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Teachers conceptions of giftedness: What does it mean for young boys and girls?

Lee-Hammond, L. (2000) Teachers conceptions of giftedness: What does it mean for young boys and girls? Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 9 (2). pp. 24-32.

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Abstract

This paper reports on a study that examined early childhood teacher' s understandings of giftedness in young children and how these conceptions are shaped by their beliefs about gender. The research was prompted by an awareness of the underrepresentation of girls nominated for a university-based enrichment program run for gifted children 5-8 years-of-age. Overall, the enrichment program receives five times more nominations for boys than girls. Participants in this program are drawn from the metropolitan area of Brisbane, Australia. The study employed a qualitative research approach, utilising phenomenography and interpretive analysis. This approach allows the researcher to uncover the range of conceptions of particular phenomena through indepth qualitative interviews and to examine these from a gender perspective. A group of sixteen early childhood teachers were interviewed regarding their conceptions of the phenomenon of 'giftedness'. In analysing transcripts the researcher sought to answer the question 'How does this teacher see giftedness'? This led to the development of seven conceptions of giftedness arising directly form teacher descriptions. In the second phase of the research, the analysis turned to ways in which these conceptions of giftedness were shaped by beliefs about gender. Teachers were asked in the interview to describe what future scenario they envisaged for gifted girls and boys, and to distinguish if possible, between gifted girls and gifted boys.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/15497
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