TalentEd is a refereed journal, dedicated to the exchange of information about current research, theory and best practice in gifted education and talent development.

Current Refereed Articles


Mary-Anne Haines, Linley Cornish & Michelle Bannister-Tyrrell

Investigating reading, critical-thinking and metacognitive abilities of possible twice-exceptional primary/elementary school students: An on-line inquiry

Standardised achievement tests alone cannot define the learning profile of twice-exceptional students. ‘Real-time’ teacher observations/assessments made during students’ task applications (referred to as an on-line strategy) could be a useful data source. To investigate one such source, a think-aloud procedure and an assessment framework (the Adaptive Think-Aloud Framework – ATAF) were trialled focusing on students’ abilities in reading, critical thinking and metacognition. Using a case-study design, six purposively selected primary/elementary school students (N = 6), aged 9 to 12 years, read text samples aloud and articulated their interpretations/perceptions. Data analyses indicate that oral reading results supported students’ self-report about their reading abilities and contributed to more comprehensive reading profiles. There were, however, some indications of high ability in critical thinking and metacognition that were not always consistent with students’ school standardised-test results. Subject to further trialling, the think-aloud/ATAF combination shows promise as an instructional/assessment strategy for the investigation of twice-exceptionality, and for wider classroom usage.

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Jodi Lamanna, Wilma Vialle & Catherine Wormald

Reversing underachievement in students with twice-exceptionality: findings from two case studies

Academic underachievement in gifted students has the potential to cause emotional, social and behavioural issues due to the discrepancy between gifted students’ learning needs and what is offered in the curriculum. This highlights the importance of reversing academic underachievement so that these issues no longer occur. Two gifted students, from a larger study, provided insight into the unique lived experience of giftedness, academic underachievement and the reversal of underachievement. The students’ perspectives were viewed through the lens of twice-exceptionality. The findings revealed that having an appropriately challenging curriculum, appropriate medication, and a positive teacher-student connection contributed to the reversal of academic underachievement. These findings have the potential to be implemented in classrooms to assist in reversing underachievement.

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Ksenia Zhbanova & Mark Fincher

Creating graduation pathways for gifted and talented students: strategic alliances between high schools, community colleges and universities

Increasing enrolment numbers and attracting students who are likely to succeed at the post-secondary level is vital for any college. The gifted and talented constitute a distinctive population that can contribute to the overall level of success of an institution. Currently, there is a lack of connection between schools, colleges, and universities in the United States, which leads to the loss of highly able students. A coherent model of collaboration between community colleges, schools, and universities can support the gifted and talented, create a continuity between the levels of education, and help community colleges increase enrolment of the gifted as well as gain support from the schools and universities. This article presents such a model and includes concrete strategies that can be used by community colleges to build relationships with schools and universities for the benefit of the gifted and talented and each educational institution involved.

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Peter Merrotsy

Expressing a thought of God: Ramanujan (1887–1920)

On the occasion of the centenary of his death, this article revisits the life and times of the Indian mathematician Ramanujan. His cultural and social background are detailed, his educational experiences are explored, and the extraordinary nature of his mathematical discoveries are outlined. Ramanujan’s story shows that giftedness may be found anywhere, including in the most disadvantaged, unexpected and unforgiving places. It is also a clear reminder of the handicap that poverty brings to achieving potential, and of the damage that can be done by an inflexible educational system.

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Commentary and Review

Bright kids and crabs: My journey through teaching

Steven Martin

Can you believe they’re giving away the secrets of modern day Merlins in the media? They would have us believe that there’s no magic in the modern world, only sleight of hand and tricks of the light, every illusion carefully explained. Everything that was unseen is now made transparently clear. Like me, does this add to your growing feeling of disillusionment?

Of course, this only continues a process that has been going on in the world since the advent of empiricism. If it’s there, we should be able to observe and measure it, says science. While God cowers in his Heaven hiding more from modern attitudes and opinions than our eyes, religion continues to take a back seat. In the area of gifted education, however, perhaps the division isn’t quite as clear as the truth makers would have us think. If our children are part of a grand illusion that eclipses their true light, we must all be troubled by this. If they are the playthings of a bizarre educational cult, we should be really alarmed.

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Samantha Lobban

Following the enactment of the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act 1988, there was much research into educational provision for culturally different students. However, this research was not an anomalous or instantaneous development; rather, it resulted from decades of academic activism. One such scholar was Martin D. Jenkins. An African-American man, Jenkins was born into a Jim Crow-governed society where pedagogical philosophy was marred by the belief that black students were inherently intellectually inferior. Although a rich literature exists which examines Jenkins’ life and works, these texts limit his work to the ‘historical’, thus ignoring the continued significance of his research in twenty-first century Australia. This article critiques the strengths and weaknesses of Jenkins’ work and his enduring legacy to gifted education. It is argued that Martin D. Jenkins was a seminal scholar within the field of gifted education who highlighted key issues such as identification, cultural disadvantage and the need for tailored support and enrichment programs for gifted students. It is concluded that Jenkins’ work, albeit underappreciated, is not only noteworthy within a historical context, but for its continued significance today.

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Book review: Spencer, Big book of numbers

SpencerAdam Spencer is a self-confessed sleek geek and champion of geeks everywhere, and I am sure that he needs no introduction. Those for whom Spencer is “merely” a Triple J or ABC radio host, Raw Comedy comedian, champion debater, or namesake for Asteroid 18413 may wish to meet the “real” Adam by viewing his TED talk [Accessible Here]

The investment of 17 minutes of your time will be well rewarded.

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Book review: Juratowitch & Blundell, Make a twist

Juratowitch_BlundellDifferentiating the curriculum is understood to be a requisite skill of the professional teacher (AITSL, 2014, Standard 1.5). Graduate teachers know and understand strategies to differentiate their teaching. Proficient teachers incorporate differentiated strategies in their classroom activities. Highly accomplished teachers use student assessment data to evaluate differentiated programs. Lead teachers guide and support colleagues to evaluate the effectiveness of differentiated programs. Differentiated teaching and learning addresses the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities – and this, of course, includes outstanding or high ability students.

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