Degree Name

Master of Education (Hons.)


Faculty of Education


The motivation for the study was an article written by Alexinia Y. Baldwin (1987), titled I'm Black But Look At Me. I Am Also Gifted. where Baldwin explored why black American children are under-represented in gifted programs in the U.S.A. She traced the history of blacks in gifted education. concentrated on the problems associated with identification methods, and suggested that modifications to Identification methods are needed to ensure equitable representation of black American children in gifted programs. Similarly, there is an under-representation of Turkish children in gifted programs in the Wollongong area of New South Wales, Australia, and this study attempts to discover possible reasons, and look at the reliability of identification methods used.

The purpose of this research was to construct two case studies to explore why Turkish children were under-represented in gifted education programs in the local area. Two Turkish girls were chosen - one from the author's class group, the other an older child who had been part of the author's class group several years earlier. The fact that both children were girls was co-incidental. The younger child was selected because she had been through an Identification process based on academic achievement and I.Q. testing. The older child was selected because she was, at the commencement of the study. the only Turkish representative at the local selective High School, where entry is based on academic achievement.

The aim of the research was to follow Betts and Nethart's (1988) recommendatIon of identIficatIon by studying the whole chIld: behaviour, emotIons, working style, family life and work produced over an extended period of time. This required observatIon of the children at school for one term, observation of their home environments, interviews with parents, collection of information from previous teachers, counsellors and support staff, and collection of work samples, examination results and reports.

The study showed that I.Q. tests and academic results did not always give an accurate indication of potential or ability. There is a need to use detailed information and build profiles of the "whole" chIld, including feelings and attitudes, influence of family and school environments and academic achievements over time, to more accurately identify potential and needs.