Onderwysvoorsiening aan akademies–begaafde leerders in die intermediêre skoolfase in Suid–Afrika
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The goal of this research was to determine how to productively provide in the unique needs of academically gifted learners in the intermediate phase in the South African education system. The study comprised an empirical, qualitative investigation to this end. Individual interviews with primary school principals and focus groups with primary school teachers, academically gifted learners in the intermediate phase and parents served to determine what the educational needs of academically gifted children are. Secondly, a mini-education system for academically gifted learners was planned and a programme for academically gifted learners was developed within this mini-education system. The information for the development of the programme was gathered from the interviews and focus groups. The paradigm that forms the foundation of this research includes elements of a Christian world view and is complemented by elements of interpretivism, constructivism, pragmatism and post-modernism. The literature study on academically gifted learners revealed that these learners possess their own unique characteristics. Although academically gifted, these learners experience many cognitive, social and affective problems in the current education system. The structure of the education system, educational productivity and self-managed and interactive learning as teaching strategy were highlighted as internal determinants of an educative nature that influence academically gifted learners. The current condition of gifted education in South Africa and on an international level form the internal determinants of historical nature. If education to gifted learners, and specifically academically gifted learners, in South Africa is compared to other countries, it is clear that there are still many gaps in the education system. The main external determinants that influence educational provision to academically gifted learners include the demography of academically gifted learners, the economic environment of academically gifted learners, science and technology, the role of politics in the educational provision to academically gifted learners and the co-workers and competitors in the educational provision to academically gifted learners. The number of learners is increasing and that means that the need for educational provision to academically gifted learners is increasing. A distance-based programme is ideal, as academically gifted learners are scattered across our country. The main goal of this study was to plan a mini-education system that will provide in the unique needs of academically gifted learners in the intermediate phase in an educationally productive way in South Africa. The framework for the strategic planning of a mini-education system was used as research method. An achievable, sustainable and affordable distance-based educational programme for academically gifted learners was planned and a grade 4 pilot module developed within this mini-education system. The findings of this study suggest that the framework for the strategic planning of a mini-education system can be successfully used in planning a system that can effectively provide in the needs of academically gifted learners in the intermediate phase. From the interviews and focus group it was also clear that there is a need for educational programmes intended for academically gifted learners and that these programmes can be successfully implemented at schools.
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