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Title: Gifted children and their educational needs : a study of Malaysia's Ministry of Education preschool programme
Author: Ramli, Satilawati
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 2881
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis explores the educational needs and range of strategies used for educational provision for gifted children in Malaysia’s Ministry of Education preschool programme. A review of literature relating to international theory and existing research in gifted education and empirical work of teaching gifted children were carried out. The literature review examines the dominant theories of intelligence and giftedness in general. It also includes the historical background of definitions of giftedness as well as methods for its measurement, before specifically focusing on the concept of giftedness at the preschool level. The study was located in the Ministry of Education’s preschool classes within Melaka, Malaysia. Preschools in that area are required to implement the Kurikulum Prasekolah Kebangsaan or National Preschool Curriculum (NPC) of the Malaysian government. The research was conducted in two phases during the school year 2009. The first phase selected 25 gifted children. This phase involved a questionnaire survey that was specially designed for the purpose of this study and was sent to parents and preschool teachers within two districts in Melaka. This was followed by an assessment using Raven’s Coloured Progressive Matrices (CPM) that involved 187 preschool children. For the second phase of the research, the main methods of data collection employed were observations during lessons, semi-structured interviews with children nominated as gifted and their teachers, as well as analysing documentary evidence using children’s drawings. In the first phase of this research, it was discovered that the majority of parents involved in this study agreed that their child had showed gifted characteristics compared to preschool teachers who were found to be more cautious in nominating children as gifted. The findings from Raven’s Coloured Progressive Matrices (CPM) showed that Malaysian preschool children in the sample weren’t much different from their counterparts in other places when reviewed in terms of their test scores. In the second phase of the research, it was found that every gifted child was unique with his or her own different needs that can be categorised into three domains: physical, cognitive and socio-emotional. It was also found that preschool teachers were responding to the policy in pragmatic terms, although no specific training was provided for practising teachers as part of the national training programme in making provision for gifted children. There is paucity of research in aspects of education for gifted children in Malaysia. By specifically addressing this topic, this study makes a distinct contribution to current literature in both understanding aspects of giftedness at a preschool level and the range of provision used. This study makes a particular contribution to finding out what the gifted children’s educational needs are, and how practising preschool teachers in Malaysia are responding to their needs. This should be of interest to both policy makers and practitioners. This thesis also presents recommendations for a new policy and programme in organising and teaching gifted children within regular classrooms. This may be of interest to audiences internationally, including countries where there are no policies of provision for gifted children that came from disadvantaged or low-income family background.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Malaysia. Kementerian Pendidikan
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education