Journal for the Education of the Gifted

Members of CEC-TAG receive four issues of the Journal for the Education of the Gifted plus online access to current and past issues.  To sample the wide array of topic and expertise, abstracts from all four issues of volume 34 (2011) follow.

Go to SAGES Publications for information about the journal including submissions. For first-time users, please activate your account. For immediate online access, members must log in.

Dr. Tracy L. Cross, The College of William and Mary, serves as editor.

If you are interested in submitting an article for possible publication in the journal, please follow these instructions.

Volume 34, Issue 1

Developing Assessment Profiles for Mathematically Gifted Children with Learning Difficulties at Three Schools in Cambridgeshire, England

Anies Al-Hroub

This paper focuses on critical issues related to the identification of mathematically gifted children with learning difficulties (LDs). One purpose of the study is to broaden teachers’ and educators’ insight into the identification of gifted students with LD s, sometimes referred to as dual-exceptional children. A multiple case study approach was adopted and 5 case study profiles of mathematically gifted students with LDs in Years 4–6, ages 9 to 11 years and 5 months, were developed. An assessment plan was used to combine aspects of LDs and giftedness in an attempt to provide a multidimensional evaluation. The students received a multidimensional assessment, which indicates that psychometric test scores need to be supplemented with dynamic and informal assessments; historical data; task analysis of permanent products; and information from parents, teachers, and students.

 

Longitudinal Change and Maternal Influence on Occupational Aspirations of Gifted Female American and German Adolescents

Jennifer Nepper Fiebig and Erin Beauregard

This study assessed 43 gifted adolescent females in the United States and Germany over a 4-year period (in 7th or 8th grade and again during the 11th or 12th grade). Factors that were examined included the daughter’s career selection, the prestige level and the education required to pursue that career, and the impact of the mother’s gender role attitudes on these factors. Both American and German girls remained consistent in their career selections over time and selected moderately prestigious careers. German girls, as compared to American, selected less traditional female occupations and careers that require more educational training. Giftedness, cultural differences, and the implications for career counseling of gifted adolescent females are addressed.

 

Perfectionism among Chinese Gifted and Nongifted Students in Hong Kong: The Use of the Revised Almost Perfect Scale

David W. Chan

This study investigated the structure of perfectionism based on the Almost Perfect Scale–Revised with a sample of 320 gifted students aged 7 to 12 and a sample of 882 nongifted students of similar ages in Hong Kong. Multigroup confirmatory factor analyses across the two student groups supported a common three-dimensional model that included constructs of high personal standards, order and organization, and perception of discrepancy between standards and performance. Both a rational approach and an empirical clustering procedure yielded three clusters of students interpreted as unhealthy perfectionists, nonperfectionists, and healthy perfectionists. Unhealthy perfectionists had pervasively high scores on all three dimensions, healthy perfectionists had high scores on standards and order and low scores on discrepancy, and nonperfectionists had pervasively low scores on all three dimensions. Implications of the findings for future research on perfectionism and the promotion of positive perfectionism are discussed.

 

Examining the Underrepresentation of Underserved Students in Gifted Programs From a Transformational Leadership Vantage Point

Sharon Michael-Chadwell

Within the United States, the underrepresentation of historically underserved student groups continues to be a phenomenon in gifted and talented (GT) programs. In a phenomenological study exploring teachers’ and African American parents’ perceptions of the underrepresentation of gifted African American students, four themes emerged from the study. Those themes are: (a) misperceptions regarding a student’s race and ability; (b) the lack of parent awareness programs about issues related to gifted and talented education; (c) the need for professional development training related to the needs of minority gifted students; and (d) issues related to testing and assessment instrumentation. A paradigm shift in leadership and GT program practices must occur to reduce identification and placement gaps. The Chadwell Transformative Model for Gifted Program Reform is a means to improve the identification and placement of historically underserved students into gifted and talented programs.

 

Beyond Testing: Social and Psychological Considerations in Recruiting and Retaining Gifted Black Students

Donna Y. Ford and Gilman W. Whiting

For more than a half century, concerns have existed about the persistent underrepresentation of African American students in gifted education and Advanced Placement classes. Various recommendations to reverse underrepresentation have been proposed, with the majority focusing on testing and assessment instruments. Nonetheless, progress has been inadequate as underrepresentation persists at high levels nationally, especially among Black males. Clearly, we must continue to find more effective tests and instruments, but we cannot stop there. In this article, we propose that, in the process of focusing on more effective ways to recruit and retain African American students, greater attention must be given to social and psychological factors, namely peer pressures and racial identity. Equally important, we must consider gender—the differential experiences of Black males and females. The discussion of these issues is followed by recommendations for change for educators.

