Didactic Strategies and Competencies of Gifted Students in the Digital Era
This paper presents the findings of explorative research undertaken on an intentional sample consisting of 112 master’s students of pedagogy in Serbia, assumed to be potentially gifted and to have demonstrated academic giftedness, since their average mark during their studies was above 9.00 on a scale of 1.0 to 10.0. The intention was to examine the influence of didactic strategies and methods on the competencies of gifted students and thus verify the hypothesis on the significance of certain didactic strategies and methods for the contribution of higher education teaching in order to encourage intellectual autonomy in learning in the case of gifted university students. The method of systematic non-experimental observation was used, accompanied by an assessment scale used by students to estimate the level of the presence of the listed strategies, methods or procedures during studies and to what an extent learning and teaching strategies used in lectures, exercises, seminars, and consultations addressed their needs and contributed to the development of competencies. When making a choice between didactic strategies, methods and procedures, particular attention was paid to the 52 offered methods in order to include 30 of those that refer to problem learning,
creative approaches to learning, critical autonomy etc., and for the list of 35 competencies of which 30 refer to independent thinking and are elements of critical thinking and indicators of, above all, approaches to the learning of gifted students. The essential finding was that the achieved competencies with higher average values were, mostly, those that are important for intellectual functioning, but that were not directly connected to what explains critical thinking, intellectual autonomy, as well as to the knowledge of basic concepts, the understanding of facts, and the giving explanations of events.
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