Make a twist: Curriculum differentiation for gifted students

Book Review

by Peter Merrotsy

 

Michelle Juratowitch & Rosanne Blundell (2014). Make a twist: Curriculum differentiation for gifted students

 

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.

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Taming a ‘many-headed monster’: Tarricone’s taxonomy of metacognition

Authors

Michelle Bannister-Tyrrell, Susen Smith, Peter Merrotsy & Linley Cornish

 

The research field of metacognition sees a community lacking in rigour, continuity and shared understandings (Schraw, 2009; Shaughnessy, Veenman & Kleyn-Kennedy, 2008). The publication in 2011 of Pina Tarricone’s conceptual framework and taxonomy of metacognition offered a ‘comprehensive and systematic overview of the literature on metacognition’ (Moshman, 2010, cited in Tarricone, 2011, p. xv), finally giving some necessary synthesis to the field. In this paper we briefly introduce some of the difficulties that continue to attribute to the inconsistency of metacognition as a concept and give an overview of Tarricone’s taxonomy of metacognition. We also describe how the taxonomy contributes to deeper understandings of one popular model in gifted education. Current research is making strong links between metacognition and giftedness (Veenman, 2008), but importantly there is growing evidence that metacognition is an ‘aspect of intelligence that can be more easily promoted by education’ (Cornoldi, 2010, p. 257). Due to the complexity and detail of Tarricone’s work and the actual taxonomy itself, it is acknowledged that this paper presents only a brief review and discussion of some of the aspects of the taxonomy, such as the supercategories of declarative, procedural and conditional knowledge. The importance of the interconnectedness of these aspects of Tarricone’s framework is discussed in relation to how they underlie the metacognition and epistemic beliefs of a student to facilitate or inhibit learning.

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Vol28_1_BannisterTyrrell_Smith_Merrotsy_and_Cornish (309 downloads)

 

Keywords: metacognition, giftedness, Tarricone, taxonomy

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Academic self-concept in twice-exceptional students: What the literature tells us

Authors

Geraldine Townend, Donna Pendergast and Susanne Garvis

 

This article explores the phenomenon of academic self-concept for twice-exceptional students. Twice-exceptional students typically have a lower than average selfconcept. If this finding is extrapolated and applied to academic self-concept, the likelihood is that that will also be below average. Low academic self-concept can be the forerunner to psychosocial and behavioural issues with undesirable behaviours, such as being highly disruptive in classrooms, which is self-sabotaging for twice-exceptional students and frustrating for teachers, parents and caregivers. Various influences, both internal and external, shape academic self-concept, and these influences do not stand alone in their different domains, but rather interweave across all areas to create a dynamic and changing construct. The literature presented in this article reveals that for twice-exceptional students, the psychosocial problems that might exacerbate low academic self-concept as a result of low achievement include frustration, lack of understanding, fear of failing, lack of motivation, negative perfectionism, unsatisfactory peer and teacher relationships, motivation, negative school attitudes and a limited connection to school.

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Parents’ perceptions of social-emotional issues in composite classes

Author

Linley Cornish

 

This article is a companion article to Cornish (2011), reporting the results of a mixed-methods study in a large regional Australian primary school. Parents were surveyed to ascertain their perceptions of and concerns about composite classes in general, and about their own children being in such classes. Factor analysis revealed five factors perceived as relevant to the parents: Knowledge-experience of composite classes, their child’s holistic Development (academic and social), grade Identity, and being in either the Younger or Older grade of the class. Three significant relationships were identified by path analysis and subsequently explored by means of descriptive and qualitative analyses. In this article, I concentrate again on one conclusion from the literature review: Parents have a holistic concern for their child’s development in a composite class, that is, they have both academic and social concerns which are at least in part related to age and grade. This time, I discuss parents’ perceptions and concerns related to social and emotional development/issues in a composite class. In their written comments parents expressed definite views about composite classes and the effect on social-emotional development of being in the younger or older grade of a composite class. Specific concerns related to confidence, restricted friendship choice, loss of grade identity, exposure to inappropriate social behaviours (for younger-grade students), and engagement of older-grade students in nurturing youngergrade students.

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Vol28_2_Linley_Cornish (262 downloads)

Keywords: composite classes, parent perceptions, academic concerns, social concerns

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The voice of teachers

Bright kids and crabs: My journey through teaching

Author

Steven J 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?

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R_1A_Steven_Martin.pdf

 
Keywords: gifted students, leadership

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