The interest rates are currently 2% at most banks in Australia (ANZ, 2015). Deposit money into bank and collect interest is the safest way to invest the excess money. However, the return is not high though the risk is small. Property investment is considered as high risk investment (Pickering, 2015). Recent years have witnessed its booming in return and average return is 9.8% over Australia (Yardney, 2014). Share market is also known as a risky area. As stated by Reeves (2014), there are too many factors that could influence the market’s performance such as global wage stagnation, optimism turning over, Euro-zone deflation and so on. Compared with these three market, the portfolio in this question provided a good return with tolerable risks. The return is average 8% while the risk is 1.02% which is considered as low compared to high risk markets. The coefficient of variation is also very low which shows that the portfolio is considered as a low risk investment while considered its returns. Therefore, this portfolio is worth investment. The yield to maturity rate should be less than 12% because the bond has a value more than its par value. We know the bond present value is derived by discounting the future cash flow that generated by the bond to its present value. So if the yield to maturity rate has a lower value, the bond will have a higher present value. If we take 12% as the yield to maturity we will find the bond value should equal to its par value Based on the formulae, we can calculate the bond value if we know the interest, par value and the yield to maturity. As the question indicated, the required return is 14% and it is paid semi-annually, so the yield to maturity for half year is 7%. The interest rate for the bond is 6% and is also paid semi-annually. So the half year interest should be 3% of par value. The period of the bond should be 8 as it is paid semi-annually. Therefore, the bond value should be 3 X 5.9713 + 100 X 0.5820 = 76.1 The bond value should be $76.1 This is a discount bond as its value is lower than its par value. The reason that it becomes a discount bond is it provides a lower interest than the market can give. In a similar risk bonds market, the interest rate is 14% while this bond can only provide 6%. So, the bond is trading at a discount price. The free cash flow growth rate is zero. Then, we take assumption that the free cash flow will be constant in the future since 2016.

The interest rates are currently 2% at most banks in Australia (ANZ, 2015). Deposit money into bank and collect interest is the safest way to invest the excess money. However, the return is not high though the risk is small. Property investment is considered as high risk investment (Pickering, 2015). Recent years have witnessed its booming in return and average return is 9.8% over Australia (Yardney, 2014). Share market is also known as a risky area. As stated by Reeves (2014), there are too many factors that could influence the market’s performance such as global wage stagnation, optimism turning over, Euro-zone deflation and so on. Compared with these three market, the portfolio in this question provided a good return with tolerable risks. The return is average 8% while the risk is 1.02% which is considered as low compared to high risk markets. The coefficient of variation is also very low which shows that the portfolio is considered as a low risk investment while considered its returns. Therefore, this portfolio is worth investment. The yield to maturity rate should be less than 12% because the bond has a value more than its par value. We know the bond present value is derived by discounting the future cash flow that generated by the bond to its present value. So if the yield to maturity rate has a lower value, the bond will have a higher present value. If we take 12% as the yield to maturity we will find the bond value should equal to its par value Based on the formulae, we can calculate the bond value if we know the interest, par value and the yield to maturity. As the question indicated, the required return is 14% and it is paid semi-annually, so the yield to maturity for half year is 7%. The interest rate for the bond is 6% and is also paid semi-annually. So the half year interest should be 3% of par value. The period of the bond should be 8 as it is paid semi-annually. Therefore, the bond value should be 3 X 5.9713 + 100 X 0.5820 = 76.1 The bond value should be $76.1 This is a discount bond as its value is lower than its par value. The reason that it becomes a discount bond is it provides a lower interest than the market can give. In a similar risk bonds market, the interest rate is 14% while this bond can only provide 6%. So, the bond is trading at a discount price. The free cash flow growth rate is zero. Then, we take assumption that the free cash flow will be constant in the future since 2016.

No expert has answered this question yet. You can browse … Read More...
Spontaneously generated funds are generally defined as follows: Assets required per dollar of sales. A forecasting approach in which the forecasted percentage of sales for each item is held constant. Funds that a firm must raise externally through borrowing or by selling new common or preferred stock. Funds that arise out of normal business operations from its suppliers, employees, and the government, and they include spontaneous increases in accounts payable and accruals. The amount of cash raised in a given year minus the amount of cash needed to finance the additional capital expenditures and working capital needed to support the firm’s growth.

Spontaneously generated funds are generally defined as follows: Assets required per dollar of sales. A forecasting approach in which the forecasted percentage of sales for each item is held constant. Funds that a firm must raise externally through borrowing or by selling new common or preferred stock. Funds that arise out of normal business operations from its suppliers, employees, and the government, and they include spontaneous increases in accounts payable and accruals. The amount of cash raised in a given year minus the amount of cash needed to finance the additional capital expenditures and working capital needed to support the firm’s growth.

Spontaneously generated funds are generally defined as follows: Assets required … Read More...
