles of learning and the recommended practice to achieve their highest individual potential Creative/productrvc people need to have an equal interaction among three human traits above average ability, task commitment, and creativity Therefore the Enrichment Triad Model was created and it consists of three types of achievement training

What is a model'?

Models aie designed to bring about selected changes in a school and to give advice on how educators could serve young people

Wc have to distinguish between two categories of educational models

The administrative models which consist of patterns of school organization and procedures for dealing with such issues as how educators group students, develop schedules, and allocate time, money, and human resources They mainly locus on how educators „move students around", include homogeneous versus heterogeneous grouping, length of the school day or year, and inclusion of special education students in regular classrooms

The theoretical models focus on the actual services that educators provide to students.

It consists of principles that guide the learning process and give direction to the content of the curriculum, the assessment and instructional strategies which teachers use, and ways in which educators evaluate the extent and quality of what their students have learned furthermore they aie focused on the actual outcomes of learning experiences that might take place within any given administrative pattern of organization Thus they are influential in determining the quality of school experiences, whereas admimslt alive models arc more concerned with the efficiency of the school's opeiation

The Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM)

is considered to be theoretical model because it is based on

- a series of assumptions about individual dille! enees in learners
- principles oflearning and
- recommended piaclices that logically follow from these assumptions and principals (Renzulli &. Reis, 1997).

The use of a program development model has two essential requirements It should consist of a shared mission and set of objectives with a gieal deal ofllexibility. They should represent a „destination“ and a common goal they would like to reach Furthermore, differences in school populations have to be considcicd, financial resources, the availability of persons from the community at large, and a host of other local vanables must be considered in the implementation of this or any olirei approach to school improvement

The progiams of the Schoolwidc Enrichment Model will benefit from the theoretical and research developments and the many years of field testing and piaclical application Furthermore, the ideas, resources, innovations, and adaptations that emerge from local situations will contribute to the uniqueness and practicality of programs that are developed to meet local needs

The SEM was created in the early 1970's primarily in school districts in New England and has the „emphasis on applying gifted piogiam know-how to largci segments of the school population and ..has always argued for a behavioral definition of giftedness" (Renzulli & Reis, 1997) Moreover, it’s being used in hundreds of school districts across the United Slates including major urban ateas like New York City. Detroit.

St Paul San Antonio, and Fort Worth The present reform initiatives in general education have created a more receptive atmosphere for more flexible appioaches that challenge all students. It blends into school improvement activities that are currently taking place throughout the country

A student can join the 1 aleni Pool after achievement tests, teacher nominations, assessment of potential for creativity and task commitment, sell-nomination, and parent nomination Therefore those students who are underachieving in their academic school wotk could be included as well.

Once they ate in the pool they receive several kinds of services, methods to help identify the students' interests, learning style preferences, and to encourage them to putsue these interests Curriculum compacting which cieates a challenging learning environment within the context of the regular curriculum where the student can find exit a time to study is the next step The last step is the Eniichment Triad Model which will be explained Intel on „Separate studies on the SEM demonstrated its effectiveness in schools with widely dill'ering socioeconomic levels and program organization patterns (Olenchak, 1988. Olenchak & Renzulli. 1989, Renzulli & Reis, 1994)“

The Three-Rmg Conception of Giftedness

Research on creative/produelive people has consistently shown that no single ctilerion can be used to dctcnnine giftedness Gifted behavior reflects an interaction among the three basic clusters of human traits, above average general and/or specific ability, high levels of task commitment and high levels of creativity.

It is important to point out that each cluster plays an important role in contributing to the display of gifted behavoirs „Individuals capable of developing gifted behavior arc those possessing or capable of developing this composite set of traits and applying them to any potentially valuable area of human performance Persons who manifest or arc capable of developing an interaction among the linee clusters require a wide variety of educational opportunities and services that arc not ordinarily provided through regular instructional programs“ (Renzulli, 1977c, Renzulli, Reis & Smith, 1981)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The interaction among these three clusters is necessary for creativc/produdive accomplishment.

Now a short dcsciipiion for the three clusters will follow

- Above Average Ability

As mentioned there are general abilities which are information processing, mtcgiation of experiences that iesuli in appropriate and adaptive responses in new situations, and engagement in abstract thinking Examples are spatial relations, memory, verbal and numerical reasoning, and word fluency, measured by general aptitude 01 intelligence tests.

Specific abilities arc skills 01 abilities to perform in one or more activities of a specialized kind and within a restricted range These arc ways in which human beings express themselves in real life (i.e , non-test) situations They include ballet, chemistry, musical composition, mathematics, sculpture, and photography

- Task Commitment (a focused form of motivation)

It represents euetgy that is brought to bear upon a particulai pioblem (task) or specific performance area I he most descriptive terms are ,,perseverance, endurance, hard work, dedicated practice, self-confidence, and a belief in one’s ability to carry out important work“ (Renzulli & Ries 1997) Bloom and Sosniak report that „ alter age 12 oui talented individuals spent as much lime on their talent field each week as then aveiage peer spent watching television" (p 94) I'hcsc gillcd peisons have the ability to involve themselves totally in a specific problem or area for an extended penod of time Furthermore, they have the ability to maintain an openness to self- and external criticism, develop an aesthetic sense of taste, quality and excellence about one's own work and the work of others

- Creativity

Some other criteria of highly creative people are divergent thinking, fluency, flexibility, originality of thought and openness to experience Moreover, sensitivity to details, aesthetic characteiistics of ideas and things are required Also included is the willingness to act upon and îeact to external stimulation and one’s own ideas and feelings Some studies have reported limited iclalioiiships between measures of divergent thinking and cieative performance criteria (Torrance. 1969, Shapiro, 1968, Dellas &. Gaier, 1970, Guilford, 1967)


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Introduction to the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) by Joseph Renzulli
LMU Munich  (Institut für Pädagogische Psychologie und Evaluation)
Research of high ability and expertise: two complementary approaches
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introduction, schoolwide, enrichment, model, joseph, renzulli
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Petra Ursula Decker (Author), 1998, Introduction to the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) by Joseph Renzulli, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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