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 Books and Articles about the DISCOVER Projects

Maker, C. J. (1992). Intelligence and creativity in multiple intelligences:  Identification and development.
Educating Able Learners:  Discovering and Nurturing Talent, XVII(4), 12-19.

In this article, the activities initially designed to assess problem solving in multiple intelligences in young children (grades K-2) are described. Also included are some of the behaviors observed in children who seem to be effective problem solvers. The activities have been revised and modified since publication of this article based on research on their use.

Maker, C. J. (1993). Creativity, intelligence, and problem-solving: A definition and design for cross-
cultural research and measurement related to giftedness. Gifted Education International, 9(2), 68-77.

This article contains an explanation of the theory underlying the DISCOVER projects: the relationship between creativity, intelligence, problem solving, and the multiple intelligences theory of Howard Gardner. It also contains a description of the research design used to structure a series of studies testing the theory and a summary of the most important results of these studies.

Maker, C. J. (1994). Authentic assessment of problem solving and giftedness in secondary school
 students. The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 6(1), 19-26.

Beginning with a discussion of authentic assessment and problem solving, the author then describes how others can develop authentic assessments of problem-solving in secondary school students. The DISCOVER assessment process (both its development and its current form) is described, along with suggestions for validation procedures.

Maker, C. J., Nielson, A. B., and Rogers, J. A. (1994). Giftedness, diversity, and problem-solving: Multiple intelligences and diversity in educational settings. Teaching Exceptional Children, 27(1), 4-19.

Written for practitioners, especially teachers, this article provides an overview of the philosophy and implementation of the DISCOVER assessment, curriculum, and teaching approach. With specific examples of student responses, teaching activities, and photographs of children to supplement the text, it provides an introduction to all phases of the project. Teachers, parents, and administrators who have implemented the DISCOVER approach write about their experiences from their own perspectives, and these are included along with the general text written by the developers of DISCOVER.

Nielson, A. B. (1994). Traditional identification: Elitist, racist, sexist? New evidence.  CAG Communicator:  The Journal of the California Association for the Gifted, 24(3), 18-19, 26-31.

The linguistic, cultural, and economic biases inherent in Lewis Terman’s often quoted studies of giftedness are explained in this article, and their effects on IQ testing of diverse populations are outlined. Characteristics of families of children identified as gifted using traditional IQ testing are compared with families of children identified using an assessment process (DISCOVER) designed to measure problem solving in multiple intelligences.

Maker, C. J. (1995). Lessons learned from the children. Understanding Our Gifted, 8(1), 1, 8-13.

The author describes four students from diverse cultural, linguistic, and economic backgrounds and the strengths of each that she has observed. She concludes each description by identifying the important the lessons she has learned through her interactions with each child.

Maker, C. J. (1996). Identification of gifted minority students: A national problem, needed changes
and a promising solution. Gifted Child Quarterly, 40(1), 41-50.

The serious national problem of under-representation of culturally diverse groups in programs for gifted students is addressed. Old and new paradigms, including changing conceptions of giftedness based on a new paradigm, are described. A new assessment process, consistent with the new paradigm, is presented, along with suggestions for validating and refining this assessment in ways that are consistent with its underlying thought system (paradigm).

Maker, C. J., Rogers, J. A., Nielson, A. B., and Bauerle, P. (1996). Multiple Intelligences, problem solving,
and diversity in the general classroom. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 19(4), 437- 460.

This article is a report on a pilot study of the effectiveness of the DISCOVER approach to curriculum design and teaching strategies when used in regular (homogeneous) classrooms with young children from culturally diverse backgrounds. It contains a short description of the DISCOVER assessment, a description of the curriculum and teaching strategies developed to build upon student strengths and interests, an explanation of the pilot study, and the impact of the teacher classified as a “high implementer” on the students’ growth in problem solving in spatial, logical-mathematical and linguistic intelligences.

Maker, C. J. and King, M. A. (1996). Nurturing giftedness in young children.  Reston, VA: Council for
Exceptional Children.

In the first part of this book, the authors describe three real classrooms in which teachers are consistently nurturing the giftedness of young children, especially the six who are described.  In the second part, the principles of developmentally appropriate practice are explained and examples of how they apply to the nurturing of children with diverse abilities are provided.

Maker, C. J., and Nielson, A. G. (1996).  Curriculum development and teaching strategies for gifted
 learners.  (2nd ed.) Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.

Using a definition of giftedness based on the Multiple Intelligences theory of Howard Gardner, the authors explain and give many practical examples for designing and implementing curriculum to meet the needs of gifted students in regular classrooms and in special programs.  The principles are explained in chapters on learning environment, content, process, and product, and examples of daily planning, unit development, and school or district-wide curriculum sequencing are provided.

