ERIC Number: ED409670
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Nurturing Giftedness while Minority Adolescents Juggle Change Spheres.
Haensly, Patricia A.; Lehmann, Patricia
For each of two years, 50 Hispanic and Black eighth graders were selected for a field-based, environmental science summer program designed to nurture math and science talent and encourage bright, minority youth to persist in school. Students were selected on the basis of participation in an outreach program, essays, grades, recommendations, and an interview. Inventories, career plots, and thematic analysis of their 28 daily journal entries, interviews of camp directors, and staff evaluations provide rich descriptions of participants' perceptions regarding needs and development. Aspirations, challenges, involvement in their instruction and personal caring by significant adults as the students engaged in camp instruction and living activities are articulated. Interpretation is grounded in Bueshcher's concept of adolescent development as volatile change spheres of biological maturation, learning processes, and social needs, made more complex by ability potential. Cultural identity formation is proposed as a volatile change sphere, and the metaphor of juggling spheres is used to discuss the complexity of nurturing giftedness for minority adolescents. The report compares gifted adolescent needs to general adolescent needs, describes the influences of different cultures on giftedness, and provides suggestions for ways adults may help gifted minority adolescents most effectively. (Contains 31 references.) (Author/CR)
Descriptors: Adolescent Development, Biological Sciences, Black Students, Cognitive Processes, Cultural Influences, Developmental Stages, Enrichment Activities, Environmental Education, Gifted, Grade 8, Hispanic Americans, Junior High Schools, Minority Group Children, Outdoor Education, Program Effectiveness, Social Development, Student Attitudes, Student Needs
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the National Association for Gifted Children (43rd, Indianapolis, IN, November 2, 1996).