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Ability Climates: The forgotten cultural factor in promoting gifted education
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Lifelong learning/Encell. (CHILD)
2011 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Intellectually gifted individuals are increasingly seen as the problem solvers of the future who are to secure societal prosperity and welfare. However, little attention has been paid to the fact that there may exist cultural obstacles in promoting intellectual giftedness in any given culture when setting such educational targets. If certain abilities are not highly valued in a given culture, it seems unlikely that increasing an interest in education focused on excellence in these abilities would be as successful as hoped. The abilities needed for economical growth and continued welfare are not necessarily the abilities valued by the people who are expected to pursue such training. Successful implementation is likely to dependent on the culturally dominant ability climate. The presentation focuses on a recent study of ability climates in 29 European countries as based on socially represented notability. The analysis of data yielded three types of European ability climates: A uniform ability climate; a divergent ability climate, and a diverse ability climate; each of which was characterized by clusters of abilities that seemed to be particularly valued in a given European country. Only nine of the participating countries appeared to feature an ability climate conducive to intellectual pursuits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. 1-24 p.
Keyword [en]
Ability climate, social representations, big fish little pond, gifted education, notability, Wikipedia
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-15612OAI: diva2:428729
the International Centre for Innovation in Education (ICIE) Conference 2011, Istanbul, Turkey, 6-9 July, 2011.

Invited address to the International Centre for Innovation in Education (ICIE) Conference 2011, Istanbul, Turkey, 6-9 July, 2011.

Available from: 2011-08-09 Created: 2011-07-01 Last updated: 2014-02-24Bibliographically approved

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Persson, Roland S
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