Maker, C. J. (1997).  DISCOVER Problem Solving Assessment, Quest, 8(1), 3, 5, 7, 9.

After a brief description of the DISCOVER assessment, Maker presents a review of research on its development, reliability, and validity for its two intended purposes: identifying the strengths of all students in a classroom and identifying students who are gifted in a way that is equitable across gender, language, economic, and cultural groups.

Lori, A. A. (1997). Storytelling and personal traits: Investigating the relationship between children’s
 storytelling ability and their interpersonal and intrapersonal traits. Gifted Education International. 13(1), 57- 66.

The relationship between storytelling ability and interpersonal and intrapersonal traits in Bahraini students is reported in this article. The DISCOVER assessment results were analyzed, and problem-solving behaviors were correlated.  Significant relationships were found between students’ storytelling and their personal traits. Additional statistical analysis revealed that 3rd graders were better storytellers than 4th graders. Based on these results, the author recommended educational practices to enhance students’ linguistic and communicative competencies.
Griffiths, S.  (1997).  The comparative validity of assessments based on different theories for the purpose of identifying gifted ethnic minority students.  Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The University of Arizona, Tucson.

Profiles of 33 Mexican American kindergarten students assessed using DISCOVER, WISC-III or WPPSI, and Raven Progressive Matrices were analyzed to gather information on the relationships among sub-parts of the assessments.  The author found that each of the three assessments fit the theory on which it was based, that they measured different abilities, and that the DISCOVER assessment seemed to be a more valid measure for the purpose of identifying Mexican-American students as gifted.

Rogers, J. A. (1998).  Refocusing the lens: Using observation to assess and identify gifted learners. Gifted Education International, 12(3), 129-144.

Rogers presents a clear view of how the parts of the DISCOVER assessment are connected to each other and to the underlying theoretical frameworks.  She integrates many practical examples showing students’ responses, and makes the article come alive.  This article is ‘required reading” for everyone who wants to understand the assessment. Please note, however, that changes have been made in the assessment process since the article was written.

Sarouphim, K. M. (1999). DISCOVER: A promising alternative assessment for the identification of gifted minorities. Gifted Child Quarterly. 43(4), pp. 244-251.

In this review, the author describes the DISCOVER assessment and reviews preliminary studies on its reliability and validity.  She concludes that the DISCOVER assessment seems to be a promising alternative technique through which the problem of under representation of gifted minorities in programs for the gifted might be reduced. However, educators using the DISCOVER assessment for identification purposes must make sure that a good match exists between the assessment and the type of gifted program in which students will be placed.

Sarouphim, K. M. (1999). Discovering multiple intelligences through a performance-based assessment:
Consistency with independent ratings. Exceptional Children.  65(2), pp. 151-161.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the consistency between performance-based DISCOVER assessment results and two independent ratings (teacher, observer) in appraising students’ multiple intelligences through specific activities. The three accounts showed similar results strengths and weaknesses in spatial, logical-mathematical, and linguistic intelligences.  However, specific tasks should be designed to appraise bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligences to increase the effectiveness and credibility of assessment of students’ abilities throughout the whole spectrum of intelligences.

Sarouphim, K. M.  (2000). Internal structure of DISCOVER:  A performance-based assessment.  Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 23(3), 314-327.

A sample of 257 Navajo and Mexican-American students from kindergarten, fourth, and fifth grades were participants in an analysis of the extent to which the DISCOVER behavior checklist and rating process fits the theory on which it is based.  The author found low and nonsignificant correlations between ratings on activities assessing different intelligences and moderate relationships between activities designed to measure the same intelligences.  She also found no gender biases in the identification of boys and girls as gifted, and concluded that more research on validity is needed.

Sarouphim, K. M.  (2001).  DISCOVER:  Concurrent validity, gender differences, and identification of minority students.  Gifted Child Quarterly.  45(2), 130-138.

Using the Raven Progressive Matrices as a comparison measure, Sarouphim examined the concurrent
Validity of DISCOVER in two cultural groups—Mexican American and Navajo. Her sample consisted of 257 kindergarten, second, fourth, and fifth graders.  She found low, non-significant relationships between the Raven scores and the linguistic activities except at the kindergarten level, where they were low but significant. The low correlations with linguistic activities were expected due to the Raven’s emphasis on non-verbal abilities. Moderate to high correlations between the Raven scores and the Spatial Artistic, Spatial Analytical, and Logical-Mathematical activities found at all grade levels support the concurrent validity of DISCOVER since these activities are designed to measure abilities similar to those measured by the Raven.  They also suggest that DISCOVER and the Raven are different measurements since the statistically significant correlations range from .251 to .704, with most in the .2 to .4 range.  Sarouphim also found no significant gender differences in the number of boys and girls identified as gifted, and that high percentages of students from these traditionally under identified groups were identified as gifted using DISCOVER.