• Two years ago, you invested $1,000 in a healthcare stock. Your return during the first year was -50 percent, while your return in the second year was +50 percent. Your investment is now (at the end of two years) worth less than $1,000. True or False

• Two years ago, you invested $1,000 in a healthcare stock. Your return during the first year was -50 percent, while your return in the second year was +50 percent. Your investment is now (at the end of two years) worth less than $1,000. True or False

True.
The current recommendation for most women, after becoming sexually active or starting at age 21, is to have a Pap smear done Question 9 options: once every year once every 6 months once every 3 years once every 5 years

The current recommendation for most women, after becoming sexually active or starting at age 21, is to have a Pap smear done Question 9 options: once every year once every 6 months once every 3 years once every 5 years

5. Provide a brief discussion with supporting evidence to the following inquiry: With the responsibility of overseeing career development processes, how does management equip employees with skills that impact their performance in an efficient and effective manner?

5. Provide a brief discussion with supporting evidence to the following inquiry: With the responsibility of overseeing career development processes, how does management equip employees with skills that impact their performance in an efficient and effective manner?

Career development can facilitate we attain superior contentment and accomplishment. … Read More...
Read this article and answer this question in 2 pages : Answers should be from the below article only. What is the difference between “standards-based” and “standards-embedded” curriculum? what are the curricular implications of this difference? Article: In 2007, at the dawn of 21st century in education, it is impossible to talk about teaching, curriculum, schools, or education without discussing standards . standards-based v. standards-embedded curriculum We are in an age of accountability where our success as educators is determined by individual and group mastery of specific standards dem- onstrated by standardized test per- formance. Even before No Child Left Behind (NCLB), standards and measures were used to determine if schools and students were success- ful (McClure, 2005). But, NCLB has increased the pace, intensity, and high stakes of this trend. Gifted and talented students and their teach- ers are significantly impacted by these local or state proficiency stan- dards and grade-level assessments (VanTassel-Baska & Stambaugh, 2006). This article explores how to use these standards in the develop- ment of high-quality curriculum for gifted students. NCLB, High-Stakes State Testing, and Standards- Based Instruction There are a few potentially positive outcomes of this evolution to public accountability. All stakeholders have had to ask themselves, “Are students learning? If so, what are they learning and how do we know?” In cases where we have been allowed to thoughtfully evaluate curriculum and instruction, we have also asked, “What’s worth learning?” “When’s the best time to learn it?” and “Who needs to learn it?” Even though state achievement tests are only a single measure, citizens are now offered a yardstick, albeit a nar- row one, for comparing communities, schools, and in some cases, teachers. Some testing reports allow teachers to identify for parents what their chil- dren can do and what they can not do. Testing also has focused attention on the not-so-new observations that pov- erty, discrimination and prejudices, and language proficiency impacts learning. With enough ceiling (e.g., above-grade-level assessments), even gifted students’ actual achievement and readiness levels can be identi- fied and provide a starting point for appropriately differentiated instruc- tion (Tomlinson, 2001). Unfortunately, as a veteran teacher for more than three decades and as a teacher-educator, my recent observa- tions of and conversations with class- room and gifted teachers have usually revealed negative outcomes. For gifted children, their actual achievement level is often unrecognized by teachers because both the tests and the reporting of the results rarely reach above the student’s grade-level placement. Assessments also focus on a huge number of state stan- dards for a given school year that cre- ate “overload” (Tomlinson & McTighe, 2006) and have a devastating impact on the development and implementation of rich and relevant curriculum and instruction. In too many scenarios, I see teachers teach- ing directly to the test. And, in the worst cases, some teachers actually teach The Test. In those cases, The Test itself becomes the curriculum. Consistently I hear, “Oh, I used to teach a great unit on ________ but I can’t do it any- more because I have to teach the standards.” Or, “I have to teach my favorite units in April and May after testing.” If the outcomes can’t be boiled down to simple “I can . . .” state- ments that can be posted on a school’s walls, then teachers seem to omit poten- tially meaningful learning opportunities from the school year. In many cases, real education and learning are being trivial- ized. We seem to have lost sight of the more significant purpose of teaching and learning: individual growth and develop- ment. We also have surrendered much of the joy of learning, as the incidentals, the tangents, the “bird walks” are cut short or elimi- nated because teachers hear the con- stant ticking clock of the countdown to the state test and feel the pressure of the way-too-many standards that have to be covered in a mere 180 school days. The accountability movement has pushed us away from seeing the whole child: “Students are not machines, as the standards movement suggests; they are volatile, complicated, and paradoxical” (Cookson, 2001, p. 42). How does this impact gifted chil- dren? In many heterogeneous class- rooms, teachers have retreated to traditional subject delineations and traditional instruction in an effort to ensure direct standards-based instruc- tion even though “no solid basis exists in the research literature for the ways we currently develop, place, and align educational standards in school cur- ricula” (Zenger & Zenger, 2002, p. 212). Grade-level standards are often particularly inappropriate for the gifted and talented whose pace of learning, achievement levels, and depth of knowledge are significantly beyond their chronological peers. A broad-based, thematically rich, and challenging curriculum is the heart of education for the gifted. Virgil Ward, one of the earliest voices for a differen- tial education for the gifted, said, “It is insufficient to consider the curriculum for the gifted in terms of traditional subjects and instructional processes” (Ward, 1980, p. 5). VanTassel-Baska Standards-Based v. Standards-Embedded Curriculum gifted child today 45 Standards-Based v. Standards-Embedded Curriculum and Stambaugh (2006) described three dimensions of successful curriculum for gifted students: content mastery, pro- cess and product, and epistemological concept, “understanding and appre- ciating systems of knowledge rather than individual elements of those systems” (p. 9). Overemphasis on testing and grade-level standards limits all three and therefore limits learning for gifted students. Hirsch (2001) concluded that “broad gen- eral knowledge is the best entrée to deep knowledge” (p. 23) and that it is highly correlated with general ability to learn. He continued, “the best way to learn a subject is to learn its gen- eral principles and to study an ample number of diverse examples that illustrate those principles” (Hirsch, 2001, p. 23). Principle-based learn- ing applies to both gifted and general education children. In order to meet the needs of gifted and general education students, cur- riculum should be differentiated in ways that are relevant and engaging. Curriculum content, processes, and products should provide challenge, depth, and complexity, offering multiple opportunities for problem solving, creativity, and exploration. In specific content areas, the cur- riculum should reflect the elegance and sophistication unique to the discipline. Even with this expanded view of curriculum in mind, we still must find ways to address the current reality of state standards and assess- ments. Standards-Embedded Curriculum How can educators address this chal- lenge? As in most things, a change of perspective can be helpful. Standards- based curriculum as described above should be replaced with standards- embedded curriculum. Standards- embedded curriculum begins with broad questions and topics, either discipline specific or interdisciplinary. Once teachers have given thoughtful consideration to relevant, engaging, and important content and the con- nections that support meaning-making (Jensen, 1998), they next select stan- dards that are relevant to this content and to summative assessments. This process is supported by the backward planning advocated in Understanding by Design by Wiggins and McTighe (2005) and its predecessors, as well as current thinkers in other fields, such as Covey (Tomlinson & McTighe, 2006). It is a critical component of differenti- ating instruction for advanced learners (Tomlinson, 2001) and a significant factor in the Core Parallel in the Parallel Curriculum Model (Tomlinson et al., 2002). Teachers choose from standards in multiple disciplines at both above and below grade level depending on the needs of the students and the classroom or program structure. Preassessment data and the results of prior instruc- tion also inform this process of embed- ding appropriate standards. For gifted students, this formative assessment will result in “more advanced curricula available at younger ages, ensuring that all levels of the standards are traversed in the process” (VanTassel-Baska & Little, 2003, p. 3). Once the essential questions, key content, and relevant standards are selected and sequenced, they are embedded into a coherent unit design and instructional decisions (grouping, pacing, instructional methodology) can be made. For gifted students, this includes the identification of appropri- ate resources, often including advanced texts, mentors, and independent research, as appropriate to the child’s developmental level and interest. Applying Standards- Embedded Curriculum What does this look like in practice? In reading the possible class- room applications below, consider these three Ohio Academic Content Standards for third grade: 1. Math: “Read thermometers in both Fahrenheit and Celsius scales” (“Academic Content Standards: K–12 Mathematics,” n.d., p. 71). 2. Social Studies: “Compare some of the cultural practices and products of various groups of people who have lived in the local community including artistic expression, religion, language, and food. Compare the cultural practices and products of the local community with those of other communities in Ohio, the United States, and countries of the world” (Academic Content Standards: K–12 Social Studies, n.d., p. 122). 3. Life Science: “Observe and explore how fossils provide evidence about animals that lived long ago and the nature of the environment at that time” (Academic Content Standards: K–12 Science, n.d., p. 57). When students are fortunate to have a teacher who is dedicated to helping all of them make good use of their time, the gifted may have a preassessment opportunity where they can demonstrate their familiarity with the content and potential mastery of a standard at their grade level. Students who pass may get to read by them- selves for the brief period while the rest of the class works on the single outcome. Sometimes more experienced teachers will create opportunities for gifted and advanced students Standards-Based v. Standards-Embedded Curriculum to work on a standard in the same domain or strand at the next higher grade level (i.e., accelerate through the standards). For example, a stu- dent might be able to work on a Life Science standard for fourth grade that progresses to other communities such as ecosystems. These above-grade-level standards can provide rich material for differentiation, advanced problem solving, and more in-depth curriculum integration. In another classroom scenario, a teacher may focus on the math stan- dard above, identifying the standard number on his lesson plan. He creates or collects paper thermometers, some showing measurement in Celsius and some in Fahrenheit. He also has some real thermometers. He