More than passion: The role of the gifted education coordinator in Australasian schools

Lesley Henderson, Jane Jarvis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Many schools in Australia and New Zealand appoint a dedicated coordinator to take responsibility for the education of gifted or academically advanced students, although the exact number is unknown and may represent a minority of all schools. This coordination role can be complex, with potential responsibilities including educating and supporting teachers about gifted students; designing and implementing provisions for gifted students; and negotiating with school leaders, parents and others. However, very little research has examined the role of the gifted education coordinator in mainstream schools or explored its specific opportunities and challenges. In this chapter, findings from survey research in 1 Australian state that examined the experiences of 40 gifted education coordinators across government, independent and Catholic schools are presented. While the context and generalisability of this research may be limited, the discussion is framed in relation to the broader literature about educational leadership, gifted programs and professional learning to improve outcomes for gifted students. Findings suggest that gifted education coordinators may be passionate and derive satisfaction from their engagement with gifted students, but they may also be challenged by a lack of perceived time, resources and recognition for their work and can struggle to define their role and balance a broad range of responsibilities. Implications are highlighted for professional learning and further research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of giftedness and talent development in the Asia-Pacific
EditorsSusen Smith
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-13-3021-6
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2019

Publication series

NameSpringer International Handbooks of Education
PublisherSpringer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd
ISSN (Print)2197-1951
ISSN (Electronic)2197-196X


  • gifted education coordinator
  • educational leadership
  • professional learning


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