Key Findings/ Recommendations
Over the course of my Churchill Fellowship I endeavored to find as many answers to the dilemma of raising the marks for all students with a focus on raising our top students’ results. This Fellowship explored Gifted Education and strategies to cater for these students. It became clear from the start that most of these strategies are of benefit to all students. Another benefit of this exploration was that it provided an opportunity to exchange information, knowledge and resources and acknowledge innovative and quality practices that already exist within our Australian schools.
On a personal level it was very affirming that the school I work at in Sydney (Loreto Kirribilli) already have in place or are implementing many of the following recommendations;
- Coaching of teachers - Coaching is crucial for all teachers. If we wish to raise the conditions for our best students or indeed any students in our classrooms ,teachers need the support and professional development of coaching
- Importance of a mindful school for both academic achievement and staff/student well being
- Compulsory Professional Development of pre-service teachers in Gifted Education
- When testing for creativity, trial both the Torrance test of Creativity and the Gough Scales on our gifted student population as one way of identification.
- Crucial to the success/sustainability of any program to improve outcomes for the high potential student is the participation and constant attendance of both the Principal and member of the leadership team of a school.
- It is essential that the Australian education system prioritises the needs of our brightest students and cater for them in all schools, and
- Seek government commitment to further research this area of education.
Keywords: Gifted education, coaching, thinking skills, cultures of thinking, student outcomes, visible thinking routines, habits of mind, twice exceptional, creativity.