Open Door Interdisciplinary Modules

Gifted students need opportunities and time to expand on their interests in a structured yet flexible environment. Throughout any given day students are exposed to countless new concepts, alternative perspectives, and complex ideas that require time for discussion, reflection, and expansion. Research shows that gifted students thrive when they are allowed to pursue their passions and build complex and detailed connections.

Open Door Interdisciplinary Modules (ODIM) provides several ways of meeting this need.

Through guest teacher modules, ACE teacher modules, student-driven salons, student initiatives, and targeted/independent studies students have the time to explore and focus their individual interests in multiple ways. Because students take responsibility for what and how they are learning a new concept, intrinsic motivation plays a key role in the learning process.

ODIM places special emphasis on the learning cycle. It mirrors the tried and true experiences of starting with what you know (prior knowledge), generating multiple ideas (fluency), acknowledging multiple perspectives (flexibility), creating solutions (originality), and expanding on ideas (elaboration). This research based, creative learning cycle is a fundamental component of ODIM. We know that learning is recursive and gifted students need to participate in this cycle in order for high-level thinking skills to develop and true learning to occur.

ODIM provides the safety and flexibility for students to explore a larger number of topics, but students must also select an area of focus. ODIM is designed to allow students to explore an interest of their choice in greater depth, raise emotional consciousness, involve students in the process of creative thinking and problem solving, and utilize presentation skills to communicate their “product” with an audience at the ACE Academy Gallery Night.

ODIM provides a structured environment that allows students to

  • Participate in an autonomous, informal learning environment that creates a two-way street between information gathering and information processing.
  • Ask questions and solve problems in an environment that provides the freedom for exploration, inquiry, and authenticity.
  • Immerse themselves in problem-based learning and have access to the research and individuals who can facilitate them on all levels.
  • Organize their ideas, questions, and solutions over an extended period of time, and integrate interdisciplinary activities in order to develop several “products” that will be a reflection of their thinking.