Characteristics of Scientifically-Gifted Students: A Causal Relationship Model

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The objective of this research was to develop a causal relationship model of the characteristics of scientifically-talented students. The research employed mixed methodology with quantitative and qualitative approaches equally combined. Three phases were involved: Phase 1 - formulating an initial hypothetical model of the characteristics of scientifically-talented students through related documentary analysis, in-depth interviews of science experts, and two case studies; Phase 2 - validating and modifying the initial hypothetical model developed in Phase 1; and Phase 3 - testing the goodness of fit of the modified model with empirical data. An inventory to measure student characteristics was constructed and used with 920 students from the fourth secondary-education level (10th -12th Grade), randomly selected through multistage sampling. These are the research results: 1. The makeup of a scientifically-talented student was found to consist of seven observable components: 1) cognitive ability and a scientific-inquiring mind; 2) scientific creativity; 3) reasoning and deliberating; 4) perseverance; 5) self-confidence; 6) responsibility; and 7) scientific problem-solving ability. 2. Five factors were found to affect the characteristics of a scientifically-talented student: 1) socio-economic status of parent/guardian; 2) family environment; 3 )parent/guardian support; 4) classroom social climate; and 5) school environment. 3. