Gifted and Talented
The teaching and learning needs of the gifted students at SGHS are supported through effective curriculum programs, extensive co-curricular activities and the enviable opportunities to participate in competitions, forums, activities and leadership experiences. These are offered to support the curriculum and allow for the development of gifted potential into talent. The school supports the educational philosophy of the highly regarded educationalist Francois Gagné.
Gagné defines giftedness as the possession of natural abilities or aptitudes at levels significantly beyond what might be expected for one’s age, in any domain of human ability. The key to Gagné’s view of giftedness is that it defines outstanding potential rather than outstanding performance and it is the development of the gifts into talents that enables the gifted student to reach their outcomes.
How does giftedness become talent? At the heart of his model Gagné places the quality of the child’s learning. However, because learning occurs within environmental and personal contexts, he centres the developmental process of learning, training and practising between two clusters of catalysts which can either assist or hinder the child’s learning.
Personality factors within students themselves impact on the learning process.
• Motivation, concentration, perseverance, confidence and organization are critical to success. The capacity to get organised and stay organised is essential for success regardless of the domain in which the gift is sited. Gagné describes concentration as the capacity to shut out external stimuli and keep working on essential.
Teachers are very aware of environmental factors which impact positively or negatively on the learning process. These may include:
• The milieu or surroundings in which the child lives and learns. This can include family issues such as family size, family economic circumstances and family attitude towards education or towards the child’s gifts.
• Significant persons - parents, siblings, teachers, other students, school leaders, community leaders - who encourage, discourage, or are neutral towards talent.
• The provisions the school makes to develop the student’s gifts into talents, and even the social ethos of the community which can dictate which talents are developed.
• At SGHS, Gagné’s philosophy underpins all programs with the aim of supporting the gifted student in developing her potential into talent.
Gifted and Talented Education: Professional Development Package for Teachers — NSW Department of Education and Training www.det.nsw.edu.au/ Gifted and Talented Education Professional Learning Package 2004.