As a refereed journal, the aim of APEX is to disseminate essays, research reports and critical comments in the broad field of gifted and talented children.
Vol. 15, No. 1 2009
Identifying and Providing for Gifted and Talented Maori Students
This article provides information and strategies to help teachers identify and provide for gifted Mäori students in a culturally appropriate and effective way. Gifted education is viewed through five cultural lenses. In respect to Mäori the following questions are posed and answered: In what areas is giftedness recognized? How is each area of giftedness perceived and demonstrated? What priority is given to each area of giftedness? What are culturally appropriate and effective ways of identifying gifted students? How can gifted students be provided for in a culturally appropriate way? A checklist of indicators of giftedness in Mäori cultural abilities and qualities is included as are practical suggestions for incorporating Mäori-relevant content in various curriculum areas.
Teachers Identify and Support At-Risk Gifted Students in the Regular Classroom
The purpose of this article is to use a research-based and teaching experience approach to demonstrate how regular classroom teachers identify and support at-risk students with academic and social issues impacting their lives. It also gives insight about challenges facing these students from the teachers’ perspectives. Six different case-studies briefly describe a gifted at-risk student that each teacher recognized as needing help and found ways to provide support. Each case study reflects the teacher’s way of identifying and resolving a student concern. They cite current research to support their analysis. It is their hope that the research documented approach will catch the eye of the reader. Teachers came up with solutions that will help other teachers identify and support at-risk gifted students in their classroom. Each teacher’s professional experiences complemented each report as presented.
Theresa Monaco and colleagues
Misdiagnosis, the Recent Trend in Thinking about Gifted Children with ADHD
The misdiagnosis issue, of the gifted as having ADHD, has been described as an overseas concern (i.e., predominantly American). However, in New Zealand psychologists and paediatricians, perhaps without knowledge of the gifted, utilise the same diagnosis process outlined within the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders-text revision (American Psychiatric Association, 2000) to identify those with ADHD. This article addresses the most significant reasons why misdiagnosis of the gifted as having ADHD could be occurring, such as how the ADHD characteristics within the DSM-IV (APA, 2000) relate very closely to both gifted and creatively gifted characteristics. The purpose of this article is to inform educators, with a brief overview, of such similarities so they can recognise when misdiagnosis has occurred. Teachers can then talk to parents about the possible misdiagnosis and provide education that is appropriate for the gifted rather than that which is fitting for those with ADHD.
The Forgotten Children
This article provides a description of the author’s learning journey as she makes the commitment to provide for gifted children at the early childhood education service in which she works. The author examines research which highlights the reasons for identifying young gifted children. She includes issues that teachers may be experiencing which impact on the identification of gifted young children not being included in daily practice. Possible solutions are given as suggestions to overcome barriers that reduce the rate of formal identification occurring in early childhood education services. The author acknowledges that she is in the early stages of developing gifted education in the service for which she works. She encourages teachers to take the same steps as she has which is to initiate strategies to begin the identification process with the goal to provide appropriate learning opportunities for gifted children in their early childhood education services.
The Early Years of Albert Einstein
Underachievement is commonly seen as a discrepancy between the level at which a student performs and their academic potential. It is a learned behaviour that can be caused by factors both inside and outside the school setting including family and community dynamics, school curriculum and teaching methods, and personality traits. The identification of underachieving gifted students is closely linked to the identification of giftedness itself and talented students can be marginalised if a school’s definition is conservative and its methods of identification narrow. This case study examines Albert Einstein’s early life through the lens of recent theory and research in an effort to understand why he became an underachiever at school. It identifies several factors that may have contributed to his underachievement, in particular his frustration with inflexible teaching methods and the rigid curricular at that time. It also highlights the need for today’s teachers to ensure that they keep abreast of current research and theory so that they can best meet the educational needs of the gifted and talented students in their classrooms.
Cluster Grouping for the Gifted and Talented: It Works!
Cluster grouping, as an organisational strategy for gifted and talented education, has been discussed, implemented and researched in the United States for several decades. Outcomes have been positive, yet the potential benefits of this model for the New Zealand context remain largely unrecognised. Cluster grouping involves the placement of a group of gifted and talented learners in one or more classrooms in their respective year group, with the remainder of students heterogeneously grouped. Used in conjunction with differentiation, pull-out programmes, and effective professional development for teachers, it can deliver a full-time, cost-effective programme for gifted and talented students. This article discusses the benefits of the strategy to school communities as a whole, and considers both affective and achievement outcomes for students. Implementation is presented in theory and in respect of a case study – a New Zealand school that has successfully adapted the concept in accordance with its individual needs.
Students at Massey University