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Connecting like-minded learners through flexible grouping

Tracy Riley, Carola Sampson, Vanessa White, Janna Wardman, and Deborah Walker

Gifted students are often grouped by ability, across a continuum of inclusive education provisions, in order to facilitate learning with like-minded peers. The literature on like-mindedness is limited; research investigating preferences for how students and teachers perceive like-minded groupings is also limited. This article reports the results of interviews with four gifted students, their parents and teachers, specifically seeking to understand grouping preferences. The students’ preferences for working in groups were context, activity, and membership dependent. Students also reported wanting choice, control, and challenge in their groupings. The students demonstrated the need for flexible grouping as a means of facilitating academic and social development.

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