Curriculum compacting is a flexible, research-supported instructional
technique for modifying the regular curriculum to meet the needs of high ability
students. This technique is a form of content acceleration that enables
high-ability students to skip work they already know and substitute more
challenging content. The goals of compacting are to streamline work that may be
mastered at a pace commensurate with the student's ability, create a challenging
learning environment, guarantee proficiency in basic curriculum, and buy time
for enrichment and acceleration (Reis and Renzulli, 1992).
According to Reis and Renzulli, the following eight steps are involved:
See also Independent Projects/Small Group Work and Learning Contracts/Personal Agendas.
Select the learning objectives for a given subject.
Find or create an appropriate way to pretest or alternatively assess
competencies related to these objectives.
Identify students who may have mastered the objectives, or have the
potential to master them at a faster than normal pace, or pretest all students
in the classroom.
Pretest students-before beginning instruction-on one or more of the
Streamline practice, drill or instructional time for students who have
learned the objectives.
Provide instructional options for students who have not yet attained all the
pretested objectives, but generally learn faster than their classmates.
Organize and recommend enrichment or acceleration options for eligible
Keep records of the process and instructional options available to students
whose curriculum has been compacted for reporting to parents and forward these
records to next year's teachers.
(From the National Research Center on
Gifted and Talented: http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/nrcgt/vcurcomp.html)