UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Name of Author: 
Teo, Chua Tee
Thesis (Ph.D.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Quah, Marilyn May Ling
Year of completion: 
Country of Research Data: 

This study hypothesizes that intellectually gifted adolescents in the Gifted Education Programme (GEP) who had greater preferences for perception and creative-thinking would tend to perform less well academically owing to a lack of volition, and that an education intervention encompassing self-knowledge, volition, consultation, time and stress management would result in significant improvements in achievement. The relationships between academic achievement, perception and creative-thinking ability were first ascertained using linear regression analyses. Gifted pupils who were interested in self-development were then randomly selected and randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Experimental and control subjects were matched by age, sex, school, class, race, socio-economic status, creative-thinking ability, academic and non-academic achievement were reported using paired t tests, single-subject time series designs and interviews with subjects. Atypical cases of subjects who evinced remarkable, moderate and low personal gains were featured in case studies. Subject in Phase I of the study were all (N=239) Secondary One GEP pupils in three independent schools. The experimental study in Phase II involved 57 experimental subject and 57 controls. The academic progress of six experimental subjects, three males and three females, were longitudinally studied with single-subject time series plots. Three of the six subjects were selected for case studies. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Form G) (MBTI) (Myers, 1976, 1977) was used to measure preferences for perception, sense perception, intuitive perception and judgment. The How Do You Think (Form E) (HDYT) (Davis, 1977) was used to assess creative-thinking ability. The educational intervention programme, "Knowledge/Volition/Action", was comprised of five one-hour modules. Self-knowledge, volition, consultation, time and stress management were taught to subjects in an interactive manner. Parents and teachers of the subjects were also interviewed for triangulation of qualitative data. Results of linear regressions indicated a significant but negative correlation between academic achievement of gifted adolescents and their perception scores; a significant positive correlation of academic achievement with judgment; and a negative but non-significant correlation between academic achievement and creative-thinking ability. Creative-thinking ability, in turn, was found to be significantly and positively correlated with perception. Multiple regression models revealed that approximately 14% of academic achievement and 48% of creative-thinking ability were explainable by MBTI variables. The intervention programme was found to be effective in augmenting non-academic achievement of the experimental group. Specifically, the non-academic achievement of gifted adolescents who were "perceptives" was enhanced. No group effect was detected with regard to academic achievement. Visual inspection for changes in academic progress of subjects in single-subject studies between the baseline and the intervention phases indicated that individual subjects demonstrate that individual subjects had benefited from the intervention programme in different ways and to different degrees. The general feedback was that the intervention programme had benefited them more in the area of personal and social enrichment rather than academic studies. Findings in the case studies indicate that the ability to activate volition may be critical in overcoming procrastination and in bringing about achievement-oriented behaviour.

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