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The learning experiences and preferred teaching strategies of children who have been identified as Gifted with ADHD

This qualitative study investigated the educational and social experiences of six children who had been identified as Gifted with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The children were aged from six to ten years old. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the children and their parents and a staff member of the George Parkyn Centre (now The Gifted Education Centre) to explore their educational and social experiences in order to identify their preferred strategies that were also expected to be the most effective educational strategies. It is important to identify effective educational strategies for Gifted children with ADHD. This is because there are children in New Zealand (as this study has found) who have been identified as Gifted with ADHD but according to the literature review conducted for this study there does not appear to be a significant amount of literature from New Zealand or international writers that informs educators about how to assist these children to learn. Instead, the literature appeared to focus on misdiagnosis of Giftedness as ADHD, however, these children may benefit from having assistance with their learning as some literature suggested they are not being identified and could be underachievers. It seems that the use of effective educational strategies may be the only way these children could reach their academic potential. Therefore, this study sought to move on from the misdiagnosis debate evident in the Gifted/ADHD literature to identify some effective educational strategies. This study also investigated the social experiences of Gifted children with ADHD. This is because the literature maintained Gifted children with ADHD could have difficulties with social interactions. Talking to the children about their social interactions could indicate whether the literature's implications are correct and if they are it should allow further understanding regarding how we could assist the Gifted child with ADHD to have more positive social interactions that could also positively impact on learning as social interactions occur within the classroom. The key findings of this study indicated that some Gifted children with had specific learning preferences that could stimulate them to learn (e.g., when their interests were recognised, information was presented visually, tasks had a meaningful purpose and movement and use of computers was allowed). Ineffective educational strategies were also addressed although not in detail as for the most part they seemed to be the opposite of effective educational strategies. The findings also indicated Gifted children with ADHD could benefit when they find their 'true peer' as this seemed to result in the children within this study wanting to work with others. Although specific suggestions were recommended (e.g., the use Renzulli's 1977 Enrichment Triad Model) the findings emphasised the depth of information that could be gained by simply talking to children and their parents about their learning. A wider implication may be this Gifted group of children may benefit from the use of specific educational strategies that personalise their learning.
Type of thesis
Edwards, K. (2008). The learning experiences and preferred teaching strategies of children who have been identified as Gifted with ADHD (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2373
The University of Waikato
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