Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

The unit will explore the concept of giftedness and consider the complex needs and issues related to giftedness. Pre-service teachers will analyse and critique current programs and provisions for gifted and talented learners. Through exploring evidence based practice and current research pre-service teachers will develop specific competence in supporting gifted and talented students.

The aim of this unit is to assist pre-service teachers to develop an advanced understanding of the characteristics and needs of students who are gifted and talented.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Apply a broad understanding of the definition of giftedness and the criteria and means of identifying giftedness (GA5, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.3)

LO2 - Present a clear and coherent exposition of the characteristics and needs of gifted and talented students and the myths and misconceptions of giftedness (GA1, GA5, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.3)

LO3 - Critically analyse and evaluate current programs making recommendations for improvements (GA4, GA8; APST 1.3, 1.5, 3.6, 4.1, 5.4)

LO4 - Exhibit coherent and advanced knowledge of giftedness through a review of the literature of evidence based practice and research in the area (GA4, GA8; APST 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 4.1, 6.2)

LO5 - Collaborate with families and other professionals to enhance the support for gifted students through developing strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially (GA1, GA5; APST 1.3, 3.1, 4.5, 5.5, 7.3, 7.4).

Graduate attributes

GA1 - Demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

1.5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities. 

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

5.4 Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.

5.5 Demonstrate understanding of a range of strategies for reporting to students and parents/carers and the purpose of keeping accurate and reliable records of student achievement.

6.2 Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.

7.3 Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers.

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.


Topics will include:

  • Definition, characteristics and concepts of giftedness
  • Diverse approaches to identification and assessment
  • Policy, programs and provisions in gifted education, especially: differentiation; peer grouping; and acceleration
  • Collaboration with families and other professionals, including reporting, assessment and tracking issues
  • Key issues and barriers affecting gifted learners, including: access to services; gender issues; bias and stereotype; myths and misunderstandings; perfectionism, underachievement; asynchronous development; social and emotional issues; social rejection; diverse cultural perspectives of giftedness, and partnership with families
  • Evidence-based literature and resources to support professional practice and learning.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Pre-service teachers will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to progress and demonstrate their understandings in this unit. The unit will be offered nationally online. Where there are sufficient local enrolments, blended delivery may be offered. The unit delivery will consist of a digital core with the expectation of students working with these materials for a minimum of three hours or equivalent each week.


This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester (or equivalent in intensive mode). Students should anticipate engaging with the online materials, workshop/tutorial attendance (where applicable), readings, discussion forums and assignment preparation.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements and the development of Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Graduate Level. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to, essays, reports, examinations, online activities, student presentations and case studies.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome.

This unit requires that two assessment tasks be completed. The total of assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 5,000 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Case Study of a gifted individual, including description of abilities, identification of gifted characteristics, collaborative support, and differentiated planning to meet individual needs.


LO1, LO2, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 2

Critical analysis of a selected issue of relevance to collaborative practice and educational provisions for the gifted case study individual discussed in assessment task 1. For example social and emotional issues, twice exceptional learners, or cultural perspectives.


LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Colangelo, N., & Davis, G. (2003). (Eds). Handbook of gifted education (3rd ed.). Boston: Allym & Bacon.

Davis, G., Rimm, S., & Siegle, D. (2011). Education of the gifted and talented (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Harrison, C. (2006). Young gifted children – Their search for complexity and connection. Southern Highlands, NSW: Inscript Publishing.

Moltzen, R. (2012). Gifted and talented: New Zealand perspectives (3rd ed.). Auckland, NZ: Pearson.

Piechowski, M. (2010). “Mellow out,” they say. If I only could. Intensities and sensitivities of the young and bright. Madison, WI: Yunasa Books. 

Porter, L. (2005). Gifted young children: A guide for teachers and parents (2nd ed.). Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Silverman, L. (2014). Giftedness 101. New York, NY: Springer.

VanTassel-Baska, J., & Little, C. (Eds.). (2011). Content-based curriculum for gifted learners. Waco, Tx: Prufrock Press.

Vialle, W. (Ed). (2011). Giftedness from an Indigenous perspective. Sydney, NSW: Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented.

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