An Investigation Into the Impact of Differentiation by Input on Gifted and Talented Students During Written Tasks

Topics: Gifted education, Intellectual giftedness, Educational psychology Pages: 29 (7952 words) Published: December 4, 2012
An Investigation into the impact of Differentiation by Input on Gifted and Talented students during written tasks

Peter Collinson - 1008520

Table of Contents

2.Literature Review6
3.Local and National Developments9
6.Analysis of Results
a.Quantitative and Qualitative Questionnaire 18
b.Semi-Structured Interview21
c.Focused Observation22
10. Further Research27

1.Appendix 1: Student Survey Questionnaire32
2.Appendix 2: Student Interview Questions34
3.Appendix 3: Off Task Behaviour Log Completed Forms35


“One of the major challenges facing teachers of English is how to make provision for the wide range of abilities and aptitudes…in any one class” (1998. 230) this is a well established responsibility of the classroom teacher and one which has been embraced in a whole-school, curriculum wide and individual level, however Rowlands writes, “it is still fairly common to hear educationalists and teachers contend that a gifted child needs no specials provision because his superior intelligence must see him through”. (1974. 78), This criticism of the provision made available for the more able is supported by George; “a great deal of time, energy and money has been spent on children with other special needs, whereas the needs of children of high ability have been relatively neglected” (1992. vi). Thankfully much has changed since these volumes were written, most significantly in 2006 the government white paper; Higher Standards, Better Schools for All (2006. HC 663-I) made it mandatory for schools to contribute to the national Gifted and Talented register and in 2007 the National Strategies Gifted and Talented Program required schools to appoint a leading teacher for gifted and talented education (2007).

While such progress is encouraging it remains predominantly the role of the classroom teacher to “challenge the more able” (2010. 183) (1998. 230), something which Fleming describes as “generally more straightforward than meeting the needs of low achievers because they can be expected to take more responsibility for their own learning” (1988. 242). I feel that this is a dangerous view to take as it may lead, in practice, to differentiating for the more able only by differing expectations, giving less support, or sitting the high achieving students with those who are struggling, (Callard-Szulgit. 2005) Winstanley describes a similar point of view; “since able children already have the advantage through their aptitudes, it would be increasing inequality to provide anything extra for them” (2004. 67). The argument for providing for the more able is supported by findings such as “highly able pupils have a positive effect on their peers…only when able pupils are allowed the opportunity to be stretched” (2004. 71), Rowlands adds weight to the importance of provision for the more able through warning of the consequences of not providing for the more able; “[they] may be misunderstood, resented, have their natural talents ignored or stifled” (1974. 95).

While there is a heavy weight of research that supports the need to provide challenges and support specifically for the more able, this area of study is comparatively young when considered alongside other areas of educational research. Currently the reality is that provision for the more able is primarily the concern of the classroom teacher (Shea. 2011) a statement supported by a recent government publication; “every teacher needs to know how to recognise and teach the gifted and talented” (DoE. 2010) I aim to approach the issue of how best to provide for these students within the classroom through asking what kind of differentiation is most beneficial for selected...
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