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119 - Gifted Child Quarterly http/gcq.sagepub.com A Case...

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http://gcq.sagepub.com Gifted Child Quarterly DOI: 10.1177/001698620605000204 2006; 50; 119 Gifted Child Quarterly Ben Graffam Practitioners A Case Study of Teachers of Gifted Learners: Moving From Prescribed Practice to Described http://gcq.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/50/2/119 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: National Association for Gifted Children can be found at: Gifted Child Quarterly Additional services and information for http://gcq.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://gcq.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://gcq.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/50/2/119 Citations by Katherine Prammer on April 21, 2009 http://gcq.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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A C A S E S T U D Y O F T E A C H E R S O F G I F T E D L E A R N E R S G I F T E D C H I L D Q U A R T E R L Y • S P R I N G 2 0 0 6 • V O L 5 0 N O 2 1 1 9 In her chapter on teachers of gifted learners, Croft (2003) writes: “Isolating the characteristics and com- petencies unique to effective teachers of the gifted is a challenge. Many of the attributes delineated in research in gifted education correspond to characteristics neces- sary for any teaching success” (p. 560). She rightfully tells us that teachers of gifted learners need and develop skill areas that teachers in general education do not require. She reports the research (e.g., see Hansen & Feldhusen, 1994) that demonstrates how specific preparation for teaching gifted learners is essential to teaching success in those classrooms. This paper hopes to take Croft’s (2003) remarks one step further: In order for teachers of gifted learners to be effectively prepared for teaching in those classrooms, more descriptive research of “expert” teachers needs to be conducted. Prescriptions and lists of characteristics cannot a teacher make; rather, sets of described practices need to be available, for new and seasoned teachers alike, as models of better practices. Without such models, there is a risk of falling into the problems Tomlinson et al. (1994) warned of: overlooking creative gifted learners, narrow understandings of differentiation and instruction, and a “shallow well of strategies for responding to aca- demic diversity” (p. 111). B a c k g r o u n d The National Association for Gifted Children’s (NAGC) publication list for 2003 details 35 major texts. Several themes appear, including middle school philoso- phy, cooperative learning strategies, program evaluation, A Case Study of Teachers of Gifted Learners: Moving From Prescribed Practice to Described Practitioners Ben Graffam University of South Florida A B S T R A C T Two exemplary teachers of gifted learners were studied in order to get a better understanding of both teacher practices and teacher thoughts about those practices. Through extensive observation and in-depth interviews, these teachers demonstrated and discussed the qualities they felt to be essential for educating gifted learners. Though each teacher
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