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ERIC Number: EJ992864
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-1359-8139
The Actiotope Model of Giftedness: A Useful Model for Examining Gifted Education in China's Universities
Pang, Weiguo
High Ability Studies, v23 n1 p89-91 2012
In March 1978, under the suggestion of Chinese-born Nobel Prize laureate Tsung-Dao Lee, China launched its first gifted education program at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). Based on nominations and interviews, 21 gifted students aged 11-16 were enrolled in USTC and comprised a special class. Five years later, the early entrance program was recognized by Deng Xiaoping, and the Chinese Ministry of Education authorized another 12 universities to establish special classes for the gifted young in 1985. The beginning of China's gifted education programs in universities seemed promising. However, its proceeding was frustrating. By the end of the 1990s, eight out of the 13 universities had ended their programs for various reasons. Up to now, only two programs have survived. One is in USTC, and the other is in Xi'an Jiaotong University. Why aren't China's gifted education programs in universities very successful? According to Shuman He, who has been in charge of the special class in USTC for many years, this has something to do with four issues: (1) identifying the gifted as the intellectually gifted; (2) teachers' lack of expertise for gifted education; (3) unreasonable expectations for the gifted; and (4) deficiency in educational policies for special students. It seems that He's (2003) opinions on China's gifted education programs are insightful and partially capture the reasons for the ineffectiveness. However, if examined in terms of the Actiotope Model of Giftedness (AMG; Ziegler, 2005; Ziegler & Stoger, 2004), one may find that her explanations do not quite hit the mark--because the leading problem of China's gifted education does not reside in any specific reasons, but rather in the lack of a systematic methodology. It is the persistent neglect of the systematic characteristics that got China's gifted education programs into trouble. How can Chinese gifted education best emerge from this predicament? Undoubtedly, AMG has some implications for the possible solutions. According to the AMG, there is no choice but to go in two directions. First, if China continues to put gifted children into special programs, it must pay more attention to the systematic characteristics of gifted education, particularly to the dynamic, interdependent, interconnected, and interactive characteristics of the system. Second, it must lay more emphasis on the equifinality of the gifted education system. Another realistic solution to China's gifted education problems is to offer good developmental opportunities for the ordinary students. In the author's view, this is a broader way forward.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China