Maker, C.J. (2001). DISCOVER: Assessing and developing problem solving. Gifted Education International, 15(3), 232-251.

In this article, the author reviews the DISCOVER Assessment and Curriculum models, describing the current versions of both, and including many photographs of children involved in assessment and talent development.  Examples of teaching activities are provided, and research on both the Curriculum and Assessment is reviewed.  Both published and unpublished studies are included in the review.

Sarouphim, K. M. (2002). DISCOVER in high school: Identifying gifted Hispanic and Native American students. The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 14, 30-38.

Navajo and Mexican-American students from grades nine through twelve were participants in an analysis of the extent to which the DISCOVER behavior checklist and rating process fits the theory on which it is based.  The author found low and non-significant correlations between ratings on activities assessing different intelligences and moderate relationships between activities designed to measure the same intelligences.  No statistically significant differences were found in the percentages of students from different cultural groups (Mexican American, Native American, and Caucasian) identified as gifted. The percentages of identified participants were mostly in proportion to their ethnic distribution in the sample. She also found no gender biases in the identification of boys and girls as gifted, and concluded that DISCOVER is a promising method for identifying gifted students from culturally diverse groups.

Sak, U. & Maker, C. J. (2003).  The Long-Term Predictive Validity of a Performance-Based Assessment Used to Identify Gifted CLD Students.  Proceedings of the 15th Biennial World Conference of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Students. Adelaide, Australia:  World Council for Gifted and Talented Students.

Two studies are reported in this paper.  In both studies, children were assessed with DISCOVER in kindergarten.  Records of the children assessed in 1994 and 1998 who were still in the school district were examined.  Their scores on the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS), the Stanford 9 Achievement Test (Nationally normed), and grades in English, Math, and Science were collected.  Authors found significant differences between those identified as gifted and those not identified as gifted across both instruments and grades in all subjects.  In general, the differences were parallel to the areas in which they were identified.  Authors concluded that the results support DISCOVER’s use as an instrument to identify gifted students, and that kindergarten results can predict achievement as much as six years later.

Sarouphim, K. M. (2004).  DISCOVER in middle school:  Identifying gifted minority students.  The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 10, 61-69.

Navajo and Mexican-American students from grades six through eight were participants in an analysis of the extent to which the DISCOVER behavior checklist and rating process fits the theory on which it is based.  The author found low and non-significant correlations between ratings on activities assessing different intelligences and moderate relationships between activities designed to measure the same intelligences.  No statistically significant differences were found in the percentages of students from different cultural groups (Mexican American, Native American, and Caucasian) identified as gifted. The percentages of identified participants were mostly in proportion to their ethnic distribution in the sample. She also found no gender biases in the identification of boys and girls as gifted, and concluded that DISCOVER is a promising method for identifying gifted students from culturally diverse groups.
Wallace, B., Maker, C. J., Cave, D., Chandler, S. (2004).  Thinking skills and problem-solving: An inclusive approach.  England:  A B Academic Publishers.

In this practical book for teachers, DISCOVER and the Prism of Learning Model developed by Maker, Anuruthwong, and Wallace are combined with Thinking Actively in a Social Context (TASC), a model for developing thinking and problem solving.  The book contains a report on action research in two schools using the combined model, and has many practical teaching examples, checklists for observing children, and activities for assessment.  The emphasis is on early childhood education.

Chen, Aibi (2004).  DISCOVER in China.  Beijing:  Capital Normal University Press.

The author, a scholar of DISCOVER and a leader in the DISCOVER in China Project, describes the use of the problem solving continuum and the multiple intelligences matrix across content areas in Chinese schools.  She reviews literature on problem solving, and discusses the importance of developing creativity and problem solving in Chinese schools.  She reflects on the development of teachers’ competence in implementing the project, and presents a helpful description of the stages through which teachers progress as they begin to implement the problem solving continuum.  The book is written in Chinese.         

Maker, C. J. (2004).  Creativity and multiple intelligences:  The DISCOVER project and research. In S. Lau, Hui, N. N., & Ng Y. C. (Eds.) Creativity: When East Meets West. (pp. 341-392)  Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.

What is more important, to be creative or to be intelligent?  Are creative people also intelligent?  Are intelligent people usually creative?  What do we want to foster in our children and youth?  What is best for our society or nation?  How do schools need to be different if we want to develop students’ creativity as well as their intelligence and skills?   What experiences and research can be helpful in answering these questions?  In this chapter, the author argues that intelligence and creativity are not really different, but result from responses to certain prompts in the form of tests or teaching activities, or from adults’ attitudes toward a child’s responses to tests, questions, or products.  She presents evidence from her own and others’ research to support her arguments and gives specific ways that researchers, teachers, parents, and other adults in Eastern and Western countries can foster the natural abilities of children and youth—helping them to develop their problem solving and adaptability for the world of the future.

