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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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2.7.9 ChallenGE Project: Applying design-thinking and design-based research to improve outcomes for gifted students

Applying a design-thinking model to gifted education enables teachers/leaders to develop tailored programs for gifted students in their specific context. Nearly one third of schools in the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA) have elected to join AISSA’s ChallenGE Project, in partnership with Flinders University, inspired by the question “how might we improve outcomes for our highly able students?” This paper will present the design-thinking model that has been adapted and developed for the ChallenGE Project, and outline the parallel research project, using design-based methodology, that will monitor and evaluate the efficacy and impact of this intervention.


Janet Farrall
Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA)

Janet works as a Senior Educational Consultant at The Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA). She has extensive experience in the field of Gifted Education and is the ChallenGE Project lead. Janet conducts workshops on the General Capabilities of Critical and Creative Thinking and Ethical Understanding in the Australian Curriculum, in order to build teacher capacity to meet the needs of all learners, including the gifted. She also works with school leaders to provide assistance with identifying gifted students and differentiating the curriculum to meet their needs.

Alice Duffield
Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA)

Alice has extensive experience in special education, both as a teacher and educational consultant. Her particular interests include supporting teachers to effectively cater for students with diverse needs in the areas of curriculum development and improving outcomes for gifted students. Alice currently works for the AISSA as a Senior Education Consultant and as the Coordinator of Special Education Services. She sits on the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Children and Students with Disabilities.

Desiree Gilbert
Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA)

Desiree works as a Consultant at AISSA. She has extensive experience in Numeracy and Mathematics. Desiree provides advice and support to schools in designing a range of professional learning opportunities to build teacher capacity. Her focus is on curriculum development and meeting the needs of all students, including the gifted. Desiree has published two books supporting practical classroom strategies in literacy and numeracy and is currently engaged in Doctoral research in the area of pedagogical change.

Lesley Henderson
Flinders University

Lesley coordinates the Gifted Education specialization at Flinders University and is the Assistant Dean, Teaching and Learning in the School of Education. She is the SA Director on the Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented (AAEGT), and the AAEGT representative on the Australian Alliance of Associations in Education (AAAE).


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