demonstrates thermometer use with boiling water and with freezing water and reads the different temperatures. Students complete a worksheet that has them read thermometers in Celsius and Fahrenheit. The more advanced students may learn how to convert between the two scales. Students then practice with several questions on the topic that are similar in structure and content to those that have been on past proficiency tests. They are coached in how to answer them so that the stan- dard, instruction, formative assess- ment, and summative assessment are all aligned. Then, each student writes a statement that says, “I can read a thermometer using either Celsius or Fahrenheit scales.” Both of these examples describe a standards-based environment, where the starting point is the standard. Direct instruction to that standard is followed by an observable student behavior that demonstrates specific mastery of that single standard. The standard becomes both the start- ing point and the ending point of the curriculum. Education, rather than opening up a student’s mind, becomes a series of closed links in a chain. Whereas the above lessons may be differentiated to some extent, they have no context; they may relate only to the next standard on the list, such as, “Telling time to the nearest minute and finding elapsed time using a cal- endar or a clock.” How would a “standards-embed- ded” model of curriculum design be different? It would begin with the development of an essential ques- tion such as, “Who or what lived here before me? How were they different from me? How were they the same? How do we know?” These questions might be more relevant to our con- temporary highly mobile students. It would involve place and time. Using this intriguing line of inquiry, students might work on the social studies stan- dard as part of the study of their home- town, their school, or even their house or apartment. Because where people live and what they do is influenced by the weather, students could look into weather patterns of their area and learn how to measure temperature using a Fahrenheit scale so they could see if it is similar now to what it was a century ago. Skipping ahead to consideration of the social studies standard, students could then choose another country, preferably one that uses Celsius, and do the same investigation of fossils, communities, and the like. Students could complete a weather comparison, looking at the temperature in Celsius as people in other parts of the world, such as those in Canada, do. Thus, learning is contextualized and connected, dem- onstrating both depth and complexity. This approach takes a lot more work and time. It is a sophisticated integrated view of curriculum devel- opment and involves in-depth knowl- edge of the content areas, as well as an understanding of the scope and sequence of the standards in each dis- cipline. Teachers who develop vital single-discipline units, as well as inter- disciplinary teaching units, begin with a central topic surrounded by subtopics and connections to other areas. Then they connect important terms, facts, or concepts to the subtopics. Next, the skilled teacher/curriculum devel- oper embeds relevant, multileveled standards and objectives appropriate to a given student or group of stu- dents into the unit. Finally, teachers select the instructional strategies and develop student assessments. These assessments include, but are not lim- ited to, the types of questions asked on standardized and state assessments. Comparing Standards- Based and Standards- Embedded Curriculum Design Following is an articulation of the differences between standards-based and standards-embedded curriculum design. (See Figure 1.) 1. The starting point. Standards- based curriculum begins with the grade-level standard and the underlying assumption that every student needs to master that stan- dard at that moment in time. In standards-embedded curriculum, the multifaceted essential ques- tion and students’ needs are the starting points. 2. Preassessment. In standards- based curriculum and teaching, if a preassessment is provided, it cov- ers a single standard or two. In a standards-embedded curriculum, preassessment includes a broader range of grade-level and advanced standards, as well as students’ knowledge of surrounding content such as background experiences with the subject, relevant skills (such as reading and writing), and continued on page ?? even learning style or interests. gifted child today 47 Standards-Based v. Standards-Embedded Curriculum Standards Based Standards Embedded Starting Points The grade-level standard. Whole class’ general skill level Essential questions and content relevant to individual students and groups. Preassessment Targeted to a single grade-level standard. Short-cycle assessments. Background knowledge. Multiple grade-level standards from multiple areas connected by the theme of the unit. Includes annual learning style and interest inventories. Acceleration/ Enrichment To next grade-level standard in the same strand. To above-grade-level standards, as well as into broader thematically connected content. Language Arts Divided into individual skills. Reading and writing skills often separated from real-world relevant contexts. The language arts are embedded in all units and themes and connected to differentiated processes and products across all content areas. Instruction Lesson planning begins with the standard as the objective. Sequential direct instruction progresses through the standards in each content area separately. Strategies are selected to introduce, practice, and demonstrate mastery of all grade-level standards in all content areas in one school year. Lesson planning begins with essential questions, topics, and significant themes. Integrated instruction is designed around connections among content areas and embeds all relevant standards. Assessment Format modeled after the state test. Variety of assessments including questions similar to the state test format. Teacher Role Monitor of standards mastery. Time manager. Facilitator of instructional design and student engagement with learning, as well as assessor of achievement. Student Self- Esteem “I can . . .” statements. Star Charts. Passing “the test.” Completed projects/products. Making personal connections to learning and the theme/topic. Figure 1. Standards based v. standards-embedded instruction and gifted students. and the potential political outcry of “stepping on the toes” of the next grade’s teacher. Few classroom teachers have been provided with the in-depth professional develop- ment and understanding of curric- ulum compacting that would allow them to implement this effectively. In standards-embedded curricu- lum, enrichment and extensions of learning are more possible and more interesting because ideas, top- ics, and questions lend themselves more easily to depth and complex- ity than isolated skills. 4. Language arts. In standards- based classrooms, the language arts have been redivided into sepa- rate skills, with reading separated from writing, and writing sepa- rated from grammar. To many concrete thinkers, whole-language approaches seem antithetical to teaching “to the standards.” In a standards-embedded classroom, integrated language arts skills (reading, writing, listening, speak- ing, presenting, and even pho- nics) are embedded into the study of every unit. Especially for the gifted, the communication and language arts are essential, regard- less of domain-specific talents (Ward, 1980) and should be com- ponents of all curriculum because they are the underpinnings of scholarship in all areas. 5. Instruction. A standards-based classroom lends itself to direct instruction and sequential pro- gression from one standard to the next. A standards-embedded class- room requires a variety of more open-ended instructional strate- gies and materials that extend and diversify learning rather than focus it narrowly. Creativity and differ- entiation in instruction and stu- dent performance are supported more effectively in a standards- embedded approach. 6. Assessment. A standards-based classroom uses targeted assess- ments focused on the structure and content of questions on the externally imposed standardized test (i.e., proficiency tests). A stan- dards-embedded classroom lends itself to greater use of authentic assessment and differentiated 3. Acceleration/Enrichment. In a standards-based curriculum, the narrow definition of the learning outcome (a test item) often makes acceleration or curriculum compact- ing the only path for differentiating instruction for gifted, talented, and/ or advanced learners. This rarely happens, however, because of lack of materials, knowledge, o

Read this article and answer this question in 2 pages : Answers should be from the below article only. What is the difference between “standards-based” and “standards-embedded” curriculum? what are the curricular implications of this difference? Article: In 2007, at the dawn of 21st century in education, it is impossible to talk about teaching, curriculum, schools, or education without discussing standards . standards-based v. standards-embedded curriculum We are in an age of accountability where our success as educators is determined by individual and group mastery of specific standards dem- onstrated by standardized test per- formance. Even before No Child Left Behind (NCLB), standards and measures were used to determine if schools and students were success- ful (McClure, 2005). But, NCLB has increased the pace, intensity, and high stakes of this trend. Gifted and talented students and their teach- ers are significantly impacted by these local or state proficiency stan- dards and grade-level assessments (VanTassel-Baska & Stambaugh, 2006). This article explores how to use these standards in the develop- ment of high-quality curriculum for gifted students. NCLB, High-Stakes State Testing, and Standards- Based Instruction There are a few potentially positive outcomes of this evolution to public accountability. All stakeholders have had to ask themselves, “Are students learning? If so, what are they learning and how do we know?” In cases where we have been allowed to thoughtfully evaluate curriculum and instruction, we have also asked, “What’s worth learning?” “When’s the best time to learn it?” and “Who needs to learn it?” Even though state achievement tests are only a single measure, citizens are now offered a yardstick, albeit a nar- row one, for comparing communities, schools, and in some cases, teachers. Some testing reports allow teachers to identify for parents what their chil- dren can do and what they can not do. Testing also has focused attention on the not-so-new observations that pov- erty, discrimination and prejudices, and language proficiency impacts learning. With enough ceiling (e.g., above-grade-level assessments), even gifted students’ actual achievement and readiness levels can be identi- fied and provide a starting point for appropriately differentiated instruc- tion (Tomlinson, 2001). Unfortunately, as a veteran teacher for more than three decades and as a teacher-educator, my recent observa- tions of and conversations with class- room and gifted teachers have usually revealed negative outcomes. For gifted children, their actual achievement level is often unrecognized by teachers because both the tests and the reporting of the results rarely reach above the student’s grade-level placement. Assessments also focus on a huge number of state stan- dards for a given school year that cre- ate “overload” (Tomlinson & McTighe, 2006) and have a devastating impact on the development and implementation of rich and relevant curriculum and instruction. In too many scenarios, I see teachers teach- ing directly to the test. And, in the worst cases, some teachers actually teach The Test. In those cases, The Test itself becomes the curriculum. Consistently I hear, “Oh, I used to teach a great unit on ________ but I can’t do it any- more because I have to teach the standards.” Or, “I have to teach my favorite units in April and May after testing.” If the outcomes can’t be boiled down to simple “I can . . .” state- ments that can be posted on a school’s walls, then teachers seem to omit poten- tially meaningful learning opportunities from the school year. In many cases, real education and learning are being trivial- ized. We seem to have lost sight of the more significant purpose of teaching and learning: individual growth and develop- ment. We also have surrendered much of the joy of learning, as the incidentals, the tangents, the “bird walks” are cut short or elimi- nated because teachers hear the con- stant ticking clock of the countdown to the state test and feel the pressure of the way-too-many standards that have to be covered in a mere 180 school days. The accountability movement has pushed us away from seeing the whole child: “Students are not machines, as the standards movement suggests; they are volatile, complicated, and paradoxical” (Cookson, 2001, p. 42). How does this impact gifted chil- dren? In many heterogeneous class- rooms, teachers have retreated to traditional subject delineations and traditional instruction in an effort to ensure direct standards-based instruc- tion even though “no solid basis exists in the research literature for the ways we currently develop, place, and align educational standards in school cur- ricula” (Zenger & Zenger, 2002, p. 212). Grade-level standards are often particularly inappropriate for the gifted and talented whose pace of learning, achievement levels, and depth of knowledge are significantly beyond their chronological peers. A broad-based, thematically rich, and challenging curriculum is the heart of education for the gifted. Virgil Ward, one of the earliest voices for a differen- tial education for the gifted, said, “It is insufficient to consider the curriculum for the gifted in terms of traditional subjects and instructional processes” (Ward, 1980, p. 5). VanTassel-Baska Standards-Based v. Standards-Embedded Curriculum gifted child today 45 Standards-Based v. Standards-Embedded Curriculum and Stambaugh (2006) described three dimensions of successful curriculum for gifted students: content mastery, pro- cess and product, and epistemological concept, “understanding and appre- ciating systems of knowledge rather than individual elements of those systems” (p. 9). Overemphasis on testing and grade-level standards limits all three and therefore limits learning for gifted students. Hirsch (2001) concluded that “broad gen- eral knowledge is the best entrée to deep knowledge” (p. 23) and that it is highly correlated with general ability to learn. He continued, “the best way to learn a subject is to learn its gen- eral principles and to study an ample number of diverse examples that illustrate those principles” (Hirsch, 2001, p. 23). Principle-based learn- ing applies to both gifted and general education children. In order to meet the needs of gifted and general education students, cur- riculum should be differentiated in ways that are relevant and engaging. Curriculum content, processes, and products should provide challenge, depth, and complexity, offering multiple opportunities for problem solving, creativity, and exploration. In specific content areas, the cur- riculum should reflect the elegance and sophistication unique to the discipline. Even with this expanded view of curriculum in mind, we still must find ways to address the current reality of state standards and assess- ments. Standards-Embedded Curriculum How can educators address this chal- lenge? As in most things, a change of perspective can be helpful. Standards- based curriculum as described above should be replaced with standards- embedded curriculum. Standards- embedded curriculum begins with broad questions and topics, either discipline specific or interdisciplinary. Once teachers have given thoughtful consideration to relevant, engaging, and important content and the con- nections that support meaning-making (Jensen, 1998), they next select stan- dards that are relevant to this content and to summative assessments. This process is supported by the backward planning advocated in Understanding by Design by Wiggins and McTighe (2005) and its predecessors, as well as current thinkers in other fields, such as Covey (Tomlinson & McTighe, 2006). It is a critical component of differenti- ating instruction for advanced learners (Tomlinson, 2001) and a significant factor in the Core Parallel in the Parallel Curriculum Model (Tomlinson et al., 2002). Teachers choose from standards in multiple disciplines at both above and below grade level depending on the needs of the students and the classroom or program structure. Preassessment data and the results of prior instruc- tion also inform this process of embed- ding appropriate standards. For gifted students, this formative assessment will result in “more advanced curricula available at younger ages, ensuring that all levels of the standards are traversed in the process” (VanTassel-Baska & Little, 2003, p. 3). Once the essential questions, key content, and relevant standards are selected and sequenced, they are embedded into a coherent unit design and instructional decisions (grouping, pacing, instructional methodology) can be made. For gifted students, this includes the identification of appropri- ate resources, often including advanced texts, mentors, and independent research, as appropriate to the child’s developmental level and interest. Applying Standards- Embedded Curriculum What does this look like in practice? In reading the possible class- room applications below, consider these three Ohio Academic Content Standards for third grade: 1. Math: “Read thermometers in both Fahrenheit and Celsius scales” (“Academic Content Standards: K–12 Mathematics,” n.d., p. 71). 2. Social Studies: “Compare some of the cultural practices and products of various groups of people who have lived in the local community including artistic expression, religion, language, and food. Compare the cultural practices and products of the local community with those of other communities in Ohio, the United States, and countries of the world” (Academic Content Standards: K–12 Social Studies, n.d., p. 122). 