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

Author

Eileen Slater

 

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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Vol30_1_Eileen_Slater.pdf (166 downloads)

 

Keywords: gifted, policy, identification

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Listening and responding to twice exceptional students: Voices from within

Authors

Michelle Ronksley-Pavia and Geraldine Townend

 

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.

Relatively little is known about the educational experiences of twice exceptional children, particularly in Australia, and how their experiences may contribute to our understanding of individual needs. Findings across both studies point to twice exceptional children’s insights about their giftedness and their disability. These insights reflect feelings of being different to their peers, issues with interpersonal relationships; such as bullying and limited understanding from others. Many of these experiences increased stress and anxiety levels, which were further exacerbated by some educators’ frequent focus on disability rather than ability. These negative experiences were often ameliorated by out-of-school support, personal interests, and both parental and self-advocacy. Together, the findings.

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Vol29_3_Ronksley_Pavia_and_Townend.pdf (286 downloads)

 

Keywords: Twice exceptional, gifted, educational experiences, narrative inquiry

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Australian Aboriginal peoples and giftedness: A diverse issue in need of a diverse response

Authors

Genevieve Thraves & Michelle Bannister-Tyrrell

 

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.

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Vol29_2_Thraves_and_Bannister_Tyrrell.pdf (460 downloads)

 

Keywords: giftedness, Aboriginal, underrepresentation, cultural inclusivity

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The International Baccalaureate Program: Meeting the needs of high-ability students in Qatar

Author

Jeff MacRaild

 

This article presents an analysis of the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Program (MYP) to determine the extent to which it is suitable to address the learning needs of gifted students in the educational context of Qatar. The student population comprises predominantly Qatari nationals and citizens from neighbouring Arab cultures in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) countries. The dynamics of this context involve the interrelationships of three conceptual elements: the cultural and educational context of Qatar; conceptions, identification and nurture of giftedness; and the International Baccalaureate’s MYP. Each of these elements is examined individually and then in relation to one another in order to determine the potential for the three contexts to interact or intersect.

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Vol29_1_Jeff_MacRaild (175 downloads)

 

Keywords: high ability, science, International Baccalaureate, Qatar

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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 (208 downloads)

 

Keywords: metacognition, giftedness, Tarricone, taxonomy

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