 

Students Make Sure the Cherokees Are Not Removed . . . Again: A Study of Service-Learning and Artful Learning in Teaching History

Alice W. Terry and Thomas Panter

Bringing history alive in one Southern, suburban middle school, this application of community-action service-learning and Artful Learning is chronicled from inception to conclusion. This qualitative participatory action research study explored the effects of this program on 8th-grade gifted students. The purpose of the study was to examine one specific, successful program involving gifted students in a Learn and Serve America grant project site in reference to the service-learning and Artful Learning Models. The results showed improved achievement and suggested enhanced metacognition, self-efficacy, and altruism. The students were actively involved in their own learning, eventually making a difference in their community.

Volume 34, Issue 2

How Fine Motor Skills Influence the Assessment of High Abilities and Underachievement in Math

Albert Ziegler and Heidrun Stoeger

Previously, fine motor skills have been of little or no interest to giftedness research. New lines of thought have been advanced that imply that fine motor skills can be of significance in the identification of gifted persons as well as gifted underachievers. This would also have consequences for the diagnostic process underlying identification. An empirical investigation with 788 fourth-grade pupils could show that fine motor skills have an incremental predictive value for mathematics achievement beyond cognitive abilities. Among pupils who had been identified as gifted by either an IQ test that places high demands on fine motor skills or an IQ test that places low demands on fine motor skills, only about every fourth child was identified by both intelligence tests. Furthermore, it could be shown that, when using the IQ test that places low demands on fine motor skills, more underachievers could be identified than with the test that places high demands on fine motor skills. The discussion offers several recommendations for the selection of IQ tests best suited for the identification of gifted students in general and gifted underachievers.

 

The Phenomenon of Waiting in Class

Marie E. Peine and Laurence J. Coleman

Gifted children often complain about waiting in class to learn. A qualitative study of 16 children in elementary and middle school in grades 1–8 revealed that sitting and waiting was a universal ingredient of being gifted in those regular classrooms. Children experienced 3 kinds of waiting: school/classroom, instructional, and assignment. Grounded theory uncovered the variations in context producing waiting and the actions children use when encountering each type. Waiting is neither necessarily boring nor does it exist for every gifted child. Gifted children’s voices illustrate how they experience life in the classroom. Implications of the findings for rethinking teaching, teacher evaluation, and classroom management are discussed.

 

Effects of Task Difficulty and Teacher Attention on the Off-Task Behavior of High-Ability Students with Behavior Issues

Brandi Simonsen, Catherine A. Little and Sarah Fairbanks

This study used traditional behavioral assessment procedures (functional behavioral assessment and structural analysis) in a single-subject design to determine whether a functional relationship existed between (a) levels of task difficulty and teacher attention and (b) off-task behavior in 3 students identified as highly able in mathematics who also showed consistent behavior issues. Students’ rates of off-task behavior were observed while working under varying conditions of task difficulty and teacher attention. Results indicated that higher rates of off-task behaviors were associated with low attention conditions. Task difficulty did not appear to have a consistent relationship with student behavior.

 

Nurturing a Garden: A Qualitative Investigation into School Counselors’ Experiences With Gifted Students

Susannah M. Wood

There has been a noticeable lack of research concerning how gifted adolescents work with school counselors. The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to investigate K–12 school counselors’ knowledge of and experience with gifted students. An emergent, inductive data analysis of interviews and written artifacts of school counselors revealed the following 8 major themes: the counseling relationship, experience with gifted traits, challenge and rigor, beliefs and philosophy, identification and services, collaborative relationships, concerns and constraints, and training and knowledge. Implications for school counselor training regarding service delivery to gifted students and areas for future research are included.

 

Bilinguality and Giftedness in a Canadian Public School: Toward a New Approach to Accommodating Bilinguals within a Monolingual Classroom

Dmitri Priven

This exploratory study investigates the intersection of bilinguality and giftedness in the public school system in Ontario and the connection between the bilinguality of gifted immigrant minority language (IML) speakers and their giftedness. Following a series of semistructured interviews with gifted pupils and teachers in the gifted program in an Ontario elementary school, it was concluded that the bilinguality of gifted IML students who are literate in their home language is not utilized for either curricular or community-building purposes. Drawing on recent research in psycholinguistics of bilinguality, this paper argues that the bilinguality of gifted IML students constitutes a cognitive asset that should be used for curricular purposes in the gifted program, suggesting potential ways to accommodate the continued bilingual development of the students within the largely monolingual framework of the Ontario curriculum. These potential ways are situated within the current research on biliteracy and critical literacy

Improving Performance for Gifted Students in a Cluster Grouping Model

Dina Brulles, Rachel Saunders and Sanford J. Cohn

Although experts in gifted education widely promote cluster grouping gifted students, little empirical evidence is available to attest to its effectiveness. This study is an example of comparative action research in the form of a quantitative case study that focused on the mandated cluster grouping practices for gifted students in an urban elementary school district. Some school administrators chose not to follow the model as designed, resulting in the emergence of two groups: gifted students in cluster-grouped classrooms and those in regular heterogeneous classrooms. This action research project analyzed achievement in mathematics for subgroups that included gender, grade levels, ethnicity, and English language learner status. Results indicate that the gifted students in gifted cluster classes demonstrated statistically significant and scientifically meaningful achievement growth, regardless of their demographic group.

