Yesterday’s historic decision to provide 60 million dollars in funding support to assist schools in their provisions for gifted and talented students across Victorian State schools is an enormous win for gifted kids. This group has so often been overlooked in preference to supporting students with learning difficulties, but the research tells us that gifted kids need just as much support. Many do not reach their true potential or demonstrate their talent capabilities without suitable pro- grams that instruct, inspire, and support them, and we know that profoundly gifted students, those with particularly high IQ scores often struggle socially/emotionally, and organizationally.
This funding should enable students in the top 10% of State schools to gain access to the support programs that they need, allowing them with suitable assistance to demonstrate their true talent. Whilst this is a win for the students them- selves, this is a win for schools and a win for society.
A win for schools in that by supporting gifted kids we raise the bar of expectation, and experience tells us that when we explicitly raise the bar of expectation with support for top end students, the middle band and lower band can follow suit, raising the academic culture of a whole school.
A win for society, because gifted students are often the passionate creatives, problem solvers and critical thinkers of the world. When nurtured these students have the potential for exceptional achievements. Achievement expressed through critical medical breakthroughs, solutions to engineering problems, creative approach- es to environment care and sustainability, and technological advancement.
It is worth investing in gifted kids. It is a win for all and I applaud the State Government for this initiative.
Mark Smith, President
Victorian Association for Gifted and Talented Children (VAGTC)
Unit 2/3 Wellington Street, KEW, VIC 3101
E: firstname.lastname@example.org M.Ed Gifted & Talented Education