Article Title

If only they would listen: The lifeworld of academically advanced elementary students


This study explored the lifeworld of six academically advanced elementary students in a school environment suited to their atypical needs. A phenomenological theoretical framework was used to discover the experiences of one female and one male from each of the year 4, 5, and 6 extension classes. The voices of the children themselves and their perspective of the benefits and disadvantages of attending a specialised school were heard through the phenomenological approach in this study. Differences between the genders rather than levels of giftedness were found to be the salient characteristics affecting the results of this study. Themes that emerged for both girls and boys centred on perceptions of challenge, awareness of personal differences, peer relations, friendship, interactions with teachers, school space and conception of time. In general the lifeworld of these children was more positive than they had previously encountered at past schools. They had experienced greater academic challenge and had instigated coping strategies for overcoming issues such as peer relations. However, the desire for even more academic challenge was evident in their words. [Author abstract]



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