Can students with learning and attention difficulties in school actually be talented scientists in disguise? This article presents a model that was highly successful in identifying and developing scientific talent in these special students. The factors that contributed to the success of the model were the following: The emphasis was on helping students become creative producers. The model also featured a strong mentoring component that included role-modeling and problem solving within specific scientific domains and provided students with authentic, discovery-based, experiential, advanced level subject matter of the domain. Finally, the alternate means of assessing student achievement focused on a student’s performance and the product he or she created, rather than on test scores. Students demonstrated their ability to be competitive, collaborative, and to apply problem-solving skills. These performances resulted in the students’ shifting their identity from loser to winner.
Cooper, C. R., Baum, S. M., & Neu, T. W. (2004). Developing scientific talent In students with special needs: An alternative model for identification, curriculum, and assessment. Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 15(4), 162-169. doi: 10.4219/jsge-2004-456