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Embedding Night of the Notables© in Major Curriculum Theories

Sequences for The Night of the Notables© Program according to the
Renzulli model
Bruner model
Kaplan model
Maker model
Williams model
Kohlberg model
Local outline

Study of the theme of Eminence using the Renzulli model

Type I teaching activities - catalysts to the topic and opening resources
class discussions/inquiries working to a definition of fame, success, champions
excursions/guest speaker visits school/meetings with remarkable people
examination of social and historical contexts that generate/nurture eminence
photo posters of famous people
print outs of Internet searches and sources (see Student Handbook)
skimming through biographies and autobiographies
biographical videos: e.g., "Gandhi" & Marconi: "Whispers in the Air".
 

Type II skill enhancements

research lives of famous people in library: CD-ROMs, encyclopaedia, etc.
how to scan resources; note taking skills; editing skills
interview methods
conventions of writing biographies as a genre
writing news stories
accessing further resources; faxing etiquette
distinguishing primary and secondary sources
structuring a research inquiry; meeting requirements
writing from a point of view: e.g., unofficial biographies
productivity skills: composing a diorama, poster, timeline, etc.
 

Type III: investigations into eminence: outcomes

biographical chart and map of travels of the famous person
illustrate the notable's life in a timeline
record an interview with the notable
assemble an album of memorabilia of the eminent person's life and achievements
compose the notable's family tree
compose a bio-riddle, crossword puzzles
results of an Internet search for one famous person
write a puppet play script
seminar/lecture script and overheads
a "This is Your Life" script/video
write a fictional interview
type an annotated biography or Report of Research
devise a board game representing the notable's rise to eminence and life
construct a replica of the notable's invention
prepare models or artefacts demonstrating the notable's achievements.

© G. Smith 1997


A study of the theme of eminence according to the Bruner model © G. Smith 1997

Three major concepts in this study:

Discovery learning stages:

1. enactive experiences
Discuss What constitutes eminence? Brainstorming ideas:
hero, champion, genius, being famous, successful, legendary, memorable, world-famous, well-known, notable, gifted, Olympian, winner of Gold, role model in the field, top achiever, saint.
Define what it is not: rich, notorious, rich, school heroes, pop singers, flash in the pan stars.
2. iconic participation
assemble and survey images of great personalities
colour in outlines of famous faces
compose a scrapbook of the famous
photograph memorabilia of a famous person
draw a map of a famous person's travels
represent locations of the achievements of the famous
meet some famous people
view videos of the lives of the famous
devise a board game representing the notable's rise to eminence and life
construct a replica of the notable's invention
models or artefacts demonstrating the notable's achievements
play the jig-saw game "Who is it?".

3. symbolic representations and experiences

identify symbols of fame. power, wealth, leadership
establish criteria to rate the famous
devise a fictional interview with a deceased eminent person
compose a portfolio on an eminent person.
devise a personal career path for yourself
define the goals that would fully realise your particular talents.

Overall

In each activity, move from the single to the multiple:
Move from single instances to many.
Compare and contrast paths to greatness.
Transformations of data to make new applications and meanings.
 


A study of the theme of eminence according to the Kaplan model © G. Smith 1997

Study themes:

The characteristics of giftedness that lead to eminence in life.
The methods by which individuals reached eminence.
The function of temperament and emotions along the path to eminence.
The effects of eminence and fame on selected individuals.
Modifying the effects of rejection, illness, trauma and hurt in the lives of high achievers.
The conditions one can control to optimise one's path to eminence.
The factors hindering someone along the path to eminence.
The changes produced in individuals as a result of achieving eminence.
The value of preferring certain gifts that lead to eminence in selected cultures.

Basic skills

observing, classifying, measuring, arranging in chronological order, generalising, evaluating achievements, judging historians' assessments of achievements, identifying causes and influences on achieving eminence.

Research skills

interviewing, note-taking, Internet searching, interpreting raw data, assessing anecdotal details, separating fact and fiction, combining data from many sources, reporting on research, writing an annotated Report of Research.

Productive Skills

- Critical Thinking Skills
dealing with conflicting accounts, preferring primary sources, hypothesising for missing data, recognising bias, recognising when facts are adequate and correct.
 
- Problem Solving
selecting reliable evidence, assessing opinions, matching evidence, clarifying historical dilemmas, meeting requirements of the genre selected for Report.
 

- Creative Thinking Skills

Fluency: generating and reconciling multiple sources
Flexibility: making connections; seeing relativities, ranking views
Originality: imagining historical scenarios, devising apt title for report
Elaboration: drawing new conclusions, making personally relevant applications, defining criteria for eminence.
Risk Taking: embarking on a more complex assessment task, face the challenge of adult inquirers, self assessment, become the Notable for one hour.
Curiosity
Maintaining an open attitude,
taking on role of honest researcher,
defying traditional interpretations,
recognising contemporary explanations and stereotypes.
Divergent Production
accessing multiple sources,
assimilating diverse media,
reconciling diverse views,
dealing with ambiguities in data,
managing one's own progress.
Forecasting
Suggesting how history will rate current Notables.
Predicting effects of achievements of the eminent person.

