Gifted and talented Aboriginal students
The world’s policy on education reveals that education is a necessity for all. Gifted and talented Aboriginal students are part of the society and contribute to the world’s population. The word gifted Aboriginal students refer to a group of students with sound educational abilities (Frasier, 1997). These students require special care and support to realize the United Nations policy on education. Talented and gifted students exist in Australia. Although the government enacted various educational policies, gifted and talented students suffer in Australia. The importance of education includes learning and support; however, gifted Aboriginal students face hardship during their learning period (Butterworth & Candy, 1998). The educational system does not support their disadvantage. Gifted students have common characteristics; they have a similar identity, lineage, and language (Gagne, 1985).
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The population of talented Aboriginal students in Queensland exceeds ninety percent, a figure, which reveals the delicate nature of the problem (Malin, 1990). Gifted and talented Aboriginal students encounter personality issues, they are challenged with two personalities. Aboriginal students have a characteristic culture from the main culture. A gifted student struggles to fit into a normal life. The differences in culture and way of life often leave their parents to societal dilemmas. The situation leaves a gap between normal and Aboriginal students. This makes learning difficult for talented Aboriginal students in Queensland Australia.
Gifted Aboriginal students must be identified among the population. The ability to identify each individual improves the chances of learning. The first solution to the problem is by identifying educationally challenged students. Aboriginal students require delicate support and an enhanced educational curriculum. Aboriginal cultures may affect the learning process of gifted students.
Talented aboriginal students can be identified using the following methods:
- Individual assessment
- Differentiated programs like IQ test, Blooms, Wiggins.
- Group competitions
- Individual competitions
- Creative analysis
- Classroom grades
The classroom conditions may affect their understanding. The need to identify these obstacles improves their assimilation. Gifted Aboriginal students must participate in enrichment curriculum and programs that will create a positive educational support (Gibson, 1998). The educational curriculum in Queensland is inadequate in reaching the world’s policy on education. Aboriginal students do not get supervised support to face learning hurdles. Teachers contribute to the problem because they do not care for the challenged students. These students require close supervision. The following recommendations will improve the learning process of gifted and talented Aboriginal students.
- Talented and gifted Aboriginal students must be identified at the earliest stage and enrolled in school. Their educational curriculum must include extra classroom lectures for gifted and talented students. Gifted Aboriginal students must benefit from enrichment programs and awards (Malin, 1990). The students must be allowed to fit into the regular schooling activities while undergoing selective training.
- The availability of quality training materials will influence the learning process. Thus, students in the rural settlements can access quality training facilities (Smith, 2006). Weekly routine checks will guide against teacher’s indiscipline and motivate the students.
- Teachers must dispel the superstition that an Aboriginal student cannot be talented. Thus, gifted and talented Aboriginal students must be identified and used as examples.
- Laws must be enacted to provide support and funds for their identification.
- Teachers must change their method of identification. The oral method of identification will be better than academic activities (Symons, 2010).
- The learning environment for Aboriginal students must be conducive. The ease in learning will influence their learning speed.
- The relationship between the student and the teacher must be emotional. The strong attachment will ease some challenges during and after each class lesson.
Classroom strategies for gifted and talented Aboriginal students in Queensland
Gifted Aboriginal students can achieve educational success when teachers implement effective programs and classroom practices. The strategies include:
- Acceleration: This strategy improves individual activities. The teacher will assign individual tasks to a student with accelerated learning skills and abilities. Accelerated activities consist of mentoring, early enrollment, subject differentiation to mention a few. This strategy is a continuous process and requires effective management.
- Group Strategy: The teacher groups the students in clusters to assigned tasks. The group activities can be permanent, temporal or cluster. The strategy will improve their communication skills.
Differentiated strategy improves the performance of each student. The strategy connects the students with their challenges. Differentiated strategies include Blooms, Wiggins, to mention a few.
Teachers should observe the student’s activities, reading skills, language, habits and learning abilities. This procedure changes the student’s negative perception of his or her disabilities (Gross, 1993).
Gifted Aboriginal students may fall into any category stated below
- A recognized classroom for Aboriginal gifted and talented students
- An organized class unit in a general school environment.
- A classroom with cultural diversity.
This is the second step towards success. I will differentiate general instructions, work patterns, and classroom activities between gifted Aboriginal and normal students. I will monitor students with parental challenges. I will separate the gifted Aboriginal students from the rest. I will involve them in higher courses. This procedure will build their learning process. For example, a gifted student in grade three will be given courses in grade four. I will identify students with talents and make them class tutors. This will build their self-confidence and break the myth that Aboriginal students are not successful. I will allow the students to improve their instincts. I will provide practical lessons that will teach them real situations. I will create a timetable to accommodate each student no matter his or her capabilities. I will create a cordial relationship between the students with different cultures.
Resources available for gifted Aboriginal students
Resources available for gifted students include Scholarships, students’ bursaries, student grants, student support programs, Student’s merit awards, and loans.
Finally, the strategies highlighted above will provide support for gifted and talented Aboriginal students in Queensland Australia.
Butterworth, D., & Candy, J. (1998). Quality early childhood practice for young Aboriginal children. Queensland, Australia: Maxton Press.
Frasier, M. (1997). Gifted minority students: Reframing approaches to their identification and education. Boston, USA: Pearson Education.
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Gagne, F. (1985). Giftedness and talent: Re-examining a re-examination of the definitions. New York, USA: Macmillan.
Gibson, K. (1998). A promising approach for identifying gifted Aboriginal students in Australia. Melbourne, Australia: Maxton Press
Gross, M. (1993). Exceptionally gifted children. London: Routledge.
Malin, M. (1990). The visibility and invisibility of Aboriginal students in an urban classroom. Queensland, Australia: Pearson Education.
Smith, T. (2006). Teaching students with special needs in inclusive settings. Toronto, Canada: Pearson Education.
Symons, C. (2010). The exceptional teachers’ casebook. Brandon, Canada: Ibex Press.