Orienting preservice teachers towards gifted education : School university partnerships
Addressing the needs of gifted students is predicated on an understanding of many factors not least the nature of giftedness, appropriate curriculum design and specialist pedagogical practices. Knowledge needs to be acquired in context. Preservice teacher education programs tend to focus on pedagogical practices and present preservice teachers with content related to inclusive philosophies, strategies for teaching, and assessment techniques. Many preservice teachers do not have an awareness of the nature of giftedness or understandings around models of curriculum advocated for gifted education, despite practicum experiences and university education. This paper presents two case studies that describe interventions constructed through partnerships with schools to raise awareness of the nature of giftedness and provide concrete experiences for preservice teachers’ interactions with gifted students. It will report strategies through which preservice teachers become engaged with gifted students in regular classrooms. Qualitative and quantitative evidence will be presented on the effectiveness of these models.