Appropriate curriculum for academically accelerated students
: listening to the case studies of gifted students

  • Peter Merrotsy

    Student thesis: Professional Doctorate - CDU


    This study explores ways of providing a better curriculum for gifted students. A review of the literature emphasises that gifted students require the provision of a qualitatively differentiated curriculum, and finds unequivocal support for the benefits of academic acceleration. An appraisal of curriculum in NSW notes that there are fine programmes for gifted students, but that a lot more can be done.

    By listening carefully to the voices of gifted students, effective ways to improve their curriculum may be discovered. Following a life history model which employs the narrative, cases are made from the naturalistic portrayal of eight gifted individuals. Each case study outlines the formative background and educational experiences of the individual, and concludes with a summary of the issues which the individual believes to be most important for improving the curriculum for gifted students.

    An interpretive analysis of the case studies makes twenty recommendations. These include: greater flexibility of school organisation; better communication; continuity in a broader, more inclusive curriculum; options of academic acceleration, including access to tertiary level courses; appropriate educational support; and financial support for gifted students from low socio-economic backgrounds, and from rural and isolated settings.

    A model for academic acceleration is presented. It recommends six steps towards a better curriculum for gifted students: identification; communication; a negotiated curriculum; academic acceleration; access to tertiary courses while still at school; and support for gifted students.
    Date of AwardMar 2002
    Original languageEnglish

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