In my school I am part of a group of beginning teachers that are completing action research projects in their gifted and talented classes. Our school is half-selective, meaning half of the students had to sit an academic exam for entry. The rest of the school is made up of local students, but we also run a G&T class in years 9 & 10 of the local stream. The class I’m using for my action research is my Year 9 G&T class, and the unit I am studying is the videogame unit…fun research :)
In our school there is a focus on developing three traits of giftedness as identified by Renzulli:
- above average though not necessarily superior general ability;
- high level of task commitment or intrinsic motivation;
- and creativity
The students in my class certainly do display above average ability, and my aim is for my teaching units thie year to boost their levels of task commitment, intrinsic motivation and creativity. The videogame unit so far is proving successful in these areas – in today, the third lesson of the unit, students worked in their groups for the first time, taking turns at playing the games (Need For Speed: Carbon, and Street Fighter II) and at creating an account on our class wiki and making some new pages.
So far the level of task commitment and intrinsic motivation is sky high! The creativity is off to a slow start in some respects, but I think we did some important work today in laying the foundations for creativity. I spent a lot of times with the groups on the laptops today, making sure students were comfortable with their roles as writers/authors on the class wiki. This creating of information, along with activities in later weeks where students will create their own video game concept and characters, is all designed to lead students into higher order thinking.