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Title: A study of programmes for gifted students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Authors: Alqefari, Abdullah
Advisors: Koshy, V
Keywords: School;Gifted children;Talented;Children needs
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: School of Social Sciences PhD Theses
Abstract: The study reported in this thesis explores the nature of provision for gifted and talented students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is considered to be an under-developed country. The specific aims of the study are to explore the effectiveness and any possible weaknesses of gifted programmes in Saudi Arabia, from the perspectives of all parties involved, to draw conclusions about the Saudi programmes and to make recommendations. The study used mixed methods for collecting information. The researcher obtained data with the aid of questionnaires, interviews and documentation. Non-random samples were chosen from the population of gifted students studying in schools under the authority of the Ministry of Education. They were given questionnaires that explored their demographics, social life, academic achievements and self -reflection regarding their giftedness. Professionals dealing with gifted students also responded to a questionnaire which explored their respective institutions‟ strategies in dealing with the gifted students. They were also interviewed regarding their views on the Ministry of Education‟s systems and strategies with regard to gifted education. The conclusions and recommendations arising from the study can be viewed under four parts comprising identification, provision, policy and information. The predominant method of identification has been that of intelligence tests and other tests associated with overall academic performance. The membership of the gifted cohorts seems to encourage students from well-educated and affluent families. The educational provision for gifted students seems to be patchy; both strategy and curriculum modification have been found to be somewhat inadequate. The organisation of the gifted strand of policy seem well intentioned, but unevenly targeted at different geographical areas and the role of Care Centres – each being assigned a specified list of schools - could become dynamic with substantial educational improvements resulting in schools being served. It was also found that the flow of information - such as documents emanating from the Ministry - needs to be clear, consistent, illuminating and carefully read by recipients. Due to the special features of the social and cultural environment of Saudi Arabia, an assessment of the impact of the gifted education initiative there has the potential to make an important contribution to other countries considering similar initiatives – especially in many other Arab countries where there are no gifted education policies in existence. The study also makes an international contribution to the history of gifted education and its development.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Education
Dept of Education Theses

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