Mentoring Gifted Students in the Digital Age: A Unique School / University Partnership in Academic Research Projects Paper Presentation
Author(s): Susan Knopfelmacher, (Presbyterian Ladies College, Melbourne, Australia)
Research and experience show that secondary schools in the ‘Digital Age’ do not always meet gifted adolescent students’ intellectual, creative, and affective needs. An extension program which offers engaging high-level challenge under expert guidance provides the opportunity for gifted students to follow their academic and creative passion with like-minded peers. This presentation will explore the partnership between Presbyterian Ladies College - a leading Australian CIS and IB affiliated, independent girls’ school - leading universities and Australian National art galleries to implement an academically accelerated research program for gifted adolescents (14-17 years). A developmental approach underpins the program, based on models and theories including Gagne's DMGT 2.0, the Actiotope Model,
‘new literacies’ and the IB Learner Profile. The presentation will outline digital learning approaches, resources and tools which empower cutting-edge, innovative research, through face to face and online communication with experts and peer group collaboration allied with the school's ‘activity-reflection’ Student Portfolio. Our program evaluation overwhelmingly supports research showing that flexibility, choice and autonomy are highly motivating factors for high ability students; especially when allied with mature environments supervised by expert mentors. By exploring aspects of university life while still at school, students gain a head-start for entry to top Australian, US and UK universities while developing the self-regulation and transferable skills required for life-long talent pathways in a rapidly changing, globalised world. Evidence of participating students’ personal testimony, significant personal growth and outstanding academic success will be related to the program’s opportunities and outcomes.
This presentation details various humanities, sciences and arts gifted mentoring projects.