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

Genevieve Thraves

Teacher perceptions of gifted cultural minorities: An Australian study

This paper presents findings from a qualitative case study set within an Australian boarding school, which explored the perceptions of teachers in relation to gifted cultural minorities. The study aimed to shed light on the persistent underrepresentation of some cultural minority groups in the extension and enrichment programs offered at the study site. Ten teacher participants at Boarding College [Pseudonym] were recruited and interviewed in relation to their views on the topic. Thematic analysis revealed that the teachers held diverse views of cultural minorities, and lacked the cultural competence to respond to the gifted needs of these learners. The teachers also viewed giftedness and gifted programs as performance based, and this may act to preclude some cultural minorities from being identified. Furthermore, it was found that the teachers often viewed the underrepresentation of Indigenous students in gifted education as stemming from issues relating to the students and their culture, and from systemic school-based factors. Despite these somewhat negative findings, teachers at the study site viewed it to be an educator’s responsibility to cater for the gifted cultural minority student, suggesting the participants would be willing to address the problems identified.

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Michelle Bannister-Tyrrell

Should young talented readers be considered gifted students?

Due to the lack of empirical research that currently exists on talented readers this paper takes a three-tiered approach to determining whether our talented readers should be considered gifted students. First, this paper investigates the literature on talented readers; then it reviews relevant issues in reading theory; and finally it discusses how these concepts currently sit within gifted education.

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Eileen Slater

The identification of gifted children in Australia: The importance of policy

Historically, Australia has lacked a consistent approach to identifying gifted children, not just between States and Territories, but between the districts within them and from one school to the next. A consistent approach requires a common definition of giftedness and well defined identification policies and procedures. This article summarises the policies espoused and practices recommended by the public education authorities (Departments of Education) in the identification of gifted children in the six States and two mainland Territories that comprise Australia. The analysis included the review of publically available policies and guidelines accessible through government departmental web-sites and correspondence with State and regional curriculum or gifted education coordinators, where they existed, to ensure accuracy of representation. Recommendations include being more prescriptive in the instruments, methods and procedures which are mandated for use and including the procedures by which schools, principals and teachers will be held accountable for implementing gifted policies as a part of the policies themselves.

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Commentary and Review

Bright kids and crabs: My journey through teaching

Steven Martin

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.

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Samantha Lobban

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.

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Book review: Spencer, Big book of numbers

SpencerAdam 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.

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Book review: Juratowitch & Blundell, Make a twist

Juratowitch_BlundellDifferentiating 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.

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