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Gifted and Talented International (GTI) is the journal of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. GTI an international, refereed journal devoted to publishing original research, theoretical studies, review papers or accounts of practice that contribute to our understanding and promotion of giftedness, talent, creativity, and optimal development of children, adolescents, and adults. Its purpose is to share current theory, research, and practice in gifted education with its audience of international educators, scholars, researchers, and parents. GTI is published twice a year.
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Leonie Kronborg & Megan Foley-Nicpon
In this double issue of Gifted and Talented International, the importance of developing creativity when educating gifted students is raised at both the school and college level in research from German, Greek, and American contexts. Whilst, research with a focus on educating gifted students is presented from diversely different contexts of China and Jordan.
In the first article of the issue, ‘Creative ideation and motivation strategies for learning of academically talented students in Greek secondary school’, the researchers, Dimitrios Zbainos and Vassiliki Beloyianni, examined differences in self-regulated learning strategies, motivational beliefs, and creative ideation in a Greek secondary school sample identified as either academically talented, high achieving, and typically achieving. Researchers found the students identified as academically talented reported using learning strategies and higher self-efficacy and motivational beliefs than the other groups of students. Of note, creative ideation was negatively correlated with academic achievement. How this relationship manifests within the context of Greek secondary school education as creative skills are crucial in an ever-changing global context.
The second article with a creativity focus, ‘Autonomous creativity: the implicit autonomy motive fosters creative production and innovative behavior at school’, was written by Ingrid Rita Baum and Nicola Baumann. The authors were interested in examining the role of autonomy as a motivating trait contributing to creativity. Among their sample of 108 adolescents, they found implicit autonomy dispositions were related to creative production on a figural drawing task and teacher ratings of innovative behavior, even after controlling for achievement motivation. Conversely, concerns about one’s explicit achievement were not predictive of creative production but were positively correlated with teacher ratings of innovative behavior. Conclusions were that an implicit desire for autonomy is related to creativity production more so than explicit motivation for achievement among the youth.
Angie Miller’s study, ‘Connecting creative coursework exposure and college student engagement across academic disciplines’, examined the relationship between creative coursework and several factors related to university students’ academic and environmental engagement. Miller examined data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) “Senior Transitions” topical module, which represented responses from 25,000+ seniors at 266 U.S. colleges and universities. Miller’s findings suggested exposure to creative coursework positively predicted several indicators of student engagement (higher order learning, collaborative learning, diverse discussions, supportive environment, etc.) across multiple academic disciplines. Increasing creativity in one’s coursework is an important consideration for those teaching at institutions of higher education given the positive relationship with student engagement.
Authors Sheng-peng Huang, Yan Konga, and Ying (“Allison”) Cheng took a creative look at gifted programs in China in their manuscript, ‘Public images of gifted programs in China: a 38-year analysis of Chinese news reports on gifted education’. By utilizing systematic network and content analyses, the authors examined the public opinions of gifted programs over a 38-year period examining 1,486 Chinese news reports on gifted education between 1978 and 2015. Results from the analyses were consistent with public images related to historical Chinese stereotypes about gifted education. These opinions have changed over time to be more balanced approaches to high ability youth and gifted educational systems in China, which authors state is reflective of the “social-constructive nature of giftedness” (p. X).
In the final manuscript in the double issue, ‘Gifted Syrian refugee students in Jordanian schools: have we identified them?’, we see the authors Ali Alodat and Fawaz Almomani’s interest of refugee populations in Jordanian schools. Their qualitative analysis of interviews with 42 school principals and educational supervisors demonstrated that, despite positive intensions, the services provided for the Syrian refugees are not capturing enough of their high ability youth. Issues related to identification include administrative, legislative, financial, and identification barriers. Authors called for educators to examine their services and professional development offerings to widen their identification to include better the Syrian refugee population.
This double issue of Gifted and Talented International concludes with an interview with Jonathan Plucker, the incoming President of the USA National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and the Julian C. Stanley Endowed Professor of Talent Development at Johns Hopkins University, USA, and Scott Peters, Professor and Richard and Veronica Telfer Endowed Faculty Fellow of Education at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, USA. The interview focused on the history of the Excellence Gap and its implications for US and international educational contexts. The scholars end by providing recommendations for addressing the Excellence Gap and how policymakers must be involved for there to be systematic change.
This interview was conducted by Tyler Clark, Executive Officer of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, as well as Dr Julia Roberts, President of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC), Mahurin Professor of Gifted Studies, and Executive Director of the Centre for Gifted Studies and the Carol Martin Gatton Academy for Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University.
