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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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2.5.7 Twice-exceptionality – opportunities and possibilities: Three mixed-methods research studies

Three researchers present their inter-related studies as a three-tiered foundation for future expansion and replication. The first study, a cross-university research project, reports on a national survey investigating teachers’ understandings and confidence in identification of twice-exceptional students (2e). The second study reports on the development of a model for early identification of 2e children within the early childhood context. The third study reports on the development and testing of an initial identification questionnaire for primary school teachers and a comparison of findings with other assessment strategies. These mixed methods studies offer new insights and promising findings for teachers and students.


Michelle Bannister-Tyrrell
University of New England

Dr Michelle Bannister-Tyrrell (University of New England) is a researcher, supervisor of Higher Degree Research students and lectures in gifted and talented education with undergraduate and postgraduate students. Mrs MaryAnne Haines (Doctoral candidate) and Mrs Anne O’Donnell-Ostini (Research Masters candidate) are currently researching models and tools for identification of twice-exceptional students within primary and pre-school contexts. Associate researchers with these projects include Professor Jeff Bailey, Associate Professor Linley Cornish and Dr. Brenda Wolodko who specialise in statistics, gifted and inclusive education, and Dr. Catherine Wormald researcher, supervisor and lecturer in gifted and talented education at the University of Wollongong.

MaryAnne Haines


MaryAnne Haines is a Doctoral student at the University of New England who, with associate researchers Associate Professor Linley Cornish and Dr Michelle Bannister-Tyrrell, is completing an investigation into strategies for teachers to access in the initial stage of identifying possible twice-exceptional children. Prior to the research she completed the Certificate of Gifted Education at the University of New South Wales. MaryAnne’s career has centred on primary-school education in Melbourne and Sydney with a particular focus on modifications of curriculum and practice to support the needs of underachieving gifted/high ability children who simultaneously have disabilities and/or learning difficulties.

Anne O’Donnell-Ostini


Anne O’Donnell-Ostini is an experienced early childhood teacher holding both early childhood and special education qualifications from UNE. Anne’s long held commitment to children of all abilities having equitable opportunities and optimal participation rights in early education has propelled her into her current research studies. This presentation provides a snapshot of Anne’s current study for her Research Masters at the University of New England, ‘Toward the identification of preschool children with twice exceptionality’. Anne’s UNE supervisors are Dr Michelle Bannister-Tyrrell, Dr Brenda Woldoko and Professor Jeff Bailey.


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