ARTICULATING ACTIVITY

Evaluate the criteria for nomination to the Booker Award, Nobel Prizes, etc.
Plot one person's path to eminence.
Hypothesise about domains for eminence in the 21st century.
Perform as an eminent person for one hour in Night of the Notables.
Present a biography of the chosen eminent person.
Reveal an as-yet unseen achievement by the chosen Notable.
Develop a promotional brief or video or media event for a chosen Notable.
Plot your own path to eminence on a ladder: aims, goals, achievements, vocational path.
 


A study of the theme of eminence according to the Maker model © G. Smith 1997

The study of eminence in the Night of the Notables program is differentiated for gifted by selecting several options from these activities in these four categories:

Content

beyond mere summarising
more substantial report of research
more complex content
synthesised data
sorts fictions from facts
beyond narrative - categorised by given Headings
prominence given to contemporary opinions
inclusion of own evaluative statements
hypotheses: Fictional Scenario exercise
 

Process

higher challenge in profiling a living individual
constructing an inquiry; posing discovery questions, interviewing agenda,
using real world resources: fax, email, Internet, advanced libraries, interviews
assimilating all data sources

 

Product
prepare a biographical chart and map of travels of the famous person
illustrate a notable's life in a timeline
record an interview with the notable
assemble an album of memorabilia of the eminent person's life and achievements
compose the notable's family tree
compose a bio-riddle, crossword puzzles, autograph search
personal Internet search for one famous person
write a puppet play script
prepare a seminar/lecture script and overheads
write a "This is Your Life" script/video
record a fictional interview
type an annotated biography or Report of Research
devise a board game representing the notable's rise to eminence and life
construct a replica of the notable's invention
prepare models or artefacts demonstrating the notable's achievements
devise a personal career path for yourself
define the goals that would fully realise your particular talents.

 

Environment
extra-mural search; visits, excursions
community contacts and resources
selecting own time-frame
setting a schedule - interim deadlines
monitoring and pacing oneself
personal commitment and growing identification with the Notable.


A study of the theme of eminence according to the Williams model © G. Smith 1997

PARADOX
Resolve the paradox that so many eminent people "go to seed" or suicide at the peak of their careers.
Why were Shakespeare, Dickens and Haydn for instance who lived to enjoy their fame different?

ATTRIBUTES

What are characteristics of eminent people? (Hints: gifted, persistent, mentored, trained, opportunistic/grasped situations to their advantage, right for their times, offered gifted valued in their times & society, recognised early, could cope with being different, could perform on cue, creative, uninhibited, psychologically stable, etc.)

ANALOGY Eminence is a flowering of personality. But roses grow among thorns.

DISCREPANCY
Who missed out on a Nobel Prize and why?
Do people's moral behaviour taint their achievements in the record of history?
PROVOCATIVE QUESTIONS
Why are so few women listed as eminent before the 20th century? Exceptions: Joan of Arc, Madame Curie, Florence Nightingale.
Nature provides gifts but an individual must nurture them into eminence. Why?

ORGANISED RANDOM SEARCH How do people get into Who's Who lists?

SKILLS OF SEARCH List and review the writings and achievements of one notable person.

TOLERANCE OF AMBIGUITY

INTUITIVE EXPRESSION

Pretend you are XXX in a real situation. How would you act? How did he or she in fact act there?

CHANGE List changes people made to your discoveries/inventions/life story/achievement.

ADJUSTMENT TO DEVELOPMENT What failures, rejections did you overcome in your path to eminence?

STUDY CREATIVE PROCESS

EXAMPLE OF HABIT "1% inspiration"

EVALUATE SITUATIONS Imagine and report how your famous person rated his or her own successes.

CREATIVE READING

Study a gallery of paintings by your notable artist to judge why history includes him in an artistic Period correctly.

CREATIVE LISTENING

Describe the tone of a major speech your notable gave (e.g., the Gettysburg Address, "I have a dream", acceptance of Nobel Prize, etc.

CREATIVE WRITING

VISUALISATION Compose a cartoon version of your notable's life and career.


A study of the theme of eminence according to the Kohlberg model © G. Smith 1997

A moral dilemma to open discussion about seeking eminence

Dr Marc Bannerman had run up so many debts he knew he could not borrow any more. His bank manager's call just now on this matter stiffened his resolve to do something soon. But he would have to bend his principles. If only a rich widow ...

Marc had a lot to lose though. He was bright and famous already. He had easily gained straight A's at school and the University Medal in his last year at medical school. He was widely liked and respected. He had friends he could call on. He had a lot more to enjoy.

Marc now faced a crucial dilemma and he felt quite unprepared for it. He envied others who could skip through the minefields of life with so much ease. They got by without harming others or their own integrity so why couldn't he? His professional reputation was his claim to fame and his cover too, he mused.

It all happened quite suddenly really. The opportunity he only dreamed of now presented itself. He could pay off the debts and get the bastards off his back at the same time. This was indeed a once in a life time opportunity - he could relieve her pain (and this was the crux of it) and get her inheritance. No one would know - the professional bodies seldom tried a leading surgeon and he had friends there anyway. He must take this chance! He'd keep his name and his fame and get no blame.

It happened so easily really - it was an ordinary day in the wards and as luck would have it, his last round ended with Mrs Ainsworth. The matron would be tired and preoccupied at meal time. He could just raised the dose to 100 ml. and Mrs Ainsworth would sleep soundly all afternoon and never wake again. His problems would be solved. Life offered these little breaks and who was he to refuse Lady Luck?


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