Exploring perceptions regarding academic support for academically gifted learners
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The main aim of this study was to explore academic support of gifted learners as rendered by the Institutional Learner Support Teams. This study was conducted in primary schools in the Johannesburg South education district of the Gauteng province in South Africa. This was a qualitative study which employed interviews for teacher participants and a draw and write technique for learner participants. A literature review revealed that gifted learners are at risk in that although they have potential they can perform poorly. The reasons indicated in the literature include: emotional instability, bad behaviour, being neglected by teachers, vulnerability to stress, poor social skills and others. In supporting gifted learners there are certain strategies that need to be in place such as implementation of policies guiding such support, collaboration with different stakeholders, employing teaching approaches that are accommodative of gifted learners and others. Selection of sites was done randomly, having four schools participating. Sixteen teachers and forty learners participated in this study. The study revealed that teachers were using traditional methods in identifying gifted learners and that they were able to identify attributes of giftedness. Teachers were also aware that gifted learners cannot perform well if not supported. There was support given by teachers in class. This was in the form of extra work and enrichment activities. Teachers were struggling with differentiating the curriculum to accommodate gifted learners, this was due to lack of resources and training. There were no policies specifically to support gifted learners all focus was on learners with learning barriers. The Institutional Learner Support Teams were only supportive when gifted learners were not performing well.
- Education