Gagné, the DMTG and early childhood education

It is probably not everyone’s idea of a nice holiday, but I have been re-reading Gagné’s journal articles and other papers with additional interest in preparation for his return to Australia… (see the NSWAGTC December eNewsletter about the event). For those readers who do not know Gagné’s work, his Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT), is the predominantly accepted gifted model now used in Australia, and it forms the basis of the most recently updated gifted policy for NSW public schools. You can read more about the policy at: http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/policies/gats/programs/organisation/definitions.htm.
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To School or Not to School, That is The Question

I’m not normally a fan of Miranda Devine’s opinion pieces, but last weekend (Jan 31-1 Feb, SMH News Review, p.7) she wrote an article that could change my mind about her writing altogether. She was quoting research that demonstrate the lack of substance to the majority opinion within the Early Childhood field that children should be held back from school for as long as possible – especially boys.
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Victory for early entry in Victoria

For those who do not know, I have a gifted consultancy with a website, and I can be contacted via email through the website. As it is available on the world wide web, I sometimes get email enquiries from other parts of the country. Last August I received an email from a mother in Ballarat, Victoria, who thought she had a very gifted little girl, and had read my article on early entry (available on this website). She wanted more information, and I sent her some advice.

I suggested that she should have her little girl’s IQ tested, so that she had some credible evidence to show the school where she intended to enrol her child. Yesterday she contacted me again to thank me, and to let me know the outcome of her attempts at enrolling her daughter in a school. Suffice it to say that the first school would not enrol her child, as they thought her too young. But mum did not give up, and finally found a school principal who was willing to enrol her child. She writes that her daughter had no problem settling in, and was more ready than some of the older children who are in her class. The story made the front page of the Ballarat Courier. Please find the link for the local news story.

Long hours in care & multiple care = poor school performance

The first large Australian longitudinal study on the effects of child care on children’s adjustment and achievement indicates that long hours in care, and multiple care arrangements in the early years (for example, the baby or young child would attend a number of different care situations each week such as be with the nanny in the morning, dropped off at long day care during the day and perhaps attend a family day care carer’s home some of the time), were predictors of lower literacy scores.
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More research about who make the best carers – mothers or others

I went to Macquarie University today to listen to a presentation by Professor Michael Keane, a distinguished finance and economics researcher at the University of Technology. As you may have guessed by now, my interests are somewhat removed from the cold world of ‘human resources’, productivity, and statistics, and the only reason I went to listen to this presentation was the unusual research topic, especially coming from an economist.
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