3. Life Science: “Observe and explore how fossils provide evidence about animals that lived long ago and the nature of the environment at that time” (Academic Content Standards: K–12 Science, n.d., p. 57). When students are fortunate to have a teacher who is dedicated to helping all of them make good use of their time, the gifted may have a preassessment opportunity where they can demonstrate their familiarity with the content and potential mastery of a standard at their grade level. Students who pass may get to read by them- selves for the brief period while the rest of the class works on the single outcome. Sometimes more experienced teachers will create opportunities for gifted and advanced students Standards-Based v. Standards-Embedded Curriculum to work on a standard in the same domain or strand at the next higher grade level (i.e., accelerate through the standards). For example, a stu- dent might be able to work on a Life Science standard for fourth grade that progresses to other communities such as ecosystems. These above-grade-level standards can provide rich material for differentiation, advanced problem solving, and more in-depth curriculum integration. In another classroom scenario, a teacher may focus on the math stan- dard above, identifying the standard number on his lesson plan. He creates or collects paper thermometers, some showing measurement in Celsius and some in Fahrenheit. He also has some real thermometers. He demonstrates thermometer use with boiling water and with freezing water and reads the different temperatures. Students complete a worksheet that has them read thermometers in Celsius and Fahrenheit. The more advanced students may learn how to convert between the two scales. Students then practice with several questions on the topic that are similar in structure and content to those that have been on past proficiency tests. They are coached in how to answer them so that the stan- dard, instruction, formative assess- ment, and summative assessment are all aligned. Then, each student writes a statement that says, “I can read a thermometer using either Celsius or Fahrenheit scales.” Both of these examples describe a standards-based environment, where the starting point is the standard. Direct instruction to that standard is followed by an observable student behavior that demonstrates specific mastery of that single standard. The standard becomes both the start- ing point and the ending point of the curriculum. Education, rather than opening up a student’s mind, becomes a series of closed links in a chain. Whereas the above lessons may be differentiated to some extent, they have no context; they may relate only to the next standard on the list, such as, “Telling time to the nearest minute and finding elapsed time using a cal- endar or a clock.” How would a “standards-embed- ded” model of curriculum design be different? It would begin with the development of an essential ques- tion such as, “Who or what lived here before me? How were they different from me? How were they the same? How do we know?” These questions might be more relevant to our con- temporary highly mobile students. It would involve place and time. Using this intriguing line of inquiry, students might work on the social studies stan- dard as part of the study of their home- town, their school, or even their house or apartment. Because where people live and what they do is influenced by the weather, students could look into weather patterns of their area and learn how to measure temperature using a Fahrenheit scale so they could see if it is similar now to what it was a century ago. Skipping ahead to consideration of the social studies standard, students could then choose another country, preferably one that uses Celsius, and do the same investigation of fossils, communities, and the like. Students could complete a weather comparison, looking at the temperature in Celsius as people in other parts of the world, such as those in Canada, do. Thus, learning is contextualized and connected, dem- onstrating both depth and complexity. This approach takes a lot more work and time. It is a sophisticated integrated view of curriculum devel- opment and involves in-depth knowl- edge of the content areas, as well as an understanding of the scope and sequence of the standards in each dis- cipline. Teachers who develop vital single-discipline units, as well as inter- disciplinary teaching units, begin with a central topic surrounded by subtopics and connections to other areas. Then they connect important terms, facts, or concepts to the subtopics. Next, the skilled teacher/curriculum devel- oper embeds relevant, multileveled standards and objectives appropriate to a given student or group of stu- dents into the unit. Finally, teachers select the instructional strategies and develop student assessments. These assessments include, but are not lim- ited to, the types of questions asked on standardized and state assessments. Comparing Standards- Based and Standards- Embedded Curriculum Design Following is an articulation of the differences between standards-based and standards-embedded curriculum design. (See Figure 1.) 1. The starting point. Standards- based curriculum begins with the grade-level standard and the underlying assumption that every student needs to master that stan- dard at that moment in time. In standards-embedded curriculum, the multifaceted essential ques- tion and students’ needs are the starting points. 2. Preassessment. In standards- based curriculum and teaching, if a preassessment is provided, it cov- ers a single standard or two. In a standards-embedded curriculum, preassessment includes a broader range of grade-level and advanced standards, as well as students’ knowledge of surrounding content such as background experiences with the subject, relevant skills (such as reading and writing), and continued on page ?? even learning style or interests. gifted child today 47 Standards-Based v. Standards-Embedded Curriculum Standards Based Standards Embedded Starting Points The grade-level standard. Whole class’ general skill level Essential questions and content relevant to individual students and groups. Preassessment Targeted to a single grade-level standard. Short-cycle assessments. Background knowledge. Multiple grade-level standards from multiple areas connected by the theme of the unit. Includes annual learning style and interest inventories. Acceleration/ Enrichment To next grade-level standard in the same strand. To above-grade-level standards, as well as into broader thematically connected content. Language Arts Divided into individual skills. Reading and writing skills often separated from real-world relevant contexts. The language arts are embedded in all units and themes and connected to differentiated processes and products across all content areas. Instruction Lesson planning begins with the standard