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Teachers' conceptions of gifted and talented young children

Lee-Hammond, L.ORCID: 0000-0002-9699-7508 (1999) Teachers' conceptions of gifted and talented young children. High Ability Studies, 10 (2). pp. 183-196.

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Efforts by schools to cater more adequately for highly able students necessitate a shared understanding regarding the gifted and talented. This research aims to ascertain the qualitatively different ways in which teachers identify and describe gifted and talented children. It examines the variety of conceptions of giftedness held by teachers and analyses the patterns and inconsistencies among them. Initial findings of the study, conducted with 16 early childhood teachers (two male and 14 female), are reported. A qualitative phenomenographic research design was adopted because of its focus on revealing individual understandings (conceptions). These results show that teachers understand giftedness as a series of conceptions, namely excellence, potential, rarity, behaviour, innate ability, motivation and asynchrony. These are discussed with reference to existing theories and pertinent research. Results represent the initial findings of an ongoing major research project.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
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