What do Long Beach and Singapore have in common? Both have been ranked among the world’s top five school systems in recent years. Singapore educators have taken note, visiting local schools to learn more about meeting the needs of advanced learners.
Four teachers from Catholic High School, a gifted school for boys in Singapore, recently visited the gifted classes of GATE-certified (Gifted and Talented Education) teachers at Cubberley K-8 School. The visitors also observed classes at Millikan High School’s QUEST honors program.
The trip was initiated by the USC Rossier School of Education’s Sandra Kaplan, a leader in the field of gifted education.
“She requested that we host the visitors, as their learning goals were focused on ways to differentiate instruction for advanced learners,” said Pam Lovett, GATE coordinator for the Long Beach Unified School District.
The visit was the second one in two years from the Singapore school. Last year, Singapore teachers visited the Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science, as well as the California Academy of Mathematics and Science.
At Cubberley, the Singapore visitors learned from teachers Jane Alviar, Melissa Hamm, Heather Mills, Debi Bober and Caroline Muscato. The Cubberley teachers shared how they expand learning for advanced students by incorporating more depth and complexity into grade level curriculum.
At Millikan, the visitors learned from science teachers Christine Appel and Scott Allen. The visitors also observed Millikan teacher Russel Rudman’s Advanced Placement Government course and learned about the QUEST Senior Project process, a year-long inquiry conducted by students and facilitated by teacher Thomas Lind.
The Singapore school submitted a summary report after the visit.
“At Cubberley, the Singapore teachers were impressed not just with the high capability of the teaching faculty but also the close partnership the principal has with the district,” the report stated. “At Millikan, the belief that the student is the center of learning, and the support in developing future-ready skills in line with students’ career choices, are keenly evident in the programs and curriculum.”