Volume 34, Issue 3

Perceived Social Support and the Self-Concepts of Gifted Adolescents

Anne N. Rinn, Marilyn J. Reynolds and Kand S. McQueen

This study investigated the relationship between perceived social support and the multidimensional self-concepts of gifted adolescents. Participants included 217 gifted students who had completed grades 5 through 10 and were attending a summer program for the gifted. Self-concept was measured using the Self-Description Questionnaire II (SDQ-II; H. W. Marsh, 1990). Perceived sources of social support were measured using the Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (CASSS; C. K. Malecki, M. K. Demaray, & S. N. Elliott, 2000). Results revealed three distinct clusters of perceived social support, but minimal differences with regard to self-concept and gender. Conclusions and implications regarding the social support of gifted adolescents and its impact on self-concept are discussed.

 

Mathematics for Gifted Students in an Arts- and Technology-Rich Setting

George Gadanidis, Janette Hughes and Michelle Cordy

In this paper we report on a study of a short-term mathematics program for grade 7–8 gifted students that integrated open-ended mathematics tasks with the arts (poetry and drama) and with technology. The program was offered partially online and partially in a classroom setting. The study sought to investigate (a) students’ perceptions of their school-based mathematics experience, (b) students’ perceptions of the program we offered, and (c) students’ mathematical thinking while engaged in the activities of our program. The study provides insights into the design of challenging mathematics experiences for gifted students, the integration of the arts with mathematics, and the use of technology in mathematics teaching and learning.

 

School Teacher Perceptions of Barriers That Limit the Participation of African American Males in Public School Gifted Programs

Brenda H. Hargrove and Sandra E. Seay

This study used data from questionnaires completed by teachers employed in North Carolina schools (N = 370) to determine if teachers felt that non-school-related or school-related factors served as barriers that limited the number of African American male children from participating in gifted programs. The majority of the teachers taught 3rd- to 5th-grade students. African American, Hispanic, and other minority teachers accounted for 29.8% of the teachers. White teachers identified barriers that were not related to school personnel, practices, or policies. Minority teachers identified both school-related and non-school-related factors as major barriers. No differences were found on barriers identified by teachers who had exposure to gifted development activities and those who did not. Recommendations for engaging teachers’ commitment to African American male student learning through professional development programming are described.

 

Is Increased Access Enough? Advanced Placement Courses, Quality, and Success in Low-Income Urban Schools

Ronald E. Hallett and Kristan M. Venegas

This article combines descriptive statistics and interviews with college-bound high school students to explore the connection between increased access and academic quality of Advanced Placement (AP) courses in low-income urban high schools. Results suggest that although moderately more opportunities to take AP courses exist than in previous years, students’ sense of their own preparation and their resultant performance on AP exams do not indicate quality or appropriate preparation for college. The article is guided by a “funds of knowledge” framework, which emphasizes the value of instrumental and content aptitudes in preparation for college success.

Fighting for Their Rights: Advocacy Experiences of Parents of Children Identified With Intellectual Giftedness

Cheryll Duquette, Shari Orders, Stephanie Fullarton and Kristen Robertson-Grewal

This research examined the advocacy experiences of 16 parents of adolescents and young adults who had been assessed as intellectually gifted. The purpose was to determine the applicability of the four dimensions of advocacy to their experiences (awareness, information seeking, presenting the case, and monitoring). Participants responded to a questionnaire and 14 also participated in individual interviews. The parents advocated individually to have their own children identified as intellectually gifted, to have them placed in specific programs, and, in the case of a dual diagnosis, to have accommodations written in the Individual Education Plans. It was also found that their experiences could be categorized according to the dimensions of advocacy and that there was a process involving a series of key events that triggered activities associated with each dimension

 

The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science: A 20-Year Perspective

Brent M. Jones

The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) is a publicly financed, residential early college entrance institute at the University of North Texas at Denton. Created in 1987, TAMS enables high-achieving students planning STEM careers to complete their last 2 years of high school simultaneously with their first 2 years of college. Admission is selective, and students pay no tuition or book costs. Students must complete a rigorous curriculum of biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and humanities. The academy offers intramural athletics, a variety of clubs and organizations, and mentor-guided research opportunities that can lead to prestigious awards and scholarships. Graduates earn a high school diploma and at least 57 transferable college credits—enough to enter many universities 2 years advanced. Now in its third decade, the academy continues to help expand the supply of skilled domestic mathematicians, engineers, and scientists.

