The Young Scholars program is a 16 week, 4 unit academic program that embraces research-based practices for nurturing academic potential in students who have been historically underrepresented for gifted services and enrichment. The program was originally designed and implemented in Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools in 2002. Young Scholars is one of eight nationally-recognized programs which demonstrate clear evidence of successfully supporting diverse high-ability learners.
Who participates in the Young Scholars program?
The Young Scholars program is currently being offered to all second graders and all first graders.
How does Young Scholars work?
For each four week unit, the GT specialists use the PETS (Primary Education Thinking Skills) Curriculum to teach two whole group lessons on one of four different types of higher level thinking skills: convergent analysis, divergent analysis, visual/spatial thinking and evaluation. During these whole group lessons, the classroom teacher acts as an observer, and using a specifically designed observation tool, records student actions/thinking during the lessons.
Based on these observations and work samples, students are chosen to work in small groups with the GT specialists for the following two weeks to further explore and develop the thinking skill that is being taught.