A newly-adopted educational tool – the Renzulli Learning system – which combines teenage interests and web-based programmes was introduced at George Hicks Campus this term.
The pilot group for the initiative comprises 17 ‘Gifted and Talented’ students. Following a recommendation from Campus Director Des McConvey to find new ways of challenging students, the Renzulli system was selected as the ideal programme, stated a GIS press release.
Conceived by Dr. Joseph Renzulli, the system is offered internationally, but Cayman is the first Caribbean user-country.
Renzulli Learning offers engaging, stimulating and challenging subjects. Dr. Renzulli and his namesake programme are based at the University of Connecticut, where the research, design and monitoring all take place.
Several primary and secondary school government teachers were introduced to the programme first-hand while attending a 2005 workshop in Jamaica. Now this ‘co-curricular’ supplement is benefiting the GHC student group in the full range of subjects, from maths and sciences to language arts.
With more than 20,000 study options from which students may choose, Renzulli has become a popular resource for homework and other extended assignments.
Gifted and Talented teacher Jasmin Manoosingh said that the new initiative aims to stimulate the education process by allowing students to pursue special topics of their choice, and that students are finding the pilot programme to be an interesting supportive learning tool.
The young participants are first screened online to determine their personal talents and learning styles. Written profiles then indicate and recommend personal formats. The system is also inclusive, as with the oversight of Renzulli supervisors, parents and teachers are also able to participate.
In fact, family participation is considered critical to the programme, and a special ‘parent site’ allows adults to monitor students’ progress online, as well as to participate in assignments which support their roles in this resource.
The pilot phase has required special effort from all involved, especially the students. Lessons are offered twice weekly in school, but the group is also expected to access and work online at other time – especially at home.
It is expected that Renzulli Learning will be extended to more students in the new school year.