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Should gifted students go to a separate school?

Catherine Wormald writes in The Conversation (25.1.17) about the risks of failing to provide an appropriate education for school students identified as ‘gifted’.

‘Despite two Senate inquiries in 1988 and 2001, it has taken 15 years and a state parliamentary review for the Victorian government to decide to build a specialist high school for students who are gifted, specifically targeting those from rural and regional Victoria.

‘Research at both the national and international level has long advocated that students who are gifted have specific learning needs that require: tailored learning strategies; education supported by a challenging curriculum; teachers trained in gifted education; more exposure to students of similar ability; and opportunities for acceleration.

‘These students are future leaders, problem solvers and innovators. Failing to provide an appropriate education for students who are gifted increases the risk of mental health issues, boredom, frustration, developing behavioural problems both at school and at home, leading to disengagement and dropping out of school.

‘This is because these students tend to find the curriculum too easy and often talk “above” their peers. They become frustrated at the lack of understanding of their ability and what they are capable of achieving.’

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