The importance of challenging tasks for mathematically gifted students

Diezmann, Carmel M. & Watters, James J. (2002) The importance of challenging tasks for mathematically gifted students. Gifted and Talented International, 17(2), pp. 76-84.


This study explored how the challenge of mathematical problem solving could be increased to provide greater value and interest to gifted students. Ten pairs of gifted 11-and 12-year old students were first studied as they engaged in problem solving tasks in their mixed-ability classrooms. Observations of these classrooms revealed that regular tasks and the pacing of mathematics tasks in these classrooms were inappropriate for these students. The gifted students were then withdrawn in pairs and their performance on similar tasks and tasks that had been made more challenging was studied. Although the pacing of the tasks in the clinical setting was more appropriate, problematised tasks were necessary to sufficiently increase the level of challenge and provide students with more interesting and mathematically worthwhile learning experiences. The cognitive and affective benefits of challenging tasks and their implications for classroom practice are discussed.

Impact and interest:

8 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 1647
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 23 Jun 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:26

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