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Policy and practice in gifted education

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The main purpose of this study was to investigate how policy has become practice in the area of gifted education in the New South Wales government school system. In general, it was a heuristic study of the articulation of policy and practice.

A conceptual framework applied to the policy process was used to consider the extent to which the policy intent was realised. At each level of the policy process perceptions and practice were revealed through interviews, documents, content analyses and, in addition, at the school level, through questionnaires as part of a case study approach.

The study clarified and gave validity to general assumptions in the areas of policy-making and gifted education. Findings showed that providing for gifted and talented children was not a priority, was not systematic and was not routine. Specifics were lacking through the policy process, resulting in the ad hoc nature of provision for gifted children which varied according to individual initiatives. As the then Minister for Education saw it, the situation was ‘a pepper pot of exciting activities alongside inaction (Metherell 1989).

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Forster, J. Policy and practice in gifted education. Aust. Educ. Res. 18, 21–36 (1991).

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  • Policy Process
  • South Wale
  • Administrative Level
  • Strategic Level
  • Policy Intent