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Effective Pedagogy for Bright and Twice-Exceptional Students

When I was interviewed for the job of being the Head of School for Madrona in May of 2022 one of the questions I was asked was what makes for good pedagogy when it comes to education for bright, gifted, and often twice-exceptional students?  It was a great question and one that I revisit on a daily basis as I think about the education opportunities for students at Madrona.

To support our gifted learners, we implement a variety of specialized strategies designed to engage and challenge them at the appropriate level. This includes differentiated instruction within the classroom, where tasks are tailored to suit varying levels of ability and learning styles. We also offer opportunities for project-based learning, where students can dive deep into subjects of interest, developing their research skills and fostering a passion for in-depth learning. These projects not only encourage intellectual growth but also help in developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are invaluable throughout life.

Madrona makes every effort to accelerate and compact learning where appropriate, as a number of our students do not need to spend as long learning certain concepts and are ready to move on to other material at a more rapid pace than some of their peers.  This isn’t about winning an education race, it is about meeting students where they are at and supporting all of our learners in the best way possible.  To make a student who already has mastered a concept sit and repeat the learning process again and again is unfair to that student and can lead to undesired outcomes, such as boredom with the subject and, eventually, possibly some behavioural challenges.

Furthermore, Madrona is dedicated to creating a supportive community where our bright and gifted students can thrive socially and emotionally. We understand that these children often experience heightened sensitivity and awareness, and may feel different from their peers. By ensuring these students feel understood and valued, we enhance their emotional and social development alongside their academic achievements.

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