At Christian Brothers College we have long moved away from the notion that giftedness is solely based on I.Q. or is indeed an innate quality that one is born with and is imbued with for life.

At Christian Brothers College, in line with current research, we recognise that giftedness, whatever it is defined as, resides in all groups of people, that is, in both genders, minorities, the handicapped, ESL students, migrants, and the general population.

Gifted and talented students are those who, by virtue of outstanding abilities, are capable of high performance in any of the following areas, singly or in combination(Piirto, 1998):

  • General intellectual ability
  • Specific academic aptitude
  • Creative or productive thinking
  • Leadership ability
  • Visual and performing arts
  • Psychomotor ability

DECD (2016) uses Gagne’s definition of giftedness which has been developed along the lines of ability domains, as those listed above. Gagne differentiates between gifts and talents. An individual that has been gifted with potential need to be nurtured in the same way that as a raw skill is developed into a reliable talent. A gifted student is identified by the level at which the ability is expressed, furthermore the easier or faster the learning process, the greater the ability. Gagne’s model of giftedness describes a development process which determines the degree of the eventual talent, (Gagne, 2003).

At Christian Brothers College we have defined giftedness as a fluid characteristic which will eventually be expressed as a student’s talents. We believe that giftedness can exist across many domains and can be of various levels. Research has shown that the greater the giftedness the greater the asynchronicity of development. Gifted students need to be supported and challenged, failure to do so can increase the risk of the onset of social and emotional problems, as well as the failure to fully develop the potential talent.

Once a gifted student has been identified support is a partnership between the school and the home.

Christian Brothers College as part of its Gifted and Talented program support offers the following, depending on the area and degree of giftedness:

  • Accelerated programs in Mathematics (Year 8 – Stage 1)
  • Enrichment programs in Science (Robotics, Astronomy, Oliphant projects)
  • Enrichment programs in English (Debating, Environmental challenges, Public speaking)
  • Affective support through mentorship and counselling
  • Skill and talent development in sport
  • Interest and high skill programs within courses, (Astronomy in Year 11 Physics)
  • Classes with pedagogical styles especially adapted for the inclusion of the Gifted and Talented; differentiated curriculum, flexible groupings, tier-based class resourcing.
  • National and International competitions (Tournament of the Minds, Computational and Algorithmic Tests, Science and Mathematics Olympiads, Australian Mathematics Competition, Mock Trial (Law) Competitions, Principal’s Prize Essay competition).

Christian Brothers College believes that…

The greatest gift of all is the person’s desire to create and produce. It is what we as teachers do to help stimulate and fulfil this desire that ultimately will determine if we are worthy of being called teachers of the gifted. Renzulli (1982) in (Ireland, 2006, p 35).

 

Reference List

Department of Children Services (1996). Gifted Children and Student Policy. South Australia
Gagne, F. (2003). Transforming gifts into talents: The DMGT as a developmental theory. Handbook of the gifted education.
Ireland, C. (2006). Implications, Problems and Strategies for Nurturing Creativity in a Mixed Ability, Multi-cultural Secondary Classroom: Part 2. Gifted, July, 32 – 36.
Piirto, J. (1992). Creativity and Giftedness. In Understanding Those Who Create (pp. 5 – 35). Dayton, Ohio: Ohio Psychology Press.
 

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