Our approach to talent development recognizes the need for appropriate, challenging, and developmental learning opportunities, at home, in school, and in the community, to bring out the best in every person. While some students require differentiated instruction and services by virtue of strengths and talents already manifest, it is necessary for parents, teachers, and community leaders to recognize and nurture the "often-hidden" strengths, talents, and potentials in all people. Our "Levels of Service" approach to Talent Development and Giftedness offers a practical plan for programming at all levels.
Our programs are custom-tailored to meet your needs and interests. We will confer with youin order to create a complete proposal for services to meet your unique needs, and then work closely with you to carry out our collaborative plan.
We will draw on our team of highly experienced professionals, each of whom bring many years of successful educational and professional development experience to their work. (To meet the members of Center’s leadership and development team, click here.)
Our workshops, training, and consulting services on Talent Development include:
- Conference presentations
We can provide keynote presentations, breakout sessions, and pre- or post-conference special workshops for state or province, regional, national, or international conferences.
- Workshops and Hands-On, Minds-on Training
Our team will deliver highly engaging, active workshops in several formats: a one-day overview, a two-day in-depth training, or a week-long institute. We can offer these programs at your site, or in our beautiful setting near the Atlantic Ocean in Melbourne, Florida.
- Trainer in residence Program
We can arrange for a Consultant/Trainer in residence at your site, or a Consultant/Trainer at our site via video conferencing and other technologically convenient methods.
- Distance Learning Opportunites
13 modules are available for independent work/study.
Any of the Center’s programs and services can be offered at any time of the year, depending on your schedule requirements. Some programs can be arranged on just a few weeks’ notice, although we typically plan programs from three to six months in advance.
You will immediately apply the methods and tools you learn in our program in your own life and thereafter in your work with children, teens, or adults. But even more important, the value of your experience will extend and grow after the program; we offer more than an enjoyable experience, and we don’t leave you confused or uncertain about what to do after you leave the program site. You will be able to take many new tools and strategies away with you, apply them with confidence, and work with greater confidence and success. We also offer you a variety of ways to obtain continuing support and new learning; we don’t just “present events,” we build relationships!
We invite you to contact the Center for Creative Learning office by email to obtain more information regarding any of these programs.
Here you will find a number of free resources that will explain the LoS approach, provide case studies of the LoS model in action in the school setting, and offer directions for future reading and study.
Click here to read Dear School People: What Are You Doing To Find And Develop My Child's Talents? 25 tough questions that are more important than, Is my child in the Gifted Program?"
About our LoS Approach
LoS Brief Overview
A PDF that summarizes in more detail each of the four LoS levels.
This four page document presents our "Fundamental Tenets and Beliefs." These are the basic principles that serve as the foundation for our contemporary approach to talent developmentc emphasizing the importance of "bringing out the best" in all students. This document can be an excellent tool for group discussion if you are planning (or revising) programming to recognize and develop many talents among people of all ages.
This PDF file presents responses to frequently asked questions in several categories: general information and background about LoS, teacher questions, parent questions, and student questions.
A bibliography of published work relating to talent development and to the LoS approach.
LoS Case Studies
Each of these PDF files presents a brief case study of one of the four levels in the LoS approach.
Journal Article Reprints
(For personal use only)
- The Levels of Service Approach to Talent Development: Parallels With Existing Prpgrams
from Gifted Child Today magazine, provides an overview of the LoS approach and explains its fundamental principles using the music model as an analogue.
- Levels of Service (LoS): A Contemporary Approach to Programming for Talent Development
provides an overview of the LoS framework and a discussion of its implementation and evaluation in the school or school district settings.
- Programming for Talent Development: Expanding Horizons for Gifted Education
discusses the rationale underlying the LoS approach and its implications for effectiveness and innovation in education.
- Giftedness, Creativity and Learning Style
examines the linkages among giftedness, creativity, and personal style.
