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Kornélia Gömöry : The progress of gifted children’s general intellect, motivation, study strategies and levels of anxiety in mixed ability and gifted classrooms

The development of gifted students is usually identified as the change in their academic achievement. However, other factors such as general intellect, motivation, study strategies and levels of anxiety can greatly affect students’ academic performance. In this study the progress of gifted grade 5 children (10-12-year-olds) was examined in regular (N=310, from 6 schools) and gifted classrooms (N=389, in 3 schools) in Hungary. The instruments were administered at the beginning and then at the end of the academic year. They included the Raven Standard Progressive Matrices, Kozéki and Entwistle’s Learning Orientation Questionnaire, Kozéki and Entwistle’s Learning Motivation Questionnaire and the Hungarian version of Spielberg’s Test Anxiety Inventory. The results showed that the general intellectual ability of the students developed intensively between the two assesment points in both groups. The students strived for logical and meaningful learning in both the regular and the gifted groups. Though considerable differences in its intensity levels were found between school-based sub-samples, rote learning appeared to be losing its relevance in students’ individual work. No significant difference emerged between the motivation of the regular and the gifted group: high motivation levels were observed regardless of organizational structure. The post-test showed a greater reduction in anxiety levels (regarding total scores, anxiety levels and emotional uncertainty) in the regular classroom condition, while the gifted classroom as an organizational structure put more pressure on students. The findings show that there is no significant difference with respect to psychological factors in favour of the gifted classroom environment to influence the selection and streaming of talented students. At the same time, longer monitoring of the sample is necessary to confirm and elaborate the present findings.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 106. Number 3. 213-229. (2006)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Gömöry Kornélia, H–4032 Debrecen, Tessedik Sámuel utca 155.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia