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ERIC Number: EJ1149084
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1533-2276
Qualities and Quantities: Using Philosophy to Guide Our Research
Martin, Lee; Dy, Angela Martinez
Gifted and Talented International, v27 n2 p33-35 2012
The presence or absence of qualities such as integrity and compassion are vital to the human condition. They can be experienced regularly or rarely and their causal consequences on, for example, motivation in the workplace can be strikingly obvious. Yet these important qualities can often be elusive to scientific investigation. In her article, "A Quality of Giftedness," ("Gifted and Talented International," v27 n2 p13-71 2012), Joan Freeman draws upon extensive experience researching and working with gifted people of all ages to identify a quality that she argues sets certain individuals apart, even among the pool of the gifted and talented. She names this a "quality of giftedness," establishing that it is connected to, yet distinct from, intelligence. The quality is seen as "separate and different from what is measurable," intimating that it is more likely to be experienced "in action." This is illustrated with a number of examples in which an individual's "quality of giftedness" was made recognisable by their unique responses to a line of questioning, or by the agreement of independent experts on the exceptional quality of a work. Freeman suggests that it is this certain quality that can make a critical difference in the long-term life achievement of a gifted child. It also sets a challenge to researchers as to how they can advance their own understanding when this quality is a concept that evades measurement and definition. In this article, Lee Martin and Angela Dy ask how social scientists can address elusive concepts such as human qualities in a systematic way that enables rigorous research. They argue that for this to occur, groundwork must be put into place: science as a field must be ontologically and epistemologically prepared to grapple with such difficult subjects, while researchers should simultaneously aim to make these phenomena increasingly more overt, with the goal of consistent definition. [This article is a response to Joan Freeman's "A Quality of Giftedness" (EJ1149563).]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A