The Imaginarium recognises that each gifted young lady is unique in her characteristics cognitively, socially and emotionally. Over a century of widespread research indicates gifted girls can have advanced socio-emotional development matching their advanced intelligence, however, environmental and psychosocial influences can hinder or promote their well-being and healthy relationships (Smith, 2017).
Courses for the Imaginarium are designed to incorporate a holistic approach for gifted girls. They foster curiosity, creativity and challenge according to the participant’s cognitive ability. Courses incorporate positive psychology, engaging students in constructive interactions and meaningful activities using collaborative and community interrelationships to support participants’ positive social and emotional growth.
Positive Education is a key focus area at Perth College which stems into the Imaginarium courses, with adaptations based on the unique characteristics of participants registered for each course. As much as each course focuses on providing challenging learning tasks for participants, of equal importance is their positive social and emotional growth. With both internal and external gifted girls participating in Imaginarium courses, the social and emotional strategies focus on helping students to extend their skills, knowledge and understanding in line with the five competences outlined in the CASEL guide: self-awareness (to understand their emotions), self-management (to self-regulate their emotions and behaviours), social awareness (to empathetically understand others), relationship skills (to engage in positive relationships), and responsible decision-making (to make constructive choices) (CASEL, 2015).
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). (2015). CASEL guide: Effective social and emotional learning programs: Middle and high school edition. Chicago, IL: CASEL.
Smith, S. R. (2017). Responding to the unique social and emotional learning needs of gifted Australian students. In E. Frydenberg, A. J. Martin, & R. J. Collie (Eds), Social Emotional Learning in Australia and the Asia-Pacific: Perspectives, Programs and Approaches, (pp. xxx-xxx), Springer. Author’s pre-published version of the chapter.