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Fairness and equity for the gifted and talented student: Exploring differentiated assessment

Shelleyann Scott and Donald E. Scott

Even though many nations include gifted and talented (G&T) students within their inclusion policies these students’ particular needs are frequently neglected or ignored owing to prevailing perceptions that they will thrive regardless of the classroom or school environment. We explore definitions of fairness and equity and common identifying characteristics of G&T students. As an extension of fairness and equity, the “what”, “how”, and “why” of differentiated assessment for G&T students is discussed and encompasses the following issues: teacher control versus freedom for students; curricula decisions such as aligning assessments with curricula outcomes, providing accelerated curriculum and assessments, and greater complexity and challenge; and assessment types and features, for example the need for multiple opportunities and variety in assessments, and performance-based and authentic assessments. We provide focus questions educators can use to interrogate personal beliefs about, and commitment to, G&T students, and associated assessment considerations.

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