Dimitrios Zbainos & Vassiliki Beloyianni
A consistent body of research has indicated that intrinsic motivation, self-regulation, and creative ideation tend to facilitate academic performance. This article examines differences in self-regulated learning strategies, motivational beliefs, and creative ideation among academically talented students, high achievers, and ordinary achieving students in Greek secondary school. To assess the relationship between motivational strategies for learning, ideational behavior, and academic performance, a sample of 287 students between the ages of 13 and 18 completed the Runco Ideational Behavior Scale and the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire. Furthermore, their school grades were used to provide data about their academic performance. The results indicated that academically talented students tended to use more self-regulated learning strategies and displayed higher self-efficacy and stronger motivational beliefs. Creative ideation was found to be negatively correlated with academic achievement, especially for low and moderate achievers. In conclusion, according to the results, high academic performance appeared to be related to higher academic self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, self-regulation, and use of cognitive strategies. Nevertheless, it appeared to be related to lower creative ideation.
Ingrid Rita Baum & Nicola Baumann
Theories of creativity and empirical evidence have highlighted the importance of autonomy as a motivational source of creativity. However, we know little about the relationship between the implicit autonomy motive and creativity. Using a multi-method multi-informant design, we investigated the relationship between implicit autonomy motives and creative production. We assessed the implicit and explicit autonomy motives of N = 108 adolescents using the Operant Motive Test (OMT) and an explicit motive questionnaire. Then participants completed a creative figural drawing task. In addition, we collected teacher ratings regarding participants’ innovative behavior. Results revealed that implicit autonomy dispositions predicted not only production in a figural drawing task, but also teacher ratings of innovative behavior. These positive relationships remained stable when controlling for achievement motivations and other autonomy-related variables. In contrast, explicit autonomy dispositions could not predict creative production or teacher ratings of innovative behavior. We conclude that the implicit autonomy motive is an energizing force of creative production.
Angie L. Miller
This study extends research on the effectiveness of creativity training and the importance of student engagement in higher education. Using data from the “Senior Transitions” topical module of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), responses from over 25,000 seniors at 266 different U.S colleges and universities demonstrate that exposure to creative coursework can predict student engagement in a variety of areas. Ordinary least squares regression models determined the effect of creative coursework exposure on NSSE’s established measures of student engagement: reflective and integrative learning, higher-order learning, use of learning strategies, collaborative learning, diverse discussions, student-faculty interaction, effective teaching practices, quality of interactions, and supportive environment. Results suggest that exposure to creative coursework is a significant positive predictor of student engagement, even after controlling for sex, transfer status, enrollment status, first-generation status, age, SAT/ACT, race/ethnicity, major, grades, percentage of online courses, institutional control (private/public), and institution size. Potential reasons for these patterns of results are discussed. Implications include updating curriculum and programming for greater exposure to creative assignments and activities across all major fields.
Sheng-Peng Huang, Yan Kang, & Ying (“Alison”) Cheng
Gifted programs are an indispensable component of gifted education, and have drawn much academic attention in the recent years. However, the public images of such programs are still under-examined. In this study, we employed semantic network analysis and content analysis to uncover the public images of gifted programs in China and their change over time. Based on 1,486 Chinese news reports between 1978-2015 on gifted education, our analysis revealed four different images of gifted programs and their participants in China: “successful graduates”, “early ripe, early rot”, “superb intelligence”, and “all-around development”. The co-existence of two common stereotypes, “the chosen ones” and “Mad genius”, can be concluded from the emerging process of these four images and the correlations between them. In addition, the rise and fall of different images show how the public opinions of gifted programs change over time, influenced by both institutional interventions and culture shifts. The change over time is indicative of the social-constructive nature of public opinions towards gifted education.
Ali M. Alodat & Fawwaz A. Momani
This qualitative study aimed to analyze educational services offered in Jordanian schools to identify gifted Syrian refugee students. To do that, 42 semi-structured interviews were conducted with school principals and educational supervisors. Participants were asked open-ended questions about educational practices used with Syrian students inside refugee camps and northern cities in Jordan. The collected data were then analyzed using descriptive coding analytical strategies. Results show that gifted identification services provided for Syrians students are insufficient and weak. The results also showed that school principals and educational supervisors have positive trends toward providing gifted education services. However, they suffer from a range of administrative and legislative problems that limit their ability to provide appropriate services to students. Finally, these results provide a comprehensive analysis for educators in Jordan to develop higher quality identification procedures for gifted Syrian refugees’ students.
Tyler Clark & Julia Roberts
The interview with Jonathan Plucker and Scott Peters presents the Excellence Gap as a concern to be noted in the United States as well as internationally. The Excellence Gap came to light as an important topic to inform policy when the Achievement Gap reached a high priority in U.S. schools. The emphasis on the Achievement Gap focused attention on students who had not yet reached proficiency, yet did not offer comparable attention to students who had already reached proficiency or beyond. The interview traces the history of the Excellence Gap literature and discussion of the implications, as well as presenting strategies for addressing the Excellence Gap.
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