Domains of potential (Daniel) - film

Covered in this illustration of practice:

Students who demonstrate high potential in the social-emotional domain often desire to mentor, role-model and support others. These student leaders are found in every school and often have well-developed empathy skills, a passion for social justice issues, and high-level organisational capabilities.

This illustration of practice follows the story of one such student leader in the form of Daniel, a young man with high potential in the intellectual and social-emotional domains. Watch the film to find out more about how Daniel’s school gathered data to help assess his high potential across multiple domains in order to better understand his learning needs. You will also hear from Daniel's teachers as they explain how they observed his desire to achieve personal excellence and efforts in seeking ways to continually grow and improve.

Domains of potential - Daniel

Transcript of Daniel’s Story video (6 minutes 50 seconds)

[on screen text] Daniel’s Story

[on screen text] High potential and gifted education


[image] Daniel, wearing school uniform, walking through school gate

[on screen text] Daniel Year 12 student

Daniel – Currently I’m the Senior Prefect. I'm also part of the Student Representative Council here at Ashfield Boys, chaired the Greatest Morning Tea for the Cancer Council for five years straight, Legacy Week I chair…I've been chairing that for five years. I've also been a part of the Inner West Neighbour Aid Grocery and Community Elderly Shopping Program.


[image] Daniel walking down the street, into a kitchen with shopping bags in each hand and unpacking milk into a refrigerator

Daniel – The program aims to keep elderly people independent living for as long as possible, so every fortnight on a Wednesday, we take them to Ashfield Mall to Coles and we help them out with their shopping. It's a really good intergenerational program.

[on screen text] Diana Scandurra Teacher

Diana – I remember when Daniel first started high school and he had really strong vocabulary skills. He was very vocal and he had this real empathy to really feel how other people are feeling. He always had this drive to want to help people.


[image] Daniel with three other schoolboys around a table drawing out a plan

Daniel – Great characteristics of a good leader is someone who can respect all and not only just put their own ideas into something, but listen to everybody and try to integrate everybody else's ideas into what they're trying to lead


[image] Daniel with teacher looking at a textbook

Daniel – I am so lucky to be here at this school in terms of them nurturing my abilities and my talents

Diana – He was always above average across all his subjects. He always had this drive to want to do better. And he was always asking his teachers, not only myself, but other teachers, how could he improve? Because it wasn't just about what the answer was. He wanted to know, how do you get to that answer? And I thought that that was a big standout when you can compare him to your average student. He also had... had extremely strong interpersonal skills. And I think because of that, he was very persuasive when he spoke to other people. But it was mainly this constant drive to always do better. And having that that ability to ask for help and the teachers at the school always been available to give that help.

Daniel – They've, you know, whatever comes up in terms of scholarships, whatever comes up in terms of programs that are outside of school, community work, they're always the first one to send me an email and try to get me involved.

Diana – Identification of such students is really important and early, and to give these students an opportunity for leadership within the school, providing them with a mentor, because if they have a sense of belonging and a sense of feeling safe at school, they'll actually excel in what they do in what they're doing, giving them leadership scaffolds, something to look up to and to work towards. And then basically they take other people with them because their leadership is almost in their blood. It's genetic.


[image] Daniel and friend walking towards two other friends and greeting them

Daniel – I really want to get to politics, and that's the whole reason for that, is to make a difference and to give people a voice who have been... certain groups have been marginalised... certain groups that haven't been given a voice. And that's really my main sort of aim.

Diana – I think it's also because of the amount of empathy that Daniel has. You can you can tell someone how to be empathetic, but for him, it's almost like it …it happens. He automatically feels what the other person's feeling and he's constant want to try and make the other people feel better about themselves, gives him a real buzz. And I think that's something that... the school has really gained from that, because he makes that connection with other students.


[image] Daniel talking to three friends

[on screen text] Daniel went on to win prestigious awards while still at high school...

Daniel – So I've been very, very fortunate enough to be nominated for the Inner West Council's 2020 Young Citizen of the Year, and I was also a scholarship recipient of the Public Education Foundation's Unions Geoff Shaw Memorial Scholarship. Their main criteria was somebody who not only excelled in legal studies and economics at school, but somebody who was a champion and a sort of projector for social justice.

[on screen text]... and was accepted to study law at the University of Technology, Sydney

Daniel – I've been very fortunate to be accepted at UTS, and I'm very, very proud that I go to UTS. I'm hoping after my law degree to practice law, but also help people that don't really have a voice in the community and give them that opportunity to rise and give them an opportunity to succeed in life. I'm also hoping to give back to my school community. Working closely with the school and the students there and nurturing them and helping them be the best person they can. And I'm also hoping to enter a career of politics and sort of give people that, you know, again, don't have the voice. That don't have, you know, the same opportunities that other Australians have and to give them that.


[on screen text] Find the potential

Develop the talent

Make the difference

End of transcript

Professional learning questions

For school leaders:

  • What procedures, programs and practices did Daniel’s school put in place to encourage challenge, engagement and high achievement in the social-emotional domain?
  • What tailored talent development opportunities might your school offer students who demonstrate leadership and community spirit but who may not be in formal leadership roles?
  • What professional learning opportunities might be pursued to build teacher capacity in meeting the needs of students like Daniel?
  • Self-reflect on your current programs and practices for students with high potential in the social-emotional domain. Consider if you have in place a rigorous, consistent monitoring process that evaluates the effectiveness of these opportunities. What would be the essential elements for a social-emotional talent development program to be considered to be operating at an excelling level?

For teachers:

  • High potential and gifted students across all domains of potential require evidence-based talent development to optimise their growth and achievement. Analyse Gagné’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT) and identify the domains in which Daniel shows high potential and the areas of high performance in which Daniel might achieve as he matures. What are some of the environmental and intrapersonal catalysts that may enable his success?
  • Daniel’s teacher speaks warmly of his characteristics. List these characteristics using the Learning Characteristics websection advice and identify the domains into which Daniel’s characteristics generally fall.
  • Consider students in your school who have similar characteristics to Daniel and discuss the evidence to support your thinking.
  • What authentic role models might you provide for Daniel based on his high potential in the social-emotional domain? Why might you choose these people? How could you involve student voice in this process?


  • Teaching and learning


  • Implement

Business Unit:

  • Teaching, Learning and Student Wellbeing
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