The Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented Ltd. (AAEGT) has launched comprehensive advice ( https://bit.ly/AAEGTMeetingtheNeeds ) on meeting the needs of gifted students returning to school after Coronavirus remote learning. The advice, which incorporates guidelines for parents and teachers, recognises the diverse learning needs of over 400 000 of our brightest minds.

“Like their neurotypical peers, gifted and high ability students have experienced varied responses to learning during these unprecedented times”, AAEGT President, Melinda Gindy, stated. “However, for a number of gifted students, months away from the confines of the classroom has provided the freedom for complex thinking with little time constraint. In short, they’ve taken their learning experiences into their own hands”.

The AAEGT strongly encourages all education systems, leaders and teaching staff to consider the needs of those gifted learners who have made even more gains during their period of enforced absence from the classroom. It is important to note that while some gifted students may have thrived, others may have experienced a variety of challenges; some may need social and emotional support to transition back to face to face learning.
“The old adage ‘Know thy students and know them well’ is going to be pertinent to the successful return to schooling for all students”, Mrs Gindy continued. “Pre-assessment and delivering appropriate differentiation in response to the results of that pre-assessment, will foster continued growth for all students. The myth that minimal learning has occurred since remote learning commenced, potentially resulting in the reteaching of curriculum over the next several weeks, is fraught with danger.”

Gifted students have the right to continue to have their learning expanded, to retain the excitement for learning that they have pursued during isolation from their classroom peers; all school systems have the responsibility to ensure that this happens. Continued collaboration between home and school will provide valuable information to ensure a rigorous and relevant education continues for our gifted and high ability learners.

“For most students in a classroom the teacher is the work setter and the work observer. For many students doing remote learning the teacher set the work but the parents/carers became the observer”, Mrs Gindy identified. “Parents are tired, teachers are stretched to almost beyond capacity and students aren’t quite sure what is normal anymore. Positive, respectful, open and understanding relationships are going to be essential as we transition to the ‘new normal’.”

The Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented is the peak national body for gifted and talented education in Australia.
Media contact – Melinda Gindy 0419 974 841