Gifted and Talented Action Research

In my school I am part of a group of beginning teachers that are completing action research projects in their gifted and talented classes.  Our school is half-selective, meaning half of the students had to sit an academic exam for entry.  The rest of the school is made up of local students, but we also run a G&T class in years 9 & 10 of the local stream.  The class I’m using for my action research is my Year 9 G&T class, and the unit I am studying is the videogame unit…fun research 🙂

In our school there is a focus on developing three traits of giftedness as identified by Renzulli:

  • above average though not necessarily superior general ability;
  • high level of task commitment or intrinsic motivation;
  • and creativity

The students in my class certainly do display above average ability, and my aim is for my teaching units thie year to boost their levels of task commitment, intrinsic motivation and creativity.  The videogame unit so far is proving successful in these areas – in today, the third lesson of the unit, students worked in their groups for the first time, taking turns at playing the games (Need For Speed: Carbon, and Street Fighter II) and at creating an account on our class wiki and making some new pages.

So far the level of task commitment and intrinsic motivation is sky high!  The creativity is off to a slow start in some respects, but I think we did some important work today in laying the foundations for creativity.  I spent a lot of times with the groups on the laptops today, making sure students were comfortable with their roles as writers/authors on the class wiki.  This creating of information, along with activities in later weeks where students will create their own video game concept and characters, is all designed to lead students into higher order thinking.

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  1. #1 by max on July 28, 2008 - 11:45 pm

    Don’t you worry about encouraging the addiciton to video games rather than encouraging more traditional means of play?

  2. #2 by kelli on July 29, 2008 - 12:35 am

    No, not really. It’s been interesting to listen to the student talk about their gaming habits, and in many ways they are far more conservative than me when it comes to opinions about how much time students should spend at the screen. I think this is one of the things that makes the Nintendo Wii successful – kids themselves recognise the active element of the games as being more ‘healthy’ as well as fun.

    I’m wondering – have you heard of any negative experiences with game addiction stemming from class-based game projects?

  3. #3 by darcymoore on July 29, 2008 - 1:02 pm

    Kelli, I am interested in investigating Spore when it is released.

  4. #4 by Ruth on July 29, 2008 - 5:55 pm

    hey Kelli
    great idea. I would love to see the results of this. I would be interested in their discussions about games too.

  5. #5 by darcymoore on July 30, 2008 - 8:37 am

    …and, if you have the kids collect newspapers on saturday a full set of class resources:,239029655,339290923,00.htm

  1. Using Renzulli and Gagne together « Kelli’s Blog

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