Heterogeneity across Australian ICT policies for education of gifted students
This paper critically evaluates the current status of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policies for gifted education in Australia, highlighting the lack of a comprehensive understanding and analysis of the heterogeneity across these policies. Despite the increasing recognition of the importance of ICT's importance in meeting the unique needs of gifted learners, there is a dearth of research systematically investigating the variations in policy frameworks, approaches to ICT integration, and their impact on educational outcomes for gifted students. This research problem necessitates an in-depth exploration of the heterogeneous nature of Australian ICT policies and their implications for promoting equitable access and fostering effective educational experiences. To address this gap, relevant policy documents and research articles on Australian ICT policies for gifted education were collected via Scopes, Web of Sciences, and Google Scholar. The search yielded six policy documents and 14 critical research articles. Our findings reveal that while Australia has definite policies for educating gifted students, these policy documents rarely mention ICT policies specifically related to gifted education. In fact, many elements of these policies only imply use of ICT as facilitation factors. Research articles highlight the inadequacies of sufficient ICT policies for gifted children in rural and remote locations, especially as they pertain to Aboriginal peoples, thereby violating the principles of equity in education. Moreover, the performance of gifted students on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects has been declining on international tests, indicating the inadequacies of Australian policies for the education of gifted students in these areas. Here, ICT policies can provide substantial solutions to address these challenges.
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College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, Youngstown State University