Griffith’s Professional Learning Hub hosted the inaugural Gifted and Talented Education Symposium at the Logan campus earlier last month.

Dr Michelle Ronksley-Pavia convened the one-day symposium, which explored effective education practices and understanding how gifted students can be best supported in classrooms and schools.

“I’ve worked with a number of schools and conducted professional development sessions for teachers, and many have expressed a need for professional learning in the area of gifted and talented education,” she said.

“Teachers generally receive very little specific training in their initial teacher education programs in Queensland, or Australia for that matter.”

Topics included definitions of gifted and talented, differentiation, setting up gifted programming and a Q & A session with the panel to discuss pertinent real-world questions.

Dr Ronksley-Pavia wanted participants to leave with a clear sense of direction and purpose — ‘What will I stop…start…continue as a result of today?’

“One of the key concepts that teachers took away was a shared understanding of the definitions of gifted and talented students from Gagné’s (2008) model that is used in Australia: Giftedness is where students’ potential is markedly beyond same-age peers in one or more of the following domains: Mental – Intellectual; Creative; Social, perceptual; and/or Physical — Muscular; Motor Control. Whereas talented students demonstrate skills/abilities that are markedly beyond same-age peers in one or more of these domains.”

The event was attended by over 50 educators from across the state, including Deputy Principals, Heads of Curriculum, Heads of Departments and classroom teachers.