- The Amphitheater Model: An Approach to Talent Recognition and Development
In this article we describe an adaptation of the LoS model that was developed with colleagues at the University of Winnipeg and implemented in several Canadian school settings.
What Are You Doing To Find And Develop My Child's Talents? 25 tough questions that are more important than, "Is my child in the Gifted Program?"
- How does my child learn best? How does your school program take into account students' personal characteristics and learning styles?
- In what academic content area(s) or extra-curricular area(s) does my child display strengths, talents, or special interests?
- What provisions does your school make for them to be recognized, valued, and developed?
- What provisions do you make to insure that students receive instruction that is well-suited to their real instructional needs?
- What specific provisions are made for students to learn at their own rate or pace, rather than being limited to a rigidly-prescribed, "lockstep" curriculum?
- What resources and materials are available to expose students to the newest ideas and developments in many fields, and to in-depth pursuit of their areas of special interest?
- How do you provide students with access to and experiences with other students and adults who share their strengths, talents, and interests?
- How do you use community resources and mentors to extend students' learning in areas of special talents and interests?
- How do you help students to become aware of their own best talents and interests and to appreciate those of others as well?
- How do you help students to consider future career possibilities and to cope with rapid change in our world?
- What provisions are made for advanced content or courses for students whose achievement warrants them?
- How are the students' needs determined and reviewed?
- What enrichment opportunities are offered that are not merely "busywork" or "more of the same" assignments?
- How do teachers provide opportunities for students to learn and apply critical and creative thinking, problem solving, decision making, and teamwork skills? How are these skills taught and used in classes, and through the curriculum?
- What other activities or programs are offered that focus on these skills? (Future Problem Solving Program?Destination ImagiNation? Invention Conventions? Others...?)
- How do you help students learn to plan and investigate everyday (or real-world problems, and to plan and conduct research, rather than relying on contrived, textbook exercises?
- How do you help students create and share the products or results of their projects and investigations?
- What provisions do you make, or what support do you offer, to create opportunities for students to explore a variety of motivating and challenging topics outside the regular curriculum?
- How do you help students learn to set goals, plan projects, locate and use resources, create products, and evaluate their work?
- What provisions do you make to help students feel comfortable and confident in expressing and dealing with their personal and academic goals and concerns?
- What specific steps do you take to insure that learning is exciting and original rather than boring and repetitious?
- How do you ensure that students are challenged to work towards their full potential ("at the edge of their ability") rather than permitting them to drift along comfortably ("on cruise control")?
- In what ways do faculty members inspire students to ask probing questions, examine many viewpoints, and use criteria to make and justify decisions?
- How does the school program help students to learn social or interpersonal skills without sacrificing their individuality?
- Have you asked me about my child, and discussed the insights I have about his or her interests, activities, experiences, relationships, and feelings about school, and in areas outside the school day?
Center for Creative Learning, LLC.
As an individual, a parent, an educator, or a community leader, one of the most exciting challenges for anyone is to become aware of personal strengths and talents— their own or in others. At the Center for Creative Learning, we work with our clients to support their efforts to recognize and nurture the best in every person. We support a contemporary, inclusive approach to recognizing and developing talents, seeking to bring out the best in all people.
In this area of our website, you will learn more about the Levels of Service (LoS) approach to Talent Development.
“Bringing Out the Best in Every Student”
The Levels of Service (LoS) approach to talent development, developed by the Center for Creative Learning in conjunction with educational leaders in several school districts and state educational agencies in the United States and Canada, seeks to to bring out the best in every student. We believe that developing talent— the potential for significant contributions or productivity (in original or creative ways) in any domain of inquiry, expression, or action, over an extended period of time— is vital for survival and success in the 21st Century.
Gifted education programs have traditionally identified and served a limited number of students, often based on specific percentages or “cutoff” scores on tests of ability or achievement. We acknowledge the importance of meeting the needs of high-ability students. However, in the LoS approach we extend that commitment by recognizing that significant potential exists among many more students than have traditionally been identified and served in both academic content areas and many talent domains.
