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Strategies for Teaching Gifted and Talented Students

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Shona Blinco

on 18 September 2013

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Transcript of Strategies for Teaching Gifted and Talented Students

There is an emphasis on building teacher knowledge in order to have the means to differentiate effectively. Teachers need to strive to understand how their students learn and think, know a range of options for differentiating their teaching, apply the differentiated teaching to topics in their classroom, have the appropriate motivation orientation, and need to be able to the culture and climate in their school and classroom in the context of their differentiation (Munro, 2013, p. 51). Complex stuff!
Strategies for Teaching Gifted and Talented Students
What issues can you think of which might be associated with Gifted and Talented? What pitfalls would teachers and parents need to contend with when approaching G&T learning?
Relevant Educational Strategies for G&T
Strategies for consideration in your gifted and talented classroom;

- Differentiated instruction
- Self regulated learning/self management
- Collaborative teaching
- Instructional and assistive technologies (emphasis being on instructional)
- Peer mediated instruction
- Modes of assessment

How many of these teaching strategies are familiar to you? Have you used any of them before? Refer to your tables!
Taking a closer look at differentiated instruction and instructional/assistive technologies
What do you think of when I present you with the term Gifted and Talented? Have you had any prior experience with this in the classroom, either as a teacher or as a student?
What is the official definition?
The definition most widely used and adopted in New South Wales is one which calls for a distinction between giftedness and talent, informed by extensive research into human abilities;

“Gifted students are those whose potential is distinctly above average in one or more of the following domains: intellectual, creative, social and physical.
Talented students are those whose skills are distinctly above average in one or more areas of human performance.” (Gagné, 2003)

‘Giftedness should be defined differently in different settings, but in the manner that is logical and consistent with the realities that obtain in each of those settings'. (Borland, 1989)

Some of the challenges facing Gifted and Talented Educators
Differentiated Instruction
The Williams model; http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/policies/gats/assets/pdf/uhsi3hstanzac.pdf

The Maker model; http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/policies/gats/assets/pdf/ust3beach.pdf
Instructional and Assistive Technologies
- Technology as a means of gifted and talented students accessing resources they might otherwise not have access to; the example of the Murray valley cluster of schools, where the internet is utlisied to create links between students who are geographically and academically isolated, also giving them the opportunity to meet other students like themselves (Anania, 2006, p. 18).

- A way for teachers to provide extension on students' usual classes, as well as enriching learning experiences; the example of the 'Ozymandias Project', where gifted and talented students participated in a digital writing project which required them to consider the hypermedia, hypertext and the audience, and the impact of these elements on their site construction and completion (especially the audience, which would occupy a central focus during the project) (Stapp-Gaunt, 2011, p. 3).

Here are three teaching scenarios for you to consider...
Scenario 1
Annie is in a mixed ability Year 7 Maths class. She is moderately gifted, and so is consistently top of the class, but the rest of the students think she is a show off and know it all. There are a group of four other children who often pick on her in class and lately most of the other students have been refusing to work with her. Annie's response to this has been to withdraw completely from class discussion.
Scenario 2
Brett is in a Year 10 gifted stream English class, but he is bottom of the class even though his teacher is sure he is capable of the work as evidenced by his classwork before he was streamed. Brett has stopped bringing in homework, and becomes angry and frustrated when asked to participate in class discussion. He is often caught drawing in his book instead of taking notes, and there is speculation that he should be taken out of the streamed class.
Scenario 3
Year 9A is a higher level science class consisting of 18 students. There are 3 students in the class who have been identified as gifted, two of which being mildly gifted (Nathan and Jenny) and one being moderately gifted (Kit). Jenny is quite disruptive in class, while Kit prefers to sit by herself quietly and Nathan is quite proactive and independent. Nathan and Kit often compete for top of the class, and Jenny's grades consistently sit in the middle of the overall classes scores.
Gifted and Talented students can often suffer from a range of emotional disorders and difficulties which can lead to underachievement. Issues
such as anxieties regarding their perceived weaknesses and vulnerabilities, chronic denial and avoidance of problems regarding their potential, as well as an inability to ask for assistance due to the strength of their independence, voluntary or otherwise,

can all affect a student's participation and achievement in the classroom, and teachers need to be aware of these possibilities when considering appropriate strategies. (Grobman, 2009).
Emotional difficulties
Often, teachers are inadequately equipped to properly identify and enrich gifted and talented learners, due to a lack of professional development and specialised training in Gifted and Talented education. Particularly in Australia, there is also evidence of a socio-cultural bias against high achievers which students are forced to contend with in schools (Rowley, 2012, p. 76).
Furthermore, Gifted and Talented children are also vulnerable targets for peer victimisation, and are often the victims of schoolyard and cyber bullying due to the unique characteristics (such as perfectionism), sensitivities, and intensities that they may possess (Smith, Dempsey, Jackson, Olenchak & Gaa, 2012, p. 113).
issues and prejudices
Anania, L. (2006). ICT for gifted and talented students. Teacher Learning Network. 13:3, pp. 18-20.
Borland, J. (1989). Planning and implementing programs for the gifted. New York: Teachers College Press.
Gagné, F. (2003). Transforming gifts into talents: The DMGT as a developmental theory. In N. Colangelo & G. A. Davis (Eds.), Handbook of gifted education (3rd ed., pp. 60-74). Boston, Mass: Allyn & Bacon.
Grobman, J. (2009). A psychodynamic psychotherapy approach to the emotional problems of exceptionally and profoundly gifted adolescents and adults: A psychiatrist's experience. Journal for the Education of the Gifted. 33.1: 106-125.
Munro, J. (2012). Effective strategies for implementing differentiated instruction.. School Improvement: What Does Research Tell Us About Effective Strategies? Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre: Australian Council for Educational Research, pp. 48-54
NSW Department of Education and Communities. (2011). Differentiating the Curriculum. Retrieved September 8, 2013 from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/policies/gats/programs/differentiate/index.htm.
Salend, S. & Whittaker, C. (2012). Inclusive education: best practices in the United States. In Boyle, C. & Topping, K. (Eds). What Works in Inclusion? Maidenhead, U.K.: Open University Press.
Smith, B., Dempsey, A., Jackson, S., Olenchak, R. & Gaa, J. (2012). Cyberbullying among gifted children. Gifted Education International, 28:211.
Rowley, J. (2012). Professional development needs of teachers to identify and cater for gifted students. Online Journal of Gifted Education, 21:2, pp. 75-80.
Zimmerman, B. (2008). Theories of self-regulated learning and academic achievement: An overview and analysis. In Zimmerman, B. & Schunk, D. (Eds).Self-Regulated Learning and Academic Achievement: Theoretical Perspectives. E-Library; Taylor & Francis.
Any questions?
Additional Notes for Consideration
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