Differentiating with Depth and Complexity (K-12)


The Gifted Guild’s Guide to Depth and Complexity, written by Ian Byrd and Lisa Van Gemert, makes the Depth and Complexity Framework accessible to all teachers.

The framework is a set of critical thinking tools that help students dig deeper into content and understand ideas and concepts with greater complexity. The framework was developed by Dr. Sandra Kaplan in 1996 as a result of her research into how “experts” think differently. She identified eleven distinct tools different experts use in their given professions and created the framework to show how these same tools can be taught by teachers and become accessible for students.

These critical thinking tools are known as Depth and Complexity tools. Originally intended as a differentiation tool for gifted students, the framework will aid students wishing to go deeper and with more complexity into any topic. A student using the framework would move from “comparing and contrasting Washington and Lincoln” to “Comparing and contrasting the ethical dilemmas” the two presidents faced—Ethics being one of the Depth and Complexity tools.

Educators taking this course, through reading and research, will explore how to teach and implement these critical thinking tools. Educators will also investigate special topics and integrate new learning into their teaching environment.

This course is equivalent to 3 semester hours or 4.5 quarter hours. It is a graduate level course and intended for K-12 educators who have completed a bachelor’s degree. It is recommended that you receive board or district approval before registering with TPAI.

See reviews of the book at Amazon.com.

*You are responsible for purchasing your own course book.