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
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.
Genevieve Thraves & Michelle Bannister-Tyrrell
Australian Aboriginal peoples and giftedness: A diverse issue in need of a diverse response
For over thirty years sporadic research has attempted to address the underrepresentation of Aboriginal students in gifted programs. What emerges from the literature is the need for cultural understanding, flexibility and sensitivity when dealing with definitional issues of giftedness, and cultural inclusivity when designing talent development programs that respond to the particular needs of gifted learners from Aboriginal backgrounds. This article will explore these issues and highlight the need for schools to value the funds of knowledge Aboriginal students bring to their classrooms, which in turn will allow for more appropriate identification protocols and programs to be put in place for these students.
Michelle Ronksley-Pavia & Geraldine Townend
Listening and responding to twice exceptional students: Voices from within
This paper presents findings from two separate research projects conducted between 2012 and 2015, which together examined the experiences of 19 twice exceptional children. The first study used a mixed methods approach with eleven students to investigate their educational experiences through quantitative instruments and in-depth interviews. The second study used narrative case study inquiry methods to elicit eight children’s in-school and out-of-school experiences of being twice exceptional, using the unique method of interviewing the children in their own home settings.
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.