Tracing Giftedness: An Exploration of Theories, Programmes and Emerging Dilemmas
Keywords:Gifted Children,, Gifted and Talented Programmes, Academic Giftedness, Conceptions of Giftedness, Construction of Ability, Parental Aspirations
In the recent years, the conception of giftedness in children has garnered a lot of attention from educationists and psychologists in India. Children marked as gifted are said to display above average abilities as compared with their peers. In this paper, I attempt to show that despite multiple notions and theories of giftedness, displaying exceptional abilities in mathematics and science seem to be the dominant focus and trend. In support of this claim, I list out the various Gifted and Talented Programmes of Giftedness in India. By exploring the various landscapes of excellence across diverse schooling environment, I draw from my doctoral research to highlight the ways in which giftedness is socially circulating and the factors that produce, and the processes that enable and sustain it. Through this study, I hope to contribute to the sociology of education in terms of understanding middle class / elite aspirations with regard to education of their children, elite parenting practices, conceptions of giftedness and how ‘cultural capital’ is transmitted from one generation to the next.
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