The research project builds on investigating the interrelated aspects of placing the gifted children in the supportive environment and what impact the approach has to their individual performances contrasted to placing them under typical environment. Essentially, the investigative strategy using data collection aims to establish whether there exists any profound contribution in harnessing the high-level intellectual capacity of the gifted to impact their performance. The proposed research project provides an inquiry allowing interpretation of educational environmental occurrences of supporting gifted children through exploratory, interpretive and correlation approaches. This is to provide insight into the ordinary educational settings, both supportive and the typical environment, and gain familiarity with impact each has in harnessing the high-level potential in gifted children. For this reason, the research will centre on psychological testing to gather essential information about the gifted children from the sampled respondents.
3.1 Data Collection
For the project to accomplish its intended purpose and attain the objectives demonstrated earlier, information will be collected using a three staged process comprising data triangulation, method triangulation and theoretical triangulation. Data triangulation enables the collection of information from various participants comprising educational institution administrators, older gifted children in the teen bracket, parents, and specialist teachers. On the other hand, method triangulation will center on different methods applied to obtain data including primary and secondary data. Firstly, secondary data forms the epicenter contributing towards the background information required by the researcher to constructively build the entire project and enable recipient readers to understand more thoroughly the outcome.
Secondly, primary data are obtained from the participants through three ways. Conducting a questionnaire survey with the participating parents of families who have recognized the presence of gifted children and those parents living with children of moderate intellectual capacities will mark the starting point. Similarly, this would be served to older gifted children who have previously undergone the facilitative educational environment. Secondly, interviewing sessions will be carried out by school administrators, teaching specialists, gifted children and their age peers in their early teen bracket and randomly selected members of the immediate community.
Lastly, naturalistic observation too will be incorporated to provide a realistic interaction with both facilitative educational settings and typical educational environment. This will serve an interaction opportunity for the researcher with the children in a learning environment. At this point, applying naturalistic observation provides an avenue to collect primary information from the education field and focus on capturing the interactions between the gifted children, specialist teachers and the educational environment. This may require conducting naturalistic occurring conversations with the participants such as the focus group comprising the children, institutional administrators and teaching specialists.
Theoretical triangulation involves connecting the research project to the theoretical scope providing insights from educational, research, practice and developmental theories. This provides an opportunity to interpret the study results and further integrate the findings with the scholarly theories of handling diversity in gifted children. In particular, cognitive-behavioral models emphasizing on learning observable outcomes in the educational context taking into account the rules shaping, changing, and sustaining the capacity of children to challenge their giftedness. Here, the suitability of this model is chiefly in bringing a positive and practical outlook on the clear signs and ways on how the setting of appropriate educational environment enables those involved in engaging children: identify, understand unique giftedness of the child, and translate the high-intellectual potential into performance.
3.2 Research Design
Ideally, studying the entire population in the educational setting would offer concrete evidence of the sought project. However, it is unrealistic, unfeasible and impossible to attain such, and consequently the research will settle for sampling. Here, the sample would include portions of elements obtained from the identified population as a representative to others.
Collecting primary information from the participants and the educational environment requires application of the questionnaire survey approach where for the accomplishment of the research project a random probability sampling will be in use. Bearing in mind the limitations of sample sizes greater than 500 and less than 30, the project would use a size of 150 participants.
Similarly, conducting an interview survey for the focus group comprising older gifted children, specialist teachers and school administrators is considered a valuable form of obtaining data, focusing on collaboration in the teaching environment. This will provide access and interaction point by highlighting issues present in the educational setting with a likelihood of impacting performance of the gifted children.
3.2.1 The Questionnaire Survey
The survey will be conducted on the basis of the questionnaire as the self-report instrument of gathering information to minimize the influence of the researcher to the respondent. For this particular research project, the questions will be semi-structured to accommodate comparison and aggravation of fixed responses and avoid bias when respondents have limited alternative responses. This close-ended format for the questionnaire suits the study for several purposes. Firstly, the close-ended questions narrows down the inquiry field as the respondents are expected to choose among the defined responses. Secondly, it ensures the instrument is versatile enough to be used for different respondents of various ages. Besides, they generate some form of easier direct comparison.
On the other hand, the open-ended section seeks to be accommodating to the respondent allowing them opportunities where they express their own ideas rather than construe their thoughts into pre-set responses phrased by the researcher. The questionnaire consists of three parts: first meant for gathering information on identification of the giftedness, second assessing the facilitative environment and last section focusing on the impact of the educational setting translating into performances.
3.2.2 Interview survey
The technique of conducting personalized interviewing is essential to accomplish the objectives of this study as it provides the most versatility and productivity of communicating spontaneously and seeking clarification where essential. Interviewing sessions may turn unfruitful if they are lengthy and costly as they are time consuming. Consequently, interviews will focus on three interest groups comprising the teaching specialists, 20 randomly sampled parents and gifted children within the teen bracket.
