Turning Gifted Education Research into Practice
This week, #gtchat was live via Twitter at the 21st World Conference of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children in Odense, Denmark. In order to accommodate multiple time zones, the chat was held mid-week rather than on Friday. Thanks to Tyler Clark for his assistance.
Our topic was the conference theme “Turning Gifted Education Research into Practice”. Bridging the gap and stereotypes that exist between researchers and practitioners is an important component of this discussion. Andrea from giftedandtalented.com suggested, “Encourage researchers to practice and practitioners to research. Collaborating at GT Education Conferences is a good place to start.” Tracy Weinberg, Associate Director at TAGT, said, “That is an eternal question. Research from A Nation Deceived & A Nation Empowered shows the gap remains, if a bit improved.” Also, researchers should ensure that the quality and utility of their work is applicable in the classroom.
What responsibility should researchers bear in assuring their research reaches teachers? “Researchers must make their work practical and understandable; administrators must take the role of instructional leader seriously,” continued Tracy Weinberg. Improvements to the ‘paywall’ system need to be looked at and implemented for the benefit of all parties.
How can research be effectively used in the classroom? Educators need to look at current research and be willing to implement in timely manner when applicable. It’s helpful also for teachers to know the needs of their students and use research-based pedagogy throughout their careers. Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources in Australia added, “Educators can incorporate the recommendations from the research into their teaching when appropriate.” Hilde of Twice Exceptional Dk in Denmark said, “Targeting the right types of classrooms and following up on implemented projects” is another way of using research in the classroom.
Next we discussed what guidelines should be used in determining ‘best practices’ in gifted education. Major gifted organizations such as the NAGC in the U.S. have guidelines available. Guidelines should consider under-served and diverse populations in all cultures; including twice-exceptional kids. Gifted education should be viewed as a continuum of services to address the overall needs of gifted students.
What benefits can accrue for gifted & talented students when research is put into practice? Students as benefactors would include latest research on social-emotional, twice-exceptional and delivery options. Research can highlight both strategies that work and those that do not to support curriculum and program changes.
Finally, we took a look at what areas of gifted education and talent development need further research. It was noted that the definition of the nature of giftedness continues to confound progress on advocacy for gifted education. Also, cooperative research on a global basis could reduce ‘reinvention of the wheel’ syndrome. It was agreed that further research on benefits of ‘challenge’ for gifted students and consequences of not challenging them is needed. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and sponsored by GiftedandTalented.com is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gifted Education Practices (NAGC)
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.