TalentEd is a refereed journal, dedicated to the exchange of information about current research, theory and best practice in gifted education and talent development.
Current Refereed Articles
Jude Matyo-Cepero, Phu Vu, Richard Meyer, Wendy McCarty & Bailey Irwin
Gifted students in the heartland: Who they are and why it matters
This study used a data collecting technique called Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) to examine profiles of 109 gifted students in Nebraska who achieved perfect ACT and/or SAT scores between the years 2011 and 2016. The result of data analysis showed that most were white male students from private schools in urban areas. According to those talented students, achieving perfect test scores may be attributed to their hard work and/or multiple attempts. Compared to their school counterparts, the focus students were also comparatively well-rounded in terms of academic excellence and leadership in their schools’ extracurricular activities and community service. Based on the findings, it is argued that nature and nurture are not mutually exclusive when it comes to gifted students; educators and other stakeholders can thus seek to not only nurture gifted students’ natural abilities, but also to help build a strong academic work ethic and commitment to service to others.
Gifted girls: Dispelling the misconception of gender equity in gifted education
In the field of education, specialised programs for gifted students are paramount to ensuring an appropriately challenging and rigorous learning experience. Unfortunately, these programs are not always equitable. With regard to gifted girls, gender disparity and preconceived societal stereotypes of female students can inhibit girls’ access to such educational opportunities. This paper intends to dispel the misconception that gifted girls receive equitable access to gifted programs. This will be achieved through an evaluation of their characteristics, identification practices, and underachievement. Effective strategies will subsequently be proposed to address this prevailing issue in the field of gifted education.
Jodi Lamanna, Wilma Vialle & Catherine Wormald
The reversal of academic underachievement viewed through the eyes of the gifted child
This literature review investigated studies that explored the underachievement and reversal of underachievement in gifted students. Underachievement in gifted students is of concern to parents and educators yet only a small number of studies have investigated this phenomenon through the lens of the gifted underachieving student. The role of teachers, school curriculum and peers emerged as strong themes within the literature and key findings showed that a positive teacher-student connection, an appropriately challenging curriculum, and working with like-minded peers had a strong influence on reversing academic underachievement in gifted students.
Commentary and Review
Bright kids and crabs: My journey through teaching
Can you believe they’re giving away the secrets of modern day Merlins in the media? They would have us believe that there’s no magic in the modern world, only sleight of hand and tricks of the light, every illusion carefully explained. Everything that was unseen is now made transparently clear. Like me, does this add to your growing feeling of disillusionment?
Of course, this only continues a process that has been going on in the world since the advent of empiricism. If it’s there, we should be able to observe and measure it, says science. While God cowers in his Heaven hiding more from modern attitudes and opinions than our eyes, religion continues to take a back seat. In the area of gifted education, however, perhaps the division isn’t quite as clear as the truth makers would have us think. If our children are part of a grand illusion that eclipses their true light, we must all be troubled by this. If they are the playthings of a bizarre educational cult, we should be really alarmed.
Following the enactment of the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act 1988, there was much research into educational provision for culturally different students. However, this research was not an anomalous or instantaneous development; rather, it resulted from decades of academic activism. One such scholar was Martin D. Jenkins. An African-American man, Jenkins was born into a Jim Crow-governed society where pedagogical philosophy was marred by the belief that black students were inherently intellectually inferior. Although a rich literature exists which examines Jenkins’ life and works, these texts limit his work to the ‘historical’, thus ignoring the continued significance of his research in twenty-first century Australia. This article critiques the strengths and weaknesses of Jenkins’ work and his enduring legacy to gifted education. It is argued that Martin D. Jenkins was a seminal scholar within the field of gifted education who highlighted key issues such as identification, cultural disadvantage and the need for tailored support and enrichment programs for gifted students. It is concluded that Jenkins’ work, albeit underappreciated, is not only noteworthy within a historical context, but for its continued significance today.
Book review: Spencer, Big book of numbers
Adam Spencer is a self-confessed sleek geek and champion of geeks everywhere, and I am sure that he needs no introduction. Those for whom Spencer is “merely” a Triple J or ABC radio host, Raw Comedy comedian, champion debater, or namesake for Asteroid 18413 may wish to meet the “real” Adam by viewing his TED talk [Accessible Here]
The investment of 17 minutes of your time will be well rewarded.
Book review: Juratowitch & Blundell, Make a twist
Differentiating the curriculum is understood to be a requisite skill of the professional teacher (AITSL, 2014, Standard 1.5). Graduate teachers know and understand strategies to differentiate their teaching. Proficient teachers incorporate differentiated strategies in their classroom activities. Highly accomplished teachers use student assessment data to evaluate differentiated programs. Lead teachers guide and support colleagues to evaluate the effectiveness of differentiated programs. Differentiated teaching and learning addresses the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities – and this, of course, includes outstanding or high ability students.