Archive for the ‘Gifted Students’ Category

Are Gifted Kids Getting a Raw Deal?

March 19, 2015


In my experience it isn’t the academically gifted students who get ignored. Nor for that matter the strugglers. I think the middle band of students, the ones that are not considered gifted or weak are the ones most susceptible to neglect.

A leading educational figure suggests that the so-called “bright” students are not getting what they deserve:


Australia’s brightest kids are not being challenged at school and miss out on reaching their full potential because they aren’t allowed to get ahead of the curriculum, according to a leading educationalist.

Geoff Masters, chief executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research, will tell a conference on gifted and talented children on Saturday that Asian countries such as South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan do a much better job of educating their smartest school students.

He said that Australia’s schools were often content if students reached a set standard rather than the higher level they were capable of.

“In some classrooms there are high-achieving students who are not being pushed, they are not being stretched and extended,” said Professor Masters, who will speak at the International Conference on Giftedness and Talent Development in Brisbane.

“Teachers are saying ‘it’s my job to deliver the curriculum for the year level’. There’s set work for the lesson, if students complete that set work, they’ve done the job.”

He said research in Australian schools had shown that often the smallest amount of year-on-year progress was made by the most able students.International comparisons show that Australia has a lower number of highly performing students than some Asian countries. In maths, the top 10 per cent of Australian year 4 students are at the same level as the top 40 per cent in Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong, and in year 8, the top 10 per cent of Australian students perform equivalently to the top 50 per cent in Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea.

Professor Masters said some Australian teachers had reported they didn’t feel confident about extending their most able students.

“I imagine it’s a particular problem for teachers who are teaching out of field,” he said.

Figures from the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute last year showed that 40 per cent of year 7-10 maths classes were taught by teachers without specialist maths qualifications.

He said that problems for bright students were likely to be worse in disadvantaged schools where there were classroom management issues.

“If you are dealing with students who have disadvantages, and you are trying to do the right thing and ensure everyone comes up to a minimum standard, you may not have the time and the energy to be stretching kids who in some ways are doing very well,” Professor Masters said.

Psychologist and gifted children specialist Fiona Smith said that Professor Masters’ analysis was “very much on the mark”. Ms Smith, director of the Gifted Minds assessment and counselling service, said that gifted children often did not fit in at school.

She warned that if gifted children became bored and frustrated it could lead, in the worst cases, to eating disorders, sleeping problems and depression.

“We have to have a teaching workforce which has more training for these students,” she said.


Click on the link to read The Moment a 9-Year-Old Became a Star (Video)

Click on the link to read Tips for Teaching Gifted Students

Click on the link to read School Calls Police to Stop A-Grade Student From Studying

Click on the link to read Schools are Failing Gifted Students


The Moment a 9-Year-Old Became a Star (Video)

October 28, 2013



I don’t like talent shows and I find the constant judge and host reaction shots manipulative and distracting, but who can criticise this monumental performance by 9-year-old Amira Willighagen, singing Puccini for the judges of Holland’s Got Talent?


Click on the link to read Tips for Teaching Gifted Students

Click on the link to read School Calls Police to Stop A-Grade Student From Studying

Click on the link to read Schools are Failing Gifted Students



Tips for Teaching Gifted Students

September 22, 2013


Courtesy of

1. LET THEM SHOW YOU WHAT THEY KNOW/COMPACT THE CURRICULUM –  Generally, the work that we plan for our students is really “our work,” according to Dr. Joseph Renzulli. It doesn’t become “their work” until it represents true learning for them. Give all students the opportunity to write a pretest- if they do not get an “A” it does not count (some will choose not to – give them small group instruction while the others are writing the pretest). Students who get an above 83% choose to do a higher level thinking activity that represents meaningful learning to them (can or cannot be related to the topic).
2. MOST DIFFICULT FIRST – Gifted students can learn new concepts more quickly than their age peers. They need much less practice than your average students. Allow students complete about 5 of the most difficult problems or exercises first before doing rest of assignment. If they understand it they are free to choose activities that interest them (ongoing project, reading, enrichment or anything that doesn’t disturb others). Evaluation: when they meet the criteria set by you, their “A” for that work becomes their letter grade for entire assignment.
3. DIFFERENT, NOT MORE – Research shows that 40% to 50% of the content might be adapted for gifted students. It is important for educators to provide alternative challenging activities for them to do instead of grade level work. Discover what their interests are and build projects around those interests. Encourage them to self select topics on a conceptual rather than a factual basis.
4. OFFER THEM CHOICES BASED ON THEIR INTERESTS AND TALENTS – Thrill them with choices, choices and more choices. When you’re establishing learning opportunities, provide more than one choice for them to demonstrate understanding. Let them write a brochure or create a dramatization if they find that more interesting. Trust them to learn in non-traditional ways.

Gifted students are passionate about topics that are not connected to the curriculum, which is one reason why school can be frustrating for them. Once they have shown you they understand the concepts, allow them the opportunity to learn something they are interested in.

5. CHANGE YOUR APPROACH – Become “the facilitator.” Rather than just “giving” them information, help them to discover it! Let go of the idea of normal. Think outside the box.
Drill and practice may cause boredom which escalates into unacceptable behaviours. Keep them challenged. Provide ongoing challenging activities with a problem solving focus. For instance, instead of saying, “What is the perimeter of this 4 x 3 rectangle?” Pose it this way: “How many different rectangles can you make with a perimeter of 14 units?” Give them dot paper or geoboards to discover the solutions. Ask if they’ve found all of the rectangles and do they know if the have.


School Calls Police to Stop A-Grade Student From Studying

June 21, 2012

Since when do we call an ambitious, conscientious and hardworking student a “nuisance”?

A BRITISH high school called police to remove a star pupil who refused to stop studying and leave the library.

Jamie Gagliardi, 18, was ejected from Ifield Community College in southern England, after refusing to leave the library, the Crawley News reported.

The school accused Mr Gagliardi, who is predicted to be an A-grade student, of being “obsessed” with after-school tuition and said that it called the police because the pupil was causing a “nuisance.”

Mr Gagliardi, who was forced to call his mother to pick him up, said, “I have been punished for wanting to do well. I am a hard-working and dedicated student, and this could have such an impact on my future.”

The student went to the library despite being banned from the premises for the day as a punishment for interrupting the school principal during a meeting – to request extra revision sessions.

Marilyn Evans, the school’s director of administration, said, “He became vociferous and irritated that he couldn’t have after-school revision.”

She described Mr Gagliardi as a “top student” who should do well in his exams, but said he had been “causing a nuisance and a disturbance on the premises,” adding, “He is obsessed with doing after-school revision.”

A police spokeswoman confirmed that officers were called to the school to remove a “disruptive” pupil who was refusing to leave the premises, but said that Mr Gagliardi will not face any charges.

This case sends the wrong message for the school’s other students. Most schools would take that form of “disruptive student” over the ones they currently have.

Schools are Failing Gifted Students

June 21, 2012

Catering for gifted students is a significant challenge for a teacher. Teachers can go dizzy trying to find time with students at both ends of the spectrum, whilst also working to help the rest of the class progress.

I am not surprised that many schools have struggled to properly cater for gifted students:

SCHOOLS are failing the state’s best and brightest students, a damning parliamentary report has found.

A 15-month inquiry has found the education provided to gifted students is often inadequate – sometimes with severe and devastating consequences.

The report, tabled in Parliament today, said up to 85,000 Victorian students fit the category of gifted.

“These students are frequently frustrated and disengaged,” the education and training committee report said.

“And rightfully so: they are being let down by the education system. These neglected students represent our state’s future visionaries and innovators.”

All teachers should be capable of recognising and teaching the gifted, the report said.

Education Minister Martin Dixon welcomed the report and said he “looked forward to responding to it in detail”.

“Our job in education is to engage, excite and extend students,” he said.

This problem is very real, but let’s not forget the difficulties teachers face with an ever-increasing workload and an overcrowded curriculum.

%d bloggers like this: