What is Differentiation?

Bainbridge (2011) believes differentiation is the practice of making lessons different to accomodate the different needs of all students in the classroom.

A majority of students including gifted and talented students complete the majority of their schooling in mainstream classrooms.Within these classrooms students differ in abilities, preferred learning styles, prior knowledge and interests. Recognising and providing for these needs is curriculum differentiation. (Education Qld, 2011)

It is essential that the needs of gifted and talented students are recognised and addressed. Effective teaching strategies and inclusive classrooms will enhance and stimulated the gifted and talented student and provide essential learning.
Genius in the Exclusive Classroom.
Interesting Fact
Albert Einstein was gifted. According to stories he never learnt to talk until he was 4 years of age.He hated school because he felt the rote learning held back his creativity.
                                                                      (Markusic, 2009)
Could boring routines be holding back your students creativity?

Where do I start?

As with any student who has special needs it is essential to follow certain protocols. The gifted student is no exception to these procedures and may require the same or more intervention than that of a learning support student. Below is an outline of how this process could be managed.
Image created by Julie Hanak


The Learning Support teacher may implement a compacted curriculum or certain activities/resources for specific areas in the students gifted areas.

Classroom Support

Teacher Aides/classroom helpers may work individually with a student on extension activities specifically designed for the students gifted area.

Self Directed Tasks

The self directed tasks would incorporate learning contracts, learning objects, webquests, virtual classrooms and virtual schooling etc.

Extension Programs

This may incorporate spending time in a higher grade for certain subjects or accessing extension subjects via virtual schooling.


After initial identification or continued observation acceleration may be indicated as the most effective means of meeting the student's needs.