In pursuit of excellence in science

Watters, James J. (2004) In pursuit of excellence in science. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 13(2), pp. 41-53.


From multiple perspectives science education is an important domain in the life of children in contemporary society. From one perspective the sustainability of our current lifestyle and wellbeing is dependent on attracting the most creative and talented individuals to pursue careers in science. Identifying those who are gifted in science, cultivating those gifts and providing opportunities for the gifted to explore their interests to the fullness of their ability are significant goals in the education of gifted children. This purpose of this paper is to explore how teachers and parents can help those gifted students with passionate interests in science by examining three broad issues: First, what features characterise the child who is gifted in science; Second, curricula and pedagogical approaches that afford talent development in science, and third, the resources, including human that are necessary and available to assist teachers and parents to provide enriching learning experiences.

In addressing these issues I will draw upon research and experience from working with many gifted children in science to demonstrate how they often show particular intellectual propensities, for example a disposition to processing information spatially, an intense curiosity about their surroundings and preparedness to engage in risk taking ventures. These characteristics are of particular significance in identifying those children with particular gifts in science. In working with gifted students the importance of curricular experiences that provide opportunities for students to engage in authentic tasks without time constraints and among like-minded committed individuals are critical features of programs will be outlined with specific examples of strategies and approaches. Finally, I will outline the scope of resources and the role of mentors, parents and support organisations in developing appropriate learning experiences for the scientifically gifted student.

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ID Code: 1664
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: gifted education, science education, differentiation, classroom research, charactistics of scientifically gifted students, inquiry science
ISSN: 1323-9686
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 AAEGT
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 20 Jun 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2010 12:38

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