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Title: The educational and social experiences of students with high ability : emerging perceptions within secondary school settings
Authors: Ghirxi, Josanne
Keywords: Gifted children -- Education -- Malta
Education, Secondary -- Malta
Gifted children -- Psychology
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Notwithstanding an on-going national reform in education, which even refers to 'gifted and talented students' in mainstream classes for the first time, national developments in this area are still very limited. This contrasts with the education policy of other European Union countries. The main aim of this study is to investigate the social and educational experiences of students with high ability as perceived by themselves and their teachers. A qualitative methodology was adopted. The participants were purposively selected through a semi-structured questionnaire distributed to core subject teachers. Semi-structured interviews were then conducted with the eight identified students with high abilities. Following the interviews, non-participant observations of two lessons and two lunch breaks for each participant were carried out. Thematic analysis of the data was carried out using Atlas ti. software. Data was coded and clustered into seven main themes. The most striking finding was the interviewees' high motivation. They were highly inquisitive, strived for excellence and were aware of their strengths. Their self-discipline was reflected in their engagement in challenging tasks and their persistence. The interviewees had high expectations for their future development and the majority had their mind set on future professional careers. It was concluded that students with high ability have educational and social needs, which require attention in mainstream classes. A number of recommendations are made, including one for a National Education Policy addressing students with high ability to ensure a commitment towards these students by identifying and addressing their needs.
Description: M.ED.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEdu - 2012

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