Sak, U. & Maker, C. J. (2004).  DISCOVER Assessment and Curriculum Model:  The Application of theories of multiple intelligences and successful intelligence in the education of gifted students.  Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 15, pp. 1-15.

 The authors provide a discussion of the theories underlying the assessment and curriculum model.  They also review the evidence for reliability and content, criterion, and construct validity from over 15 years of research.  Authors also present evidence for the success of the curriculum model, and discuss the use of DISCOVER in programs for gifted students.
Maker, C. J. (2005).  The DISCOVER Project: Improving Assessment and Curriculum for Diverse Gifted Learners. Senior Scholars Series Monograph.  Storrs, CT:  National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.

In this monograph, an Introduction provides readers with a context for the framework she has developed.  She cites research from cognitive science, psychology, cultural anthropology, education of the gifted, and bilingual education—and combines this with personal experiences in teaching and studying in the field—to support ideas for changes needed to improve programs for gifted students from culturally, linguistically, economically, and geographically diverse backgrounds.  In the second section, Setting the Stage, in a personal way, she describes her own thinking and research process as the framework evolved and was tested.  The assessment and curriculum models are described briefly in this section and research on their use and effectiveness are presented in a readable style.  Following is a descriptive account of the assessment, along with many ways the curriculum principles of DISCOVER can be implemented in general classrooms or classrooms for gifted students.  This is the “Practical Applications” section, and in it she continues with real examples by presenting six case studies of schools, school districts, a state, and two other countries using these models.  She concludes the practical applications section by presenting the new framework developed with colleagues in Europe and Asia.
 The “Conclusion” is a synthesis of ideas; and here she presents specific, clear recommendations for policy-makers, coordinators, principals, and teachers interested in using her ideas and research. Additional resources are listed in this section, and practical materials are included in the Appendices:  an annotated bibliography of publications about DISCOVER (Appendix A), correlations between DISCOVER activities at different grade levels (Appendix B), an interview format to use with teachers instead of written forms for rating student characteristics and making referrals (Appendix C), suggested activities for teachers to use to provide a setting for observing children’s problem solving in different ability areas (Appendix D), checklists of observable characteristics to use with these activities (Appendix E), and three teaching units based on the DISCOVER Curriculum principles (Appendices F, G, and H).

Sak, U. & Maker, C. J. (2005).  Divergence and convergence of mental forces of children in open and closed mathematical problems.  International Education Journal, 6(2), 252-260.

The authors present a study of the relationships between convergent and divergent thinking with an emphasis on fluency, flexibility, and originality in the mathematical domain.  A related purpose was to examine the relationships among problem types in a mathematical assessment.  The math section of the DISCOVER performance based assessment was used to assess 857 students in grades 1 to 6 on mathematical performance.  Statistically significant correlations were found between divergent and convergent thinking and between convergent thinking and the components of divergent thinking.   This study showed evidence for the construct validity of the DISCOVER Continuum of Problem Types (ranging from closed to open).  Correlations between problem types varied according the proximity of the types to each other.

Maker, C. J. & Schiever, S. W. (2005).  Teaching models in education of the gifted.  (3rd Ed).  Austin, TX:  Pro-Ed.
The emphasis of this book is on teaching models that have been developed for or can easily be adapted for the teaching of gifted students.  Ten different models are described, and a final chapter includes suggestions for combining models to form a comprehensive approach.  DISCOVER, Problem Based Learning (PBL), Thinking Actively in a Social Context (TASC), the Hilda Taba Teaching Strategies (HTTS), School Wide Enrichment (SEM), and the Prism of Learning are some of the models described in the book.

Maker, C. J. & Sak, U.  (in press).  Developmental variation in children’s mathematical creative thinking as a function of schooling, age, and knowledge.  Creativity Research Journal

In this study, the authors investigated the association of age, schooling, and domain-specific knowledge in the development of children’s creativity in mathematics by examining different aspects of their performance on the DISCOVER math assessment.  Participants were 841 students from varied cultural backgrounds in four schools in grades 1 through 6.  Hierarchical regression analysis showed that domain knowledge was associated progressively with fluency and a combined score for originality, flexibility, and elaboration at all grades, and that age was only associated with creativity indices at the lower grades.  An interesting result was that students showed peaks and slumps in creativity development as a function of age and domain knowledge, but not as a function of grade.  The authors concluded that two standard deviations above the mean in knowledge was the threshold for one standard deviation above the mean in creativity.

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