Identification of, and academic provision for high-ability science students: What does the literature say?

Over the last two decades, education inAustralia and New Zealand has focussed on improving student underachievement in schools. There is concern that this focus is having a negative impact on meeting the needs of high-ability students, including those who are potentially high-ability science students. It appearsthefreedom the national curriculum gives schools to identify and then provide for high-ability science students is problematic, and there is no clear picture emerging of how schools are identifying and providing for the learning needs of these students. This review of literature identifies toolsteachers may choose touse to identify high-ability students in science such asusinga range of characteristicscombined with evidence of students’substantive, procedural, and epistemologicalunderstandingsof science ideas.The means of meeting these students’ needs is considered within the extant literature, with curriculum acceleration identifed as the preferable approach to making appropriate academic provision for high-ability sciencestudents.