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Comparing Academically Gifted and Non-Gifted Students- Supportive Environments in Jordan

Authors: Mustafa Qaseem Hielat, Ahmad Mohammad Al-Shabatat


Jordan exerts many efforts to nurture their academically gifted students in special schools since 2001. During the past nine years of launching these schools, their learning and excellence environments were believed to be distinguished compared to public schools. This study investigated the environments of gifted students compared with other non-gifted, using a survey instrument that measures the dimensions of family, peers, teachers, school- support, society, and resources –dimensions rooted deeply in supporting gifted education, learning, and achievement. A total number of 109 were selected from excellence schools for academically gifted students, and 119 non-gifted students were selected from public schools. Around 8.3% of the non-gifted students reported that they “Never" received any support from their surrounding environments, 14.9% reported “Seldom" support, 23.7% reported “ Often" support, 26.0% reported “Frequent" support, and 32.8% reported “Very frequent" support. Where the gifted students reported more “Never" support than the non-gifted did with 11.3%, “Seldom" support with 15.4%, “Often" support with 26.6%, “Frequent" support with 29.0%, and reported “Very frequent" support less than the non-gifted students with 23.6%. Unexpectedly, statistical differences were found between the two groups favoring non-gifted students in perception of their surrounding environments in specific dimensions, namely, school- support, teachers, and society. No statistical differences were found in the other dimensions of the survey, namely, family, peers, and resources. As the differences were found in teachers, school- support, and society, the nurturing environments for the excellence schools need to be revised to adopt more creative teaching styles, rich school atmosphere and infrastructures, interactive guiding for the students and their parents, promoting for the excellence environments, and re-build successful identification models. Thus, families, schools, and society should increase their cooperation, communication, and awareness of the gifted supportive environments. However, more studies to investigate other aspects of promoting academic giftedness and excellence are recommended.

Keywords: Academic giftedness, Supportive environment, Excellence schools, Gifted grouping, Gifted nurturing

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