TALENTS UNLIMITED

The Talents Unlimited approach to education was developed by Dr. Calvin Taylor. Dr. Taylor Researched the thinking skills that people needed in order to be successful in the world of work.

This educational approach provides a unique way of delivering the existing curriculum that can be used in all grades and all curriculum areas. It provides a common language for thinking skills, creates risk takers, and places emphasis on thinking.

All students at Westover are given an opportunity to learn higher level thinking skills through the Talents Unlimited Program. Here, the emphasis is on the development of thinking abilities which are important to success in the work-a-day world and in school. These thinking abilities include:

Productive Thinking: Students think of many, varied, and unusual ideas. It this context "unusual" means a "one-of-a-kind" idea. The emphasis is on how many different ideas students can develop as a whole class.

Communication: There are six types of Communication Behavior.

  1. Give many, varied, single words to describe something.
  2. Give many, varied, single words to describe feelings.
  3. Think of many, varied things that are like another thing in a special way.
  4. Let others know that you understand how they feel.
  5. Make a network of ideas using many, varied, and complete thoughts.
  6. Tell your feelings and needs without using words.

Forecasting: Students are asked to of many,varied and unusual ideas to examine cause and effect by answering one of two questions,

  1. What might have caused...?
  2. What might happen if...?

Decision Making: Students learn the steps of the decision making process.

  1. List the Alternatives.
  2. Develop Criteria Questions (to guide in choosing between alternatives).
  3. Weigh the Criteria Questions (not every question is equally helpful!).
  4. Use the Criteria Questions to make the Decision.
  5. Support the decision with many, varied reasons.

Planning: Students learn the steps necessary to develop a comprehensive plan to carry out a decision.

  1. List the materials needed.
  2. List the steps to carry out the action.
  3. Think of the many, varied, and unusual problems that might occur.
  4. Think of many, varied, and unusual improvements to avoid or address those potential problems.

As a result of the Talents approach all children feel good about their ability to think. Thinking skills are based in the world of work. All Talent Lessons are based on the academic. At Westover, staff development is mandated for all teachers. The children participate in over 75 talent lessons each year!