Embracing diversity: empowering preservice teachers for teaching gifted and talented students

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Lewis, K, Hudson, P & Hudson, S 2010, 'Embracing diversity: empowering preservice teachers for teaching gifted and talented students', paper presented to the Annual Conference of the Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA): Teacher Education for a Sustainable Future, Townsville, Qld., 4-7 July.


This study investigated preservice teachers’ perceptions for teaching and sustaining gifted and talented students while developing, modifying and implementing activities to cater for the diverse learner. Participants were surveyed at the end of a gifted and talented education program on their perceptions to differentiate the curriculum for meeting the needs of the student (n=22). SPSS data analysis with the five-part Likert scale indicated these preservice teachers agreed or strongly agreed they had developed skills in curriculum planning (91%) with well-designed activities (96%), and lesson preparation skills (96%). They also claimed they were enthusiastic for teaching (91%) and understanding of school practices and policies (96%). However, 46% agreed they had knowledge of syllabus documents with 50% claiming an ability to provide written feedback on student’s learning. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds suggested they had educational language from the syllabus and effective student management strategies. Preservice teachers require more direction on how to cater for diversity and begin creating sustainable societies by building knowledge from direct GAT experiences. Designing diagnostic surveys associated with university coursework can be used to determine further development for specific preservice teacher development in GAT education.