 

Volume 34, Issue 4

The Effects of Clustering and Curriculum on the Development of Gifted Learners’ Math Achievement

Rebecca L. Pierce, Jerrell C. Cassady, Cheryll M. Adams, Kristie L. Speirs Neumeister, Felicia A. Dixon & Tracy L. Cross

There is a paucity of empirical studies dealing with benefits of gifted programming in mathematics for elementary students. The current study reports on the impact of using cluster grouping and specific curriculum to support gifted learners’ math achievement in urban elementary schools. Although the results of Year 3 provide the most compelling evidence of success, Year 1 results are included to explain the route taken to achieve those results. The results demonstrated that teachers in a large urban school district can promote academic gains over time for gifted and comparison students provided the curriculum is designed to support learning at varied ability levels, that teachers have sufficient experience with the content to deliver the planned materials appropriately, and that the context of the classroom setting supports collaborative learning and embraces challenge for all learners.

 

The Predictive Accuracy of Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal Reasoning Tests: Consequences for Talent Identification and Program Diversity

Joni M. Lakin and David F. Lohman

Effective talent-identification procedures minimize the proportion of students whose subsequent performance indicates that they were mistakenly included in or excluded from the program. Classification errors occur when students who were predicted to excel subsequently do not excel or when students who were not predicted to excel do. Using a longitudinal sample, we assessed the accuracy of measures of verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, nonverbal reasoning, and current achievement for predicting later achievement. We found that seemingly small differences in predictive validity substantially changed the number of students erroneously included or excluded from the program. Surprisingly, nonverbal tests not only led to more classification errors but also failed to identify more English language learners and minority students. To increase equity and maintain fairness, practitioners should carefully evaluate claims that scores from alternative assessments are as valid as scores from conventional ability tests and verify that the use of these tests result in greater diversity.

 

Bullying and Victimization Rates among Gifted and High-Achieving Students

Megan Parker Peters and Sherry K. Bain

Bullying and victimization rates among 90 gifted and nongifted, high-achieving (HA) high school students were assessed by using the Reynolds Bully Victimization Scale (BVS; W. M. Reynolds, 2003). The mean scores indicate that gifted and HA high school students bully others and are victimized by others generally at unelevated rates based on BVS scores. Rates of bullying and victimization found among gifted and HA high school students were not significantly different from each other either. Bullying and victimization rates for male and female participants were also compared, and no significant differences were found between males and females for either bullying or victimization. Results from this study do not provide support for social interventions for gifted students as a group but suggest that gifted programs continue to focus on promoting primarily advanced intellectual endeavors (N. Colangelo, S. Assouline, & M. U. M. Gross, 2004). However, individual gifted students may need targeted interventions focused on reducing bullying and victimization.

 

Theory of Mind and Giftedness: New Connections

Cheryl L. Walker and Bruce M. Shore

The social and cognitive phenomena associated with theory of mind (ToM) and research on the social and cognitive qualities of giftedness have not been sufficiently connected. The common focus areas for ToM researchers (e.g., false-belief understanding, deception, and autism) should be of interest to gifted education research because these are interesting conceptualizations that could be helpful in better understanding gifted children’s social interactions and friendships, and provide some guidance in classroom grouping. Except in a few studies, for example of perspective taking, ToM research has not studied identified gifted children. Perhaps this is because giftedness is usually formally assessed after the developmental periods at which it is typically studied. Including gifted children (academically, creatively, or otherwise) might help broaden the understanding of ToM variables and ensure that the key tasks do not have ceiling effects.

The Gifted and the Shadow of the Night: Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities and Their Correlation to Insomnia, Death Anxiety, and Fear of the Unknown

Gregory E. Harrison and James P. Van Haneghan

Purportedly fear of the unknown, death anxiety, and insomnia are prevalent problems among some gifted individuals. The present study tested this assertion and examined the relationship of these variables to Dabrowski’s (1967) overexcitabilities. The study involved 73 gifted and 143 typical middle and high school adolescents who were given a death anxiety questionnaire, a fear of the unknown scale, an insomnia scale, and the Overexcitabilities Questionnaire II (R. F. Falk, S. Lind, N. B. Miller, M. M. Piechowski & L. K. Silverman, 1999). Gifted adolescents reported higher levels of fear of the unknown and insomnia than regular students. They also scored higher on three of Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities. Higher levels of overexcitability in gifted students were associated with higher anxiety and insomnia. The results suggest that some gifted students who are experiencing overexcitabilities, insomnia, fear of the unknown, and/or death anxiety may benefit from curriculum aimed at social and emotional development, bibliotherapy, fantasy gaming, relaxation techniques, and counseling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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