Curriculum Studies


Designing High Quality Differentiated Units of Study: A Look at the Parallel Curriculum Model

Friday, November 10
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Location: 202 A

This session examines how the Parallel Curriculum Model (PCM) aids teachers in revising/designing quality units of study that can challenge advanced learners and address required standards. Participants learn how the focus of each Parallel of the model provides another lens to push students’ understanding of the big ideas of a discipline, as well as how teachers can use a variety of lesson components to create engaging and effective learning experiences. Examples of units and lessons from different grade levels and subject matter are highlighted along with practical advice for getting started with your own unit of study.

Marcia B. Imbeau

Unversity of Arkansas

Marcia B. Imbeau is a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where she teaches graduate courses in childhood education and gifted education. She is actively involved in university and public school partnerships, working regularly with her interns and their mentor teachers as a university liaison and teaching courses in curriculum development, differentiation, classroom management, and action research. Recognized for her teaching, she was awarded the College of Education and Health Professions Outstanding Teaching Award in 2000 and 2003. Marcia has taught in general education classrooms, programs for gifted students and university-based enrichment programs. Among her publications are Differentiating Instruction in the Inclusive Classroom (with Barbara Gartin, Nikki Murdick, Darlene Perner), A Differentiated Approach to Common Core (with Carol Tomlinson), Parallel Curriculum Units K-5 (editor), Managing a differentiated classroom: K-8 (with Carol Tomlinson), Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom (with Carol Tomlinson).


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Jann H. Leppien

Margo Long Endowed Chair in Gifted Education
Whitworth University

Dr. Jann Leppien is an associate professor at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. She is recipient of the Margo Long Chair in Gifted Education, an endowed chair funded by James P. and Wanda Cowles. Whitworth's Center for Gifted Education supports and develops policies and practices that encourage the diverse expressions of gifts and talents in children and youth from all cultures, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups. To this end, the Center supports and engages in research, staff development, advocacy, and communication and collaboration with other organizations and agencies that strive to improve the quality of education for all students. In this new position, Dr. Leppien teaches courses in gifted education for teachers who are seeking endorsement credits and obtaining master’s degrees in gifted education. Prior to this position, she taught courses, at the University of Great Falls in Montana in curriculum and assessment, gifted education, educational research, and social studies methods. She also teaches curriculum and thinking skills courses online and in the Three Summers Program at the University of Connecticut. Before joining the faculty at the University of Great Falls, she worked as a research assistant for The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT). Dr. Leppien has been a classroom teacher, enrichment specialist, and coordinator of a gifted education program in Montana.

Dr. Leppien conducts workshops for teachers in areas of differentiated instruction, curriculum design and assessment, thinking skills, and gifted program development, both nationally and internationally. She has served on the board of the National Association for Gifted Children, and currently serves on the board of the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS), the 2E Center for Research and Professional Development, NAGC’s Award's Committees, and Washington State’s Gifted and Talented Advisory Board.


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Karen L. Westberg

University of St. Thomas

Dr. Karen L. Westberg is a Professor at the University of St. Thomas (UST) where she teaches graduate coursework in the Gifted, Creative, and Talented education program. Before joining the faculty at UST, she was a principal investigator at The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented and a faculty member in gifted education at the University of Connecticut. She has been actively involved with the National Association for Gifted Children by serving as Member of the Board of Directors, Finance Secretary, and member of the Editorial Boards for the Gifted Child Quarterly and Teaching for High Potential. She has published articles in several journals including Parenting for High Potential, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, Gifted Education International, Gifted Child Today, and the Gifted Child Quarterly. Earlier in her career, she as a teacher and gifted education specialist in the Burnsville/Eagan/Savage school district in Minnesota.


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Designing High Quality Differentiated Units of Study: A Look at the Parallel Curriculum Model


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