A study of Measures used in the identification of gifted and talented children in three district of Kenya
Kamau, Rachel Wanjiru
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This was an exploratory study. The purpose was to investigate whether we can identify gifted and talented children in the two provinces of Kenya using the cognitive and non-cognitive measures. The study endeavoured to establish the validity and reliability of the parameters used with the hope of developing an indigenous identification instrument for the identification of the gifted and talented people of this country. In addition, the study was expected to provide baseline data to assist in the implementation of the recommendations of Kamunge (1988) and Koech (1999) Reports on Inquiry into the Educational System in Kenya. The significance of this research lies in the fact that it was meant to: assist in the establishment of programmes for the gifted and talented by facilitating the implementation of the recommendations of the Kamunge (1988) and Koech (1999) Reports on the need to identify the gifted and talented children in Kenya; promote public awareness on who these children are and what their needs entail and the repercussions to the society when we fail to identify them; encourage further studies on the development of a test and/or a procedure to be employed in the identification of the Kenyan gifted and talented children in future; and facilitate further research activities in the area of the gifted and talented. The study employed the survey research design. The subjects of the study were 429 pupils from Standard Three to Eight in fourteen purposefully selected primary schools from Central and Nairobi Provinces between the age ranges of 9 and 14 years. The identification instruments employed included: Rating and Observational checklists, Achievement Tests; Standardized Measures of intelligence namely, Raven's Progressive matrices (RPM), Intelligence and Developmental Tests for I Eastern Africa (IDEA). Analysis of variance, Chi-square, t-tests and frequency distribution were used in the data analysis and presentation. The results indicated that cognitive measures are more effective and appropriate in the identification of the gifted and talented as compared to non-cognitive measures. However, the results of non-cognitive measures correlated quite highly with those already recorded from other researches undertaken in USA, Germany. Canada. Finland, United Kingdom among other countries. In addition, demographic variables like parents occupations, family size, ordinal position of birth. number of brothers and number of sisters play a significant role in who becomes gifted and talented and those who are not. There was no age difference between those children who were gifted and talented and those who were not. However, the gifted and talented performed better than their peers who were not gifted and not talented. Furthermore, there was no significant . difference between the two genders with regards to the performance of cognitive tasks. Finally, there are recommendations and suggestions for further studies.