For the success of this technique, the researcher is expected to pose semi-structured questions and accommodate varying educational levels, lifestyles and ages, making imperative an essential adaptation during questioning to enhance interviewees comprehend the questions. The researcher will observe two essential elements of the interview. Firstly, creating a receptive rapport between with the interviewee through an introductory section where guiding questions and responses provided, will determine the course the interview will assume. Secondly, the participants are identified through the educational office where contacts of supportive institutions from the local education office will be obtained to reach the interest groups. It is vital to emphasize during the initial telephone conversation after dispatching email messages to the anticipated interviewee, identification of the participants would remain anonymous through the application of pseudonyms. In a consent letter filled before the interview, confidentiality is emphasized alongside the time frame of 2-3 hours is suggested. Similarly, the tape-recording would facilitate capturing the data after obtaining permission from the participant. Lastly, the attitude of the interviewer provides a critical aspect for the success of developing a rich conversation during the session.
3.2.3 Natural Observations
This will focus on obtaining field information while interacting with the teaching specialists and gifted children in the preschools. Initial observations focus on identifying with the school settings, classroom dynamics and interacting with the participants and minimize instances of observer paradox. Second observations will develop understanding of the facilitative environment and enable participants to feel comfortable in the researcher’s presence. Final observations will focus on responses provided in the questionnaire and interview questions requiring interpretation and analysis which are not transparent. Consequently, the researcher only focuses on context-specific issues, to give voice and allow the opportunity of illuminating on interpretations. For instance, the researcher will determine using kindergarten readiness tests for the children to assess their specific readiness on aspects of cognitive, social and emotional preparedness for them to engage with the preschool environment.
3.3 Data Analysis
A constant comparative method of analyzing data obtained will be established and sustained all through using coding. Firstly, open coding will involve sorting and placing conceptual categories where data is broken into concepts to facilitate categorization. Secondly, axial coding facilitates making connections and examining logical links through contrasting and comparing categories identified to facilitate theoretical sampling. Lastly, selective coding focus on the core category emerging as the central theme during open and axial coding till saturation is attained. The emergent trend after the analysis will present an integrated framework to explain if supported gifted children in an educational environment yield any difference from the typical settings.
3.4 Contribution of the Study
The findings of this research project are applied to assess the impact of supportive educational environments for the children and how they can be used to enable future facilitation to translate into improved performances. Further the findings serve an indicative purpose on the progress on identifying giftedness, appreciating such personalities rather than exposing them to torturous environments.
To begin with the researcher cannot cover all the regions of Colorado therefore limit the research project in the areas where the sample of gifted children was obtained. This implies that the findings of the study cannot be inclusive beyond the population where the sample was obtained. Secondly, the project results may suffer from uncooperative respondents who fail to answer the questions accurately leading to misleading opinions of the population. Lastly, owing to the length of the research study, part of participants available during the preliminary psychological testing may withdraw from the final stage of the study.
- Department of Education and Training.(2010, January).Policy for the Education of Gifted Students in the Northern Territory. Retrieved July 15, 2013, from http://www.education.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/699/Gifted EducPolicy.pdf
- Dowland, H. (2006, January 25). What is a Gifted Child? Retrieved July 15, 2013, from http://www.helendowland.com/What%20is%20a%20gifted%20child.htm
- Freeman, J., &Barbieri, A. (2010, October 9). Young, Gifted and Likely to Suffer for it. Retrieved July 15, 2013, from Guardian News Web site: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/oct/09/gifted-children-joan-freeman-psychologist
- Fremd, S. v., &Smutny, J. F. (2009).Differentiating for the Young Child: Teaching Strategies Across the Content Areas, PreK–3 (2 ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press.
- Gore, J. L., & Amend, E. R. (2007). A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children (1 ed.). Scottsdale, Ariz: Great Potential Press.
- Guilbault, K. M. (2013, March 29). Early Enrichment for Young Gifted Children. Retrieved July 15, 2013, from http://www.mcgate.org/early-enrichment-for-young-gifted-children/
- Kondrat, A. (2013, May 25). 6 Personality Types of Gifted Children. Retrieved July 15, 2013, from http://suite101.com/article/6-personality-types-of-gifted-children-a101380
- Pfeiffer, S. I. (2008). Handbook of Giftedness in Children: Psychoeducational Theory, Research, and Best Practices. New York: Springer.
- Porter, L. (2008). Young Children’s Behaviour: Practical Approaches for Caregivers and Teachers (3 ed.). Sydney: Elsevier Publications.
- Roedell, W. (2013, July 11). Vulnerabilities of highly gifted children.Roeper Review, 6(3), 127-130.
- Shaw, D. (2005). Thinking Patterns, Pupil Engagement, and Understanding in Early childhood. Retrieved July 14, 2013
- Smutny, J. F. (2010). Parenting Gifted Children: The Authoritative Guide From the National Association for Gifted Children. Waco, Tex: Prufrock Press.
- Sternberg, R. j., & Davidson, J. E. (2005).Conceptions of Giftedness. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Sternberg, R. J., Jarvin, L., &Grigorenko, E. L. (2011).Explorations in Giftedness. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Vasilevska, S., Urban, S., &Hewton, J. (2009).AustrlianAssoiciation of For the Education of the Gifted and Talented Information Statement . Retrieved July 15, 2013, from http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/etc/Past_Inquiries/ EGTS_Inquiry/Submissions/28_AAEGT_Appendix_A.pdf