The overarching aim of the project is to provide appropriate educational opportunities for gifted students at a school level. There are many different conceptions and definitions of giftedness but above average ability and high learning potential are common to all of them. As a rough rule of thumb, the top performing 10% of students in a domain or field may be considered gifted, and this should be applied across many domains (maths, languages, sciences, humanities, music, etc.) to include rather than exclude as many students as possible. Theories of giftedness and their implications for identification of and provision for gifted children will be discussed as part of the project to encourage a deeper engagement with ideas surrounding high ability and talent development.
Despite their apparent academic advantages, gifted and talented students are often unchallenged at school at both primary and post-primary level. This lack of academic stimulation can lead to these students not fulfilling their academic potential, disengaging from school and even dropping out of the education system altogether. While a variety of out of school programmes exist across Europe, these cannot hope to be as powerful as proper in-class solutions which alter the day-to-day experiences of gifted students.
To accomplish this aim, the project focuses on increasing the competency and skills of educators in the field of gifted and talented education within the classroom, introducing them to the field’s key issues, approaches and challenges. It will do so through the development of an Online Educational Resource (OER) for primary and post-primary school educators. This resource, the High Ability Educators Portal, will use open source platforms such as Oppia and OpenBadges to provide an explorative, constructivist learning experience to educators who wish to improve their ability to serve highly able and gifted students.