Giftedness and juvenile delinquency: a case of selected rehabilitation schools in Kenya
Kamau-Kangethe, R. W.
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Studies on the nature and characteristics of children who are gifted and talented show that these children are inquisitive in nature. Their curiosity may lead to rejection by family members, teachers, peers and society as a whole. Feeling frustrated and different from their peers, these children may rebel in school, home or in the society and end up being labeled delinquents. In Kenya, juvenile delinquents are referred to Rehabilitation Schools and Children Remand Homes as stipulated in 2001 Children's Act. The purpose of this study was to explore giftedness among learners with juvenile delinquency in selected rehabilitation schools in Kenya. The study population comprised of teachers, social workers and children in Rehabilitation Schools in Kenya. Random sampling was used to select three Rehabilitation Schools; two for boys and one for girls representing 33.3% of the rehabilitation schools in Kenya. Both qualitative and quantitative data was collected and analyzed. All learners in the selected schools participated in the study. The study utilized Ravens Progressive Matrices, teachers and peer nomination forms and Observation Checklists to identify children who are gifted. Children's committal records were also analyzed. The study revealed that about 13% of children in the rehabilitation schools are gifted and talented. If this population is not well taken care of the Kenyan society may end up losing a very important human resource. There is need therefore to sensitize different stakeholders on the nature and needs of children who are gifted and talented.