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The Parallel Curriculum Model (PCM), as described in the best-selling book The Parallel Curriculum, is a framework for developing a dynamic curriculum that helps students acquire expertise in specific subject areas. This resource deepens teachers' understanding of how to use the PCM to provide rigorous learning opportunities for students in social studies.
In Parallel Curriculum Units for Social Studies, Grades 6-12, experienced teachers contribute sample social studies units that demonstrate what high-quality curriculum looks like within a PCM framework. Covering history, geography, sociology, and interdisciplinary studies, these field-tested units each contain:
- Teacher explanations of the unit design
- Connections to concepts, skills, and standards
- Step-by-step directions for delivering the lessons and units
- Modification strategies and methods for assessment
Use these examples to design your own units and enhance your ability to provide challenging curriculum tailored to the abilities, interests, and learning preferences of each learner.
Jeanne H. Purcell is the consultant to the Connecticut State Depart-ment of Education for gifted and talented education. She is also director of UConn Mentor Connection, a nationally recognized summer mentorship program for talented teenagers that is part of the NEAG Center for Talent Development at the University of Con-necticut. Prior to her work at the State Department of Connecticut, she was an administrator for Rocky Hill Public Schools (CT); a pro-gram specialist with the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, where she worked collaboratively with other researchers on national issues related to high-achieving young people; an instructor of Teaching the Talented, a graduate-level program in gifted education; and a staff developer to school districts across the country and Canada. She has been an En-glish teacher, community service coordinator, and teacher of the gifted, K-12, for 18 years in Connecticut school districts and has published many articles that have appeared in Educational Leadership, Gifted Child Quarterly, Roeper Review, Educa-tional and Psychological Measurement, National Association of Secondary School Principals' Bulletin, Our Children: The National PTA Magazine, Parenting for High Potential, and Journal for the Education of the Gifted. She is active in the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and serves on the Awards Committee and the Curriculum Committee of NAGC, for which she is the co-chair for the annual Curriculum Awards Competition. Jann Leppien served as a gifted and talented coordinator in Montana prior to attending the University of Connecticut, where she earned her doctorate in gifted education and worked as a research assistant at the National Research Center for the Gifted and Talented. She has been a teacher for 24 years, spending 14 of those years working as a classroom teacher, enrichment specialist, and coordinator of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model in Montana. She is past president of the Montana Association for Gifted and Tal-ented Education. Currently, she is an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of Great Falls in Montana. Leppien teaches graduate and under-graduate courses in gifted education, educational research, curriculum and assess-ment, creativity, and methods courses in math, science, and social studies. Her research interests include teacher collaboration, curriculum design, underachievement, and planning instruction for advanced learners. Leppien works as a consultant to teachers in the field of gifted education and as a national trainer for the Talents Unlimited Program. She is coauthor of The Multiple Menu Model: A Par-allel Guide for Developing Differentiated Curriculum. She is active in the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), serving as a board member and newsletter editor of the Curriculum Division, and a board member of the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students.