QUOTE (howdo @ 10/01/2013, 01:39 PM)
IME one of the difficulties is that the powerful stakeholders (the Ed Dept and the government) do not see the top students as a priority because they are trying to bring everyone UP to a benchmark. They are not concerned with those who have exceeded the benchmark.
At the individual school level teachers and leadership teams make note of it, and put it on the agenda but at the end of the day, the only data that the highest level of Ed Dept and government leaders look at is the benchmark and whether or not children have made it to that.
So you get a huge pat on the back for improving student data and having more kids meet the benchmark. You are given no feedback or assistance or funding for students who are exceeding the benchmark.
It's therefore down to the individual teacher and whether or not they have the intrinsic motivation or personal inclination/policy/philosophy to work at the higher end.
And even if that happens *no one measures the top end*. So you don't know how truly effective it is or how much it is happening. My DD1 scored in the triangle for all NAPLAN areas except numeracy and there is no data available about exactly how advanced she is.
Very depressing, but I don't doubt any of it.
I appreciate everyone's frustration.
At the same time, I know that with a little effort and innovation, schools CAN help gifted kids flourish. My little public high school did a great job (this was back in the 1980s, and they are still doing well) of offering extension, subject matter & grade acceleration, AP (advanced placement) classes, and access to university classes.
My kids' school (small, totally non-glitzy private school in Sydney) does a great job with gifted students, with particularly strong approaches for the 2e kids like my daughter.
I wish that schools who "get" gifted/2e were more openly lauded and celebrated.
It would be great, too, if some of the principals, heads of learning support & heads of G&T from these schools could go into other local schools and help their peers make positive changes in their own schools. There are things that can be done that don't require massive budgets or extra staff, but they do require people who can think outside the box.