About GBD Education services

I love my work 🙂 Most mornings I wake up with the birds and head into my study with a coffee to log on and collaborate with students to further develop our studies together. They send me questions, plans, reflections and products to demonstrate what they are doing and to seek my involvement, whether it is through modelling, or feedback, or to get another opinion. Most of the time they think (and I think) that our efforts advance their results, skills, interests, and perspectives. A mentor listens, learns, and leads… and I love it.

My practice is to consult students in regular face-to-face meetings and to maintain e-mail communications during the week with respect to their studies. My role as an educator for gifted students is to select and apply appropriate program strategies to advance their learning in accordance with their self-described needs and goals. There are 5 distinct features for programs of Gifted Education that can be summed up as “The 5 D’s” of Density, Difficulty, Depth, Diversity and (self-)Determination.

Sometimes my practice is to assist and support students to meet the challenges of an accelerated curriculum for the first feature of “density”, for this is often the principal feature of select-entry school gifted education programs. Academically, density through “acceleration” is the favored method for curriculum differentiation as “What Works” for gifted students (Hattie, 2009), and has in policy and practice enjoyed the clearest and most explicit application in Victoria’s gifted and talented course programming (hence the “A” in Victoria’s 43 Select-Entry Accelerated Learning Programs). Borland (2005) recognizes that “acceleration, as a means of differentiating the curriculum for high-ability students, does what it is intended to do: match content to the instructional needs of advanced students (p.8).” Subsequently though, and as Borland would promote of me, because my role as a mentor can be distinct to practice within a school, I am often engaged in the practice of the 5 D’s in the reverse order to otherwise meet and match the unique needs of individual students.

In other words, the programs enjoyed with students through my services might principally recognize features of self-determination, diversity and depth rather than or before density and difficulty. Indeed, the instruction of gifted students through my mentorship with them is distinct from their instruction in school, and so can complement the school curriculum in a way that is not necessarily discipline-based. As such, the combined experiences through my practice and through school might realize the range of program options for gifted students.

Why do I make this my practice? How students are instructed in school is rarely my responsibility, but how I seek to support them must observe their school program context and their individual student needs. I am clear on my role as a gifted mentor to students, and deliberate in my professional services to to effectively provide for and respond to an accelerated curriculum through a meta-cognitive approach. My job is to enable students to see the bigger picture of learning and education, to realise themselves and to strive for advancement, to enjoy freedom in their efforts. If that sounds GREAT to you, you’ll understand why I love my work, and why most mornings I wake up with the birds and head into my study with a coffee to log on and collaborate with students to further develop our studies together… 🙂

Borland, J. H. (2005). Gifted education without gifted children. Conceptions of giftedness, 1-19.

Hattie, J (2009), Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement, Routledge, New York.

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