Defining a research community
The following chapter aspires to demonstrate convincingly that a carefully assembled group of gifted and talented (G + T) pupils collectively called a research community or RC could help to solve many complicated and serious social problems facing individuals and schools. At the same time this RC would address the participants’ strong need to express themselves far more creatively than applies at present in many schools where their obvious skills and potential contributions are underutilised. There is a history to this but we will leave that particular investigation to educational historians and sociologists. We see pupils endowed with enormous assets who could offer so much more to their schools if they were given the proper opportunity. They could promote social justice, reduce marginalisation, encourage participatory citizenship and reduce waste of time and effort. They could effectively harness and utilise the energy of pupils that is often diverted into antisocial behaviour that can substantially reduce what is learned in school.