Build teacher and leadership capacity through engagement with quality research and ongoing professional learning on effective practices to improve growth and achievement for all high potential and gifted students.
Leader and teacher knowledge and skills
Programs, settings, and classes for high potential and gifted students present specific challenges for teachers seeking to meet talent development needs.
Leaders and teachers who have completed specialised training or advanced studies may have acquired additional skills in identifying and meeting the specific learning needs of high potential and gifted students.
Examples of specialist training or studies include:
- postgraduate qualifications in education, sports science, creative and performing arts, gifted education or educational psychology (e.g. Masters or Graduate Diploma-level)
- extensive professional learning in high potential and gifted education.
These provide excellent background for teachers of high potential and gifted students.
Where teachers with specialised skills or qualifications are not available, leaders should provide professional learning as a priority so teachers can gain greater confidence and efficacy. Teachers without these skills and experiences can gain them by collaborating with colleagues to support their professional learning. Appropriate advanced study and experience to teach at the necessary level should be considered, but should not rule out early career teachers.
Leaders and teachers with appropriate training and skills to meet the needs of high potential and gifted students may not be limited to those with formal qualifications in the domain. The following may also provide leaders and teachers with relevant skills:
- professional coaching and/or credentials in creative, physical, social-emotional and intellectual domains
- extensive professional learning in high potential and gifted education, student sports coaching, or teaching in creative and performing arts programs as appropriate
- advanced study and/or experience in a relevant field or discipline that benefits explicit talent development strategies in teaching and learning programs (for example, high-level mathematics study for teaching extension mathematics courses)
- successful experience teaching high potential and gifted students
- significant experience working with representative talent development, student leadership development, social justice or entrepreneurial programs.
Professional learning and the Australian Professional Standards for Principals and Teachers
Online and face-to-face professional learning modules will be available to all NSW public schools to support implementation of the policy. Professional learning in high potential and gifted education clearly links to the principles of the Australian Professional Standard for Principals and Australian Professional Standard for Teachers.
Professional learning will include core and specialised modules for both leaders and teachers.
Schools can promote professional engagement by considering these factors in planning for professional learning:
- Student learning needs and the school’s context: schools should identify the specific learning needs of high potential and gifted students at their school. Factors such as socio-cultural background, levels of advantage or disadvantage, or access to out-of-school opportunities can vary greatly between schools and may impact on student learning.
- Student growth, achievement, wellbeing and engagement data analysis: teachers may benefit from ongoing training in reviewing student data in order to inform further professional judgements. This may specifically include the use of data in formative assessment and planning practices. The data itself may help schools identify areas for future teacher growth via professional development.
- Research and evidence: examining research and the wider evidence base, such as that outlined in Revisiting Gifted Education, can help teachers gain a greater depth of understanding in order to inform their teaching practice.
- Levels of staff knowledge, experience and expertise: these are likely to vary within the staff at a school. Some teachers may have limited knowledge of, or experience working with, high potential and gifted students; others may have extensive specialist training or postgraduate qualifications in the area.
- Programs and practices: specific programs at each school may require different types of professional learning. Schools with dedicated extension classes, advanced learning pathways for students or specialised programs will require professional learning to support their implementation.
To support schools and teachers a comprehensive suite of professional learning offerings have been developed and will be available through MyPL. These include online modules, face to face programs and ongoing research opportunities.
In addition, learning activities available on the website will allow schools to develop and deliver tailored learning. These include illustrations of practice, podcasts, research readings and scaffolds to support the development of individualised responses.