The educational needs of gifted children
This study assesses the extent to which the educational needs of a group of very able Year 10 students reflect the perceived educational needs of gifted children as drawn from a study of the literature. In consultation with their teachers, fifteen students from five schools in two counties were selected to take part in the research. Using the case-study method, these students, their parents and teachers were interviewed. The information collected from their parents and teachers was used mainly for the process of triangulation. Letters were sent to all who were involved in the research in any capacity, explaining what the research was about and inviting them to participate in the project or seeking permission to approach others where this was necessary. There was eventually a full complement of interested and co-operative participants. Those interviewed gave responses which were very useful to the research and raised some unexpected and very interesting issues. Interview schedules were used and, to facilitate comparisons in the responses, the schedules for the students, parents and teachers were very similar. The responses of all three groups have been compiled into a series of tables and these and bar graphs illustrate the extent to which students' parents' and teachers' responses were in accord. The conclusions drawn from the study are that, in general, there was a good correspondence in the needs of this particular group of students with those needs in the list drawn from the literature and their needs were largely being met by their schools. However, some of the perceived needs were not confirmed as such for this group and there was a variation in emphasis in some of their identified needs. A number of issues also emerged suggesting needs which were not included in the original list. An especially interesting example of these was the part played by in-family role models, especially older sibling rival I role models, who appeared to have been very important in the motivation and achievement of some students. All the issues which emerged which were not included in the original list of perceived needs would make interesting topics for further research.