Themes

Giftedness & differentiation

TEACHER: Tessa Eysink

Excellence depends to a large extent on the opportunities a child gets to develop its talent. When children are not provided with opportunities in the form of instructions that challenge them cognitively, there is a chance that problems, such as underachievement, arise. A lack of cognitive stimulation results in non-optimal learning performance on the short term. On the long term, children may not learn to learn and maximize their talents.

This is true for all learners, but specifically applies to gifted students. In order to meet the cognitive needs of all children, teachers must differentiate and tailor their instructions. This theme investigates how learners of different competence levels can be given adaptive instructional support that meets their needs. Research questions within this theme could be:

  • What should instruction look like for gifted children and how does this differ from instruction for average and low ability learners?
  • How do gifted learners differ from average and low ability learners (e.g., in terms of learning processes, metacognition, executive functions, motivation, flow, mindset)?
  • How should children of different ability levels be supported in their inquiry learning processes?
  • Is the STIP-approach (an approach in which learners of different competence levels work together in different group compositions, see http://go-lab.gw.utwente.nl/stip/) an effective approach to differentiate instruction and address learners at the right cognitive level while being socially included in regular education?