Problem Statement: There have been several studies that have investigated curricular interventions for gifted students to address their educational needs. For most courses and disciplines, a standard curriculum may not be sufficient for the majority of gifted students. Here, among other curricular efforts in the education of the gifted, an Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM)--which can be assumed to be responsive because of the interrelated dimensions of its structure and its dimensions such as an epistemological concept, advanced content, and the process-product--was assessed to address different aspects of gifted children. In literature, propositions of social studies curricula and instruction for gifted and talented learners indicate the necessity for the implementation of programs projected in the Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM). A review of the literature on social studies and gifted education also indicates that it may be important to study the lack of implementations for gifted and talented learners in the area of social studies by highlighting students’ thoughts in an implemented curriculum unit.
Purpose of the Study: This study examines students’ thoughts on a differentiated social studies unit based on the ICM and its instruction. The aim of the study is to identify gifted students’ conceptions when the Integrated Curriculum Model is used in social studies.
Method: This study aims to explore individual gifted and talented student views on a differentiated social studies curriculum unit, namely, luckily it is present (good to have it); thus, a qualitative research design was used to enable the incorporation of views, ideas, feelings, and perceptions. Following a two-month implementation of differentiated social studies instruction, twelve students were asked about their views regarding the social studies course. A written, open-ended questionnaire, which was developed by the researchers, was used to collect data. The data were analyzed via a content-analysis method.
Findings: The findings of the study identified positively changing student views on the differentiated social studies unit in terms of the Integrated Curriculum Model and its instruction.
Conclusion and Recommendations: In this study, the thoughts and experiences of gifted and talented students regarding the Integrated Curriculum Model’s implementation were highlighted. An examination of gifted and talented students’ thoughts in light of the ICM shed light on curricular and instructional considerations for creating a good social studies education for gifted and talented learners.
Keywords: Social Studies Education, Integrated Curriculum Model, Gifted and Talented Education