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Hot Topic: Gifted & Talented

The Science Learning Centre East Midlands has run several, well received, courses on the topic of 'Gifted & Talented' students. This year we are continuing to organise courses that support teachers in providing relevant and stimulating tasks for this group of students.

Our courses are led by George Forster, Managing Director of Science & Humanities Education. George has many years experience of working with G&T students and has worked with, amongst others, NAGTY.

Countinuing our series of 'hot topics' in science education, George shares some ideas with us:

What is it that sets the G&T student apart?

Defining the group by setting fixed levels of achievement in standard tests is somewhat artificial, but they all have one thing in common - a natural need to understand what's going on around them.

It's this need to know that is the greatest gift (and challenge) to science teachers. If we can capture and capitalise on this innate desire we can have a head start with G&T students.

Suggestions for open-ended approaches

Some suggestions for approaches that allow G&T students to be stretched beyond normal expectations might be:

  • Let them set the questions – G&T students will often come up with simple, nutty problems that lend themselves to stimulating experiments
  • Ask them to propose the hypotheses – discuss scientific method
  • Get students to design and modify experiments
  • Allow students time to carry out the investigation
  • Discuss results, errors and modifications
  • Involve a research scientist in the investigation
  • It may be worthwhile contacting your local university to enquire whether they are running any schemes that link schools with scientists

Innovative Gifted & Talented Course

To build upon our work with George the Science Learning Centre East Midlands has collaborated with him on developing a course aimed not only at teachers but also at G&T students.

The course, called 'Experience Counts' gives teachers the opportunity to bring four of their G&T year 9 science students to the Centre to work on two tasks.

Find out more...