as the objective. Sequential direct instruction progresses through the standards in each content area separately. Strategies are selected to introduce, practice, and demonstrate mastery of all grade-level standards in all content areas in one school year. Lesson planning begins with essential questions, topics, and significant themes. Integrated instruction is designed around connections among content areas and embeds all relevant standards. Assessment Format modeled after the state test. Variety of assessments including questions similar to the state test format. Teacher Role Monitor of standards mastery. Time manager. Facilitator of instructional design and student engagement with learning, as well as assessor of achievement. Student Self- Esteem “I can . . .” statements. Star Charts. Passing “the test.” Completed projects/products. Making personal connections to learning and the theme/topic. Figure 1. Standards based v. standards-embedded instruction and gifted students. and the potential political outcry of “stepping on the toes” of the next grade’s teacher. Few classroom teachers have been provided with the in-depth professional develop- ment and understanding of curric- ulum compacting that would allow them to implement this effectively. In standards-embedded curricu- lum, enrichment and extensions of learning are more possible and more interesting because ideas, top- ics, and questions lend themselves more easily to depth and complex- ity than isolated skills. 4. Language arts. In standards- based classrooms, the language arts have been redivided into sepa- rate skills, with reading separated from writing, and writing sepa- rated from grammar. To many concrete thinkers, whole-language approaches seem antithetical to teaching “to the standards.” In a standards-embedded classroom, integrated language arts skills (reading, writing, listening, speak- ing, presenting, and even pho- nics) are embedded into the study of every unit. Especially for the gifted, the communication and language arts are essential, regard- less of domain-specific talents (Ward, 1980) and should be com- ponents of all curriculum because they are the underpinnings of scholarship in all areas. 5. Instruction. A standards-based classroom lends itself to direct instruction and sequential pro- gression from one standard to the next. A standards-embedded class- room requires a variety of more open-ended instructional strate- gies and materials that extend and diversify learning rather than focus it narrowly. Creativity and differ- entiation in instruction and stu- dent performance are supported more effectively in a standards- embedded approach. 6. Assessment. A standards-based classroom uses targeted assess- ments focused on the structure and content of questions on the externally imposed standardized test (i.e., proficiency tests). A stan- dards-embedded classroom lends itself to greater use of authentic assessment and differentiated 3. Acceleration/Enrichment. In a standards-based curriculum, the narrow definition of the learning outcome (a test item) often makes acceleration or curriculum compact- ing the only path for differentiating instruction for gifted, talented, and/ or advanced learners. This rarely happens, however, because of lack of materials, knowledge, o

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Transportation 1. What would be some major benefits to a city investing in mass transit? • Reduces congestion and fuel usage o 2011 – U.S. public transportation use saved 865 million hours in travel time and 450 million gallons of fuel in 498 urban areas o Decrease the need for road enhancements o Can be quicker to get to work when roads are congested o Incentivizes exercise o Mass transit can have less land use requirements • Provides economic opportunities o revitalization of cities o Provides jobs in transportation o City makes money off of transit revenue o More appealing to tourists • Air quality o Cuts carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually o Air quality improvement for the city (less smog) • Safety o Reduce the number of accidents 2. What would be some major benefits to the users of mass transit? • Traffic o Reduces frustration of driving in traffic o Reduces the need for gas in traffic o Reliable and predictable time of arrival o More options to travel o No waiting in DMV lines • Economics o Public transit vs. owning, driving, and parking a car = $803/month average savings (~$10,000 a year) o Connects people who don’t have a car to jobs, healthcare, home o Provides jobs in transportation o No longer have to pay car insurance • Social o Can interact/meet new people every day o Connects communities o Can do other things, like read, on the train or bus o Reduce in stress o • Safety o Reduce risk of accidents

Transportation 1. What would be some major benefits to a city investing in mass transit? • Reduces congestion and fuel usage o 2011 – U.S. public transportation use saved 865 million hours in travel time and 450 million gallons of fuel in 498 urban areas o Decrease the need for road enhancements o Can be quicker to get to work when roads are congested o Incentivizes exercise o Mass transit can have less land use requirements • Provides economic opportunities o revitalization of cities o Provides jobs in transportation o City makes money off of transit revenue o More appealing to tourists • Air quality o Cuts carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually o Air quality improvement for the city (less smog) • Safety o Reduce the number of accidents 2. What would be some major benefits to the users of mass transit? • Traffic o Reduces frustration of driving in traffic o Reduces the need for gas in traffic o Reliable and predictable time of arrival o More options to travel o No waiting in DMV lines • Economics o Public transit vs. owning, driving, and parking a car = $803/month average savings (~$10,000 a year) o Connects people who don’t have a car to jobs, healthcare, home o Provides jobs in transportation o No longer have to pay car insurance • Social o Can interact/meet new people every day o Connects communities o Can do other things, like read, on the train or bus o Reduce in stress o • Safety o Reduce risk of accidents

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