WCATY Has one Goal: Professional, Publishable Work.

Are you and your gifted students having trouble fitting into a world where progress is evaluated according to quantitative measures such as standardized test scores and traditional numerical or letter grades? If so, it’s likely that’s because your students’ abilities largely lie outside the norm. As a result, you may find yourself naturally gravitating toward a qualitative assessment process instead. Such a shift, however, presents a challenge: how to design assessments that better describe and measure the unique growth patterns of gifted learners. One way is to establish expert-level goals for students and provide them with specific, differentiated “next steps” that will encourage growth toward those goals and suggest ways to meet them. It’s a matter of closing the chasm between curriculum and assessment, of turning feedback into evidence of ongoing progress. To achieve this, clearly understanding what expert work and work processes look like is essential.





novices through experts2

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  Skill A Novice: An Expert:
Affective Skills Outlook Is eager to learn, but has a steep learning curve. Is recognized by others in their field, though they excel mainly in their own domain. Acquires a great deal of content knowledge that is organized in ways that reflect a deep understanding of their subject matter.
Motivation Is not on task and is easily distracted. Doesn’t ask   about clarifying questions. Finds inner motivation, even when it is not clear that their discoveries will ever be valued. Use models from the field to anchor questioning.
Problem Solving Is not employing a problem solving strategy. Marries the multiplicity of prespectives into personal world view and combines contextual decision making with self reflection.
Meta-cognition Doesn’t know they don’t know. Feels like they will never totally understand the topic, but is able to “see” new pathways/doors of the subject open up with each new piece strategy learned.
Knowledge of Field Knowledge Base Isn’t able to pull up many relevant facts/ideas. Often needs to elaborate work. Thinks about the circumstances of the event. Organize what they know around core concepts or “big ideas” that guide their thinking about their domains.
Big picture Doesn’t understand how the field connects with others. Struggles to connect new info. Has fuzzy logic. Creates new models that others recognize as meaningful. Sees what is not there and notices features and meaningful patterns that are viewed as irrelevant by others. Has ideas that change the field.
Defining Problems Often doesn’t understand what is actually being asked. Perceives large meaningful patterns in their domains. Sees and represents problems in their domains at a deeper level than most people.
Skill Development Writing Message is   lost because of grammatical issues. Defines new elements of the skill.
Design No elements of design are considered. Uses design to clarify complex topics.
Support Provides no support for thought. Fluidly gathers their own evidence and is able to see statistical patterns in it.
Reading Struggles with vocabulary. Is able to name underlining influence of text and group text by underlining models/archteypes.