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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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2.11.6 Thriving or surviving: Gifted students reflect on their senior high school experiences with high-stakes assessment

What comes to mind when gifted students reflect on their final school years, and their school journey in general? How do students manage a major high-stakes assessment scheme that may determine their entry to further study and possible careers? This presentation will discuss the findings of a study that interviewed a cohort of gifted students about their school experiences with high-stakes assessment after they had gone to the next step in their lives. The participants reflected on feelings of pressure, workload, procrastination, underachievement, boredom, lack of challenge, and the forced-choice between achieving their potential or living a normal teenage life.


Ben North
New South Wales Department of Education

Dr Ben North is Principal Research Officer for the NSW Department of Education based at the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE). He is an experienced accredited secondary head teacher. Ben has worked with schools and systems across the world on projects such as differentiation, data analysis, policy development, and program evaluation. He is a recipient of the NSW Director-General’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Ben completed his Masters and Doctorate at UNSW in gifted education and educational psychology where he works as a casual academic. His research interests include factors that support and impede high achievement in high-ability students.

Susen Smith
UNSW Australia

Dr Susen Smith is Senior Lecturer in Gifted and Special Education and GERRIC Senior Research Fellow at the UNSW, Australia. Her research interests include: Differentiating curriculum and pedagogy for gifted students. She has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University, CUNY, and the Hong Kong Institute of Education, guest editor of the Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, is published and keynoted at Australian and international conferences. Susen has acquired several competitive research grants and received the UNE Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Achievements in Interdisciplinary Research Innovation and the UNSW Excellence in Postgraduate Research Award from the UNSW Arc Postgraduate Council.

Miraca Gross
UNSW Australia

Professor Miraca Gross is Emeritus Professor of Gifted Education in UNSW's School of Education as well as Director of GERRIC. She is recognised nationally and internationally as a leading authority on the education of gifted and talented students.

She began her career as a teacher and has 22 years' experience as a classroom teacher and school administrator in State education systems in Scotland and Australia. For 12 years, she was a specialist teacher of gifted and talented children in several different classroom settings, including the regular classroom, cluster grouped classes, pullout programs, and full-time classes.


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