Research on gifted children

(+) articles are published Open Access and are freely accessible. (€) articles can be accessed by journal subscribers only or can be purchased individually.

2016: Grade skipping and the achievements of girls (€)

The aim of the present study is to assess and document the experiences of schools, parents, adolescents, and, finally, adults with grade skipping in Germany to form recommendations for handling this type of acceleration. This article is based on three studies on grade skipping; two studies conducted in schools in Lower Saxony, Germany, spanned the years 1980–2001, the first including questionnaires for parents and interviews with adolescents. The third study, conducted in 2012, consists of questionnaires for adults born between 1917 and 1987. Overall, the schools reported few intellectual problems and slightly more emotional or social ones. As for the parents, for 97% of the girls and 88% of the boys it had been the right decision. The adolescents were much happier in the higher grades as they felt they fitted in better despite some problems with older students. Of the adults, 89% of the females and 78% of the males reported they would grade skip again if conditions were the same. When problems occurred, findings revealed that when handling grade skipping, mistakes had been made due to a lack of knowledge of acceleration.

Annette Heinbokel (2016) Grade skipping and the achievements of girls, Gifted and Talented International, 30:1-2, 39-48, DOI: 10.1080/15332276.2015.1137453
Genre: Research on gifted adults, Research on gifted children
Series: Gifted and Talented International | Onderwerpen: Germany

2016: What contributes to gifted adolescent females’ talent development at a high-achieving, secondary girls’ school? (€)

The purpose of this research was to examine what contributes to gifted adolescent females’ talent development at a high-achieving girls’ school. Using Kronborg’s (2010) Talent Development Model for Eminent Women as a theoretical framework, this research examined the conditions that supported and those that hindered the participants’ talent development in the setting of their secondary girls’ school. In this qualitative study, semistructured interviews were conducted with six gifted females, 17–20 years of age, who were all identified as gifted and who achieved highly in one or more talent domains during their years at their former high-achieving secondary girls’ school. The findings of this research support the theoretical framework. The themes found to support these participants’ talent development were psychological qualities, individual abilities, opportunities to achieve in talent domain(s), allies in the family, allies beyond the family, passionate engagement in talent domain, and feelings and experiences of difference. These findings add support to the themes Kronborg (2010) found in her Talent Development Model of Eminent Women.

Charlotte Tweedale & Leonie Kronborg (2016) What contributes to gifted adolescent females’ talent development at a high-achieving, secondary girls’ school?, Gifted and Talented International, 30:1-2, 6-18, DOI: 10.1080/15332276.2015.1137450

Genre: Research on gifted adults, Research on gifted children
Series: Gifted and Talented International | Onderwerpen: Australia

2014: Conceptions of giftedness and expertise put to the empirical test (€)

Recent handbooks of giftedness or expertise propose a plethora of conceptions on the development of excellent performance but, to our knowledge, there are no comparative studies that provide empirical evidence of their validity to guide researchers and practitioners in their adoption of a particular conception. This study sought to close that gap by conducting an empirical comparison of the major approaches to giftedness and expertise currently in use: the IQ model, the performance model, the moderator model, and the systemic model. The four models were tested in a longitudinal study with a sample of N = 350 German students attending university preparatory schools; 25% of the sample had been assigned to special classes for the gifted. The construct and predictive validity of the four models were tested by means of structural equation modeling. Theoretical considerations along with our results indicated a differentiation among the models whereby some could only predict while others could also explain the emergence of excellent performance and thereby yield valuable information for the design of interventions. The empirical comparison of the approaches showed that they were unequally suited for the two challenges. For prediction purposes, the performance approach proved best while, for explanations, the moderator and systemic approaches were the most promising candidates. Even so, the latter did demonstrate conceptual and/or methodological problems. The IQ approach was superseded by the other approaches on both prediction and explanation. Implications and limitations of the findings are discussed.

Bettina Harder, Wilma Vialle & Albert Ziegler (2014) Conceptions of giftedness and expertise put to the empirical test, High Ability Studies, 25:2, 83-120, DOI: 10.1080/13598139.2014.968462

Genre: Concepts of giftedness, Research on gifted children
Series: High Ability Studies | Onderwerpen: Germany

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