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Talent Development research

The following strands of research have been undertaken through the Talent Development Programmes within Brunel University London's Department of Education

Highlighting the possibility of enhancing student's learning potential at all stages of their education

A conceptualisation of giftedness and talent which draws on the theory of the existence of multiple talents in an individual and brain function research which highlights the possibility of enhancing student’s learning potential at all stages of their education, through carefully designed interventions.

Our conceptual framework of high ability and giftedness is shared with practitioners, professional bodies and other Universities through dissemination conferences and seminars. Our research findings, which are presented to various audiences, are of practical relevance for educating the gifted and talented in our schools.

The identification of and provision for gifted and talented students from socially deprived areas

Our research in the past decade has shown the existence of submerged talents in such areas. Through our research we have shown that, in many cases, talent may be submerged but not eradicated by disadvantage.

The fulfilment of hidden talents of students in inner-cities through carefully designed interventions has been a major part of our work. Hundreds of students aged 12 to 18 have attended  our intervention programmes on the Brunel University campus on Saturdays. The main aim of the Urban Scholars programme, as the intervention is referred to, is the raising of academic achievement and aspirations of urban teenagers.

Learner engagement in the three school core curriculum subject areas - English, mathematics and science

A Key Concepts model for teaching and learning mathematics for mathematically promising students has been designed. This model formed the basis of two government commissioned research projects in the past six years. The team wishes to build on this model of enrichment for both science and English teaching.

Nurturing gifted and talented children, commissioned by the Department for Education

We were commissioned by Department for Education to lead teachers in 14 local education authorities to conduct action research to explore the best ways of nurturing gifted and talented children, aged 4 to 7, who show high potential and unusual abilities.

The Gateway Model

Our research based model of curriculum planning for gifted and talented students, referred to as the Gateway Model, includes five elements in lesson planning which is being used by a number of practitioners across the country. These elements are advanced content, depth, creativity, critical thinking and metacognition.

Exploring teachers' perceptions of the concept of giftedness and their practices

We carried out a survey in 2010 of a national sample of teachers exploring the nature of their practices. We were able to compare the findings of the survey in 2010 to that of a survey conducted in 1996 with a similar sample.