Australian Gifted Awareness Week – Showcasing pedagogy for gifted students of QAHS #2

QAHS is celebrating this event by showcasing examples of instructional strategies used by our teachers in catering for the needs of gifted and highly capable learners.

This example of ‘instructional strategies to cater for gifted students’ has been shared by Ms Rosalie Everest, English and Theory of Knowledge (TOK) teacher.

Ms Everest explains:Li Po
In Year 12 English, students are studying literary works-in-translation in the lead up to writing of one of their final assessments: a 1,500 word essay on one of the set works. The students started with a study of the poetry of Li Po (a Tang Dynasty Chinese poet).

This was quite a challenge requiring them to engage with translations of texts written in a very different time and place. I divided my class into small groups in which each member was charged with the responsibility of carrying out research on a specific aspect of the social and cultural context of the poems relevant to one of the poems by Li Po. The culminating event was an ‘interactive oral activity’ in the form of a ‘digiCircle’, a group discussion utilizing technology to record and enhance student engagement. Students were required to come together as a group and share their research. I also challenged the students with an additional question based on the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course.

Gifted Strategy #2 in action

How did this activity cater for gifted students?

  • It provided opportunities for ‘individual’ autonomy within the parameters of the collective needs of the ‘group’ – this has a motivating effect because gifted/highly capable individuals feel that they are not overly-controlled by petty rules
  • Students feel a genuine sense of responsibility to complete their individual task in order to make a valid contribution to the group’s learning
  • It powerfully builds layer upon layer of understanding as the members of the group share perspectives and gain deeper and more nuanced insights into the text
  • It provides students with a safe and supportive environment in which to test out and develop their ‘voice’ in relation to the complex field of literary criticism.