L’International Talent Education Institute in Slovenia ha organizzato una conferenza internazionale che si terrà dal 24 al 26 ottobre 2019 dal titolo “Everybody counts”, vedi qui.

Sarà un’occasione importante per condividere riflessioni e buone prassi con altri colleghi europei. Proporrò una sperimentazione svolta nella scuola “Effetà” nella provincia di Vicenza. Condivido l’abstract del contributo già approvato dalla commissione scientifica.

Titolo contributo: Co-contructing authentic and inclusive practices for gifted children

Abstract

Teachers play an important role for learning of all students and in particular for those who show gifted behaviour (McCoach, Siegle, 2007).

Currently, in Italy guidelines exist only in the Veneto region (Veneto, in the North of the country). Recently the Italian Ministry of Education have modified a ministerial law (n. 562 of 3 April 2019) to include gifted children in the category of special education needs. Often teachers who are not trained in gifted education do not know how to involve gifted students during the lesson and become disoriented (De Angelis, 2017; Brazzolotto, in press). Teacher training in gifted education could provide a theoretical framework and many good practices. Teachers’ perspectives play a crucial role when they have to decide the best practice for all students (Moon & Brighton, 2008; Megay-Nespoli, 2001; De Wet & Gubbins, 2011). Teachers could be more concerned with students with special needs, leaving gifted students as they are (Brazzolotto, 2018b). A specialist in Gifted & Talented Education could be necessary to support teachers in planning and supervise their work.

We engaged three teachers of primary school in the North of Italy. We used a focus group to start understanding their needs and difficulties to teach in classrooms where there was a gifted student. We constructed some activities adopting the learning menu model (Winebrenner, 2012) and we asked them to modify the tools, if necessary. They experimented with the new activities in March 2019 in fourth grade. We analysed their perspectives with a questionnaire and then a focus group. Then, we planned other activities with them, such as interdisciplinary projects and authentic tests.

As the data suggests, teachers appreciated these tools because they engaged all profiles of students in the classroom. Two teachers demonstrated a small resistance to try these new activities. The fundamental reason for this was found to be that the teachers did not understand how to apply the tools, and from fear that students may not learn with these methods.

They continued to ask for support, demostrating the necessity to support them with a specialist in gifted and talented education pedagogy.

 

Key-words: gifted education- teacher training- inclusive tools