Teacher perceptions of gifted cultural minorities: An Australian study


Genevieve Thraves


This paper presents findings from a qualitative case study set within an Australian boarding school, which explored the perceptions of teachers in relation to gifted cultural minorities. The study aimed to shed light on the persistent underrepresentation of some cultural minority groups in the extension and enrichment programs offered at the study site. Ten teacher participants at Boarding College [Pseudonym] were recruited and interviewed in relation to their views on the topic. Thematic analysis revealed that the teachers held diverse views of cultural minorities, and lacked the cultural competence to respond to the gifted needs of these learners. The teachers also viewed giftedness and gifted programs as performance based, and this may act to preclude some cultural minorities from being identified. Furthermore, it was found that the teachers often viewed the underrepresentation of Indigenous students in gifted education as stemming from issues relating to the students and their culture, and from systemic school-based factors. Despite these somewhat negative findings, teachers at the study site viewed it to be an educator’s responsibility to cater for the gifted cultural minority student, suggesting the participants would be willing to address the problems identified.


Vol30_2_Genevieve_Thraves.pdf (328 downloads)


Keywords: gifted cultural minority students, cultural competence, underrepresentation

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Australian Aboriginal peoples and giftedness: A diverse issue in need of a diverse response


Genevieve Thraves & Michelle Bannister-Tyrrell


For over thirty years sporadic research has attempted to address the underrepresentation of Aboriginal students in gifted programs. What emerges from the literature is the need for cultural understanding, flexibility and sensitivity when dealing with definitional issues of giftedness, and cultural inclusivity when designing talent development programs that respond to the particular needs of gifted learners from Aboriginal backgrounds. This article will explore these issues and highlight the need for schools to value the funds of knowledge Aboriginal students bring to their classrooms, which in turn will allow for more appropriate identification protocols and programs to be put in place for these students.


Vol29_2_Thraves_and_Bannister_Tyrrell.pdf (1031 downloads)


Keywords: giftedness, Aboriginal, underrepresentation, cultural inclusivity

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