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Gifted Teaching Tool: Mobius Response Model

Dona Matthews, Ph.D. and Joanne Foster, Ed.D.

The Mobius Response Model (MRM) represents a creative structure for responding to individual students’ learning needs.

It offers a user-friendly metaphor for effective gifted education by focusing on and connecting four critical foundational points for teaching and appropriately differentiated learning: (A) planning, (B) assessment, (C) programming, and (D) learning environment.

Gifted Teaching Tool: Mobius Response ModelThe model’s name comes from the Mobius strip, a two dimensional surface with only one perceptible side, discovered by mathematician August Ferdinand Mobius in 1958. If you give a simple strip of paper a twist and connect the ends, it changes form entirely! No matter how you cut it lengthwise, it unravels into an array of linked strands. As you continue to work with it, it becomes something surprisingly new and different with every additional lengthwise cut, even though it always remains connected. The Mobius strip has curious properties—a twisted cylinder with no distinct inner or outer sides, and this gives it a kind of neverendingness, and a double track edge toward excitement and unpredictability.

 

Try it! To create a Mobius strip, start with a long ribbon or paper rectangle with points ABCD. Give the rectangle a half twist. Join the ends so A is matched with D and B is matched with C.*

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We first unveiled and presented the Mobius Response Model at the National Association for Gifted Children Conference, in November 2009. The MRM provides parents and teachers with an innovative way to think about gifted education, and about creating and applying a seamless range of educational opportunities for gifted learners. Moreover, dimensions of challenge and support (or process and product, or thought and action, or whatever two elements are most important to you) can both be uppermost!

 

From a Mobius perspective, meeting gifted learning needs is a transformative process that involves responding to high-level development in order to encourage it. The impetus begins with planning, and then moves from there, twisting and turning flexibly in Mobius fashion as required in order to respond to individual children’s exceptional learning needs. We encourage teachers, and parents, too, to consider the four key points of the MRM as they apply to education—planning, assessment, programming, and learning environment—thoughtfully, and one at a time—and experience how they can come together as a seamless, strong, and intertwined whole.

To that end, we will address each of these four cornerstones of teaching and learning separately, and in greater detail, in a series of TeachHUB articles following this one. And, we also provide detailed information about each of these four elements in our award-winning book, Being Smart about Gifted Education, 2nd Edition (2009). To find out more about encouraging high-level development and supporting gifted learning needs, we invite you to visit our website: www.beingsmart.ca.

 

*Instructions retrieved from http://scidiv.bcc.ctc.edu/MATH/Mobius.html  

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