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Title: Conception of giftedness and talent by pre service and in service primary school teachers in Johor, Malaysia : an exploration using a multiphase mixed methods design
Author: Jaffri, Hadijah
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2012
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The main purpose of this study is to investigate the conception of giftedness and talent as perceived by pre service and in service primary school teachers in Malaysia. In addition, this study aims to explore teachers’ perceptions of giftedness on specific issues which are a) sources of information about giftedness, b) confidence in identifying gifted and talented students, c) awareness on identifying assessments, d) perception about the adequacy of teacher training to deal with gifted and talented students, e) relevance of labelling, and f) aspects considered as important in the development of gifted education in Malaysia which are primarily explored using qualitative approaches. To explore those various issues, a mixed methods design was used in this study involving pre service (n = 546) and in service primary school teachers (n = 632). Structured questionnaires were administered to 1178 teachers at various locations of education institutions (e.g. schools, institutes of teacher education and universities). Six female teachers were involved in the qualitative data collection using semi-structured questionnaires and interviews. Two main types of analyses were used. First, the patterns of teachers’ notion of giftedness and talent are examined using principal component analysis. In addition to that, descriptive analysis was used to provide preliminary findings of this study. Also, independent t-test was used to examine any difference between groups. Second, thematic analysis was used to uncover thematic code (variables) from relevant responses. The findings from quantitative and qualitative data were integrated to answer two research questions. Based from the integration of both findings, it was found that teachers’ conception of giftedness and talent is diverse and this reflect on the current situation in which there is no consensus on the conception of giftedness and talent among theorists. In addition, Malaysian teachers reported that ‘gifted’ and ‘talented’ are separate groups of individuals with extraordinary abilities. Giftedness is perceived in relation to intellectual abilities and to certain extent, domain specific to mathematics and science. Talent is perceived in relation to non-intellective abilities such as domain of psychomotor abilities. Even though gifted and talented are perceived as non-unitary concept, both are perceived sharing similar characteristics such as creativity and domain specific of ability. In this study, it was discovered that giftedness is perceived in relation to intellective domain whereas talent is related to non-intellective domain. The qualitative findings suggested that teachers view giftedness and talent somewhat differently. The variations are explored to in this study which could be attributed to the inadequacy of information from various sources and teacher training and/or experience. The nuances of their understanding on varied aspects in relation to this phenomenon called as giftedness call for more exploration as this study only provides preliminary evidence on the existing conception of giftedness and talent as held by teachers in Malaysia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available