Therefore, the LoS approach involves collaboration among educators, students, parents, and community leaders to form a partnership to ensure that every learner’s educational experience is appropriate, challenging, and differentiated. LoS programming focuses on providing opportunities for recognizing, nurturing, and celebrating students’ strengths, talents, and sustained interests. Programming for talent development includes all of the efforts made— at home, in a classroom, in a school, in a school district, and in a community— to respond to the many and varied potentials of all students.
Level I: Services for All Students
Opportunities that provide foundational skills and tools that help all students to discover and build their personal strengths and talents.
Teachers in a school noticed that most of the questions they asked their students called for basic recall. They decided to teach higher level thinking skills and deliberately modified their questioning technique by developing questions that required students to think creatively and critically.
Level II: Services for Many Students
Opportunities that invite students to engage in activities through which they can investigate their interests and verify areas in which they may demonstrate strengths and talent potentials.
A school offers students opportunities to participate on teams for the Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI) or the Destination ImagiNation® Program (DI). (These activities may extend beyond Level II if students are chosen to compete at state or national levels.)
Level III: Services for Some Students
Opportunities that involve alternative learning activities for students to engage in rigorous and complex learning based on their demonstrated performance and documented needs in areas of strength and sustained interest.
Students with strengths and talents in math may be placed in advanced math classes, Honors classes, or AP math courses (based on mathematical aptitude, skills, and interests). Their math opportunities may involve acceleration as well as opportunities for enrichment (e.g., special projects for individuals or small groups).
Level IV: Services for a Few Students
Advanced opportunities that respond to the unique needs of individual students who have demonstrated outstanding ability, expertise, motivation and passion to learn in a talent domain or academic area.
In one district, elementary age students were permitted to enroll in secondary level course in areas of special talent, and middle- or secondary-level students had opportunities to take post-secondary level courses in their special talent areas (e.g., science, technology, dramatics, creative writing, history, and math!) at area community colleges and universities.
The LoS approach:
- Is consistent with research on human abilities and styles.
- Helps us manage change by integrating our efforts and priorities.
- Recognizes and celebrates present positives while promoting continuous improvement in gifted education programming.
- Stimulates innovation to help us raise our vision of the future to new levels.
- Reminds us where to keep “the compass” set: what’s important for students?
- Is consistent with contemporary views of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
- Supports appropriate and challenging instruction for high-ability students in many talent areas and academic disciplines.
- Supports effective individualized and differentiated instructional practices for all students.
We offer a variety of products and service relating to the Levels of Service approach to talent development. These include:
“Dear School People”
Dear School People: What Are You Doing To Find And Develop My Child's Talents? 25 tough questions that are more important than, "Is my child in the Gifted Program?"
Click here to find a number of free resources that will explain the LoS approach, provide case studies of the LoS model in action in the school setting, and offer directions for future reading and study.
Click here for advanced online resources in PDF format to support your efforts to design, implement, or evaluate talent development programming. These resources are available at a reasonable cost for immediate download. The cost of each one includes permission to duplicate the file for up to three other individuals at no additional charge.
Click here for books you can purchase to learn more about the LoS approach to talent development.
Workshops, Training and Consulting Services
Our approach to talent development recognizes the need for appropriate, challenging, and developmental learning opportunities, at home, in school, and in the community, to bring out the best in every person. We recognize that some students require differentiated instruction and services by virtue of strengths and talents already manifest. There are also important opportunities for parents, teachers, and community leaders to recognize and nurture the “often-hidden” strengths, talents, and potentials in all people. Our “Levels of Service” approach offers a practical plan for programming at all levels.
Our programs are custom-tailored to meet your needs and interests. We will confer with you, create a complete proposal for services to meet your unique needs, and work closely with you to carry out our collaborative plan. Read more about the services we can provide.