Symposium 7

Symposium (7):
Teacher and Student Perspectives of Curriculum and Classroom Practices, which Engage Highly Able Students: What Does the Evidence Reveal?

Leonie Kronborg; Margaret Plunkett; Toni Meath

In this symposium teacher and student perspectives of curriculum and classroom practice found to engage secondary academically able students will be presented. The first presentation will discuss research conducted in a secondary co-educational school for selected academically able students. Evidence as to how teachers in this school have optimized the learning environment for the highly able students in their classes will be presented. Teachers were surveyed in regard to teaching strategies found to be most effective, a group of teachers shared their knowledge and understanding of teaching gifted students in semi-structured interviews and teachers were observed using strategies to engage learners in their classrooms.The second presentation is from the professional learning perspective on the “curriculum for creativity” for academically able students. Curriculum at this selective high school is purposefully planned within a framework that nurtures the creative potential of all students across all domains, based on Gardner's (2008) Five Minds of the Future Philosophy and the AusVels (2012) Creative Thinking Discipline. Teachers are using pedagogical content knowledge to foster diverse and creative thinking and encouraging students to 'think outside of the square' in their pursuit of developing deep expert knowledge within specific disciplines. A third presentation of this symposium is a rural gifted student perspective that provides understandings elicited from more than a decade of research into highly able rural students’ perceptions of provisions that have supported them in their educational journey.  Findings from a number of studies, including two longitudinal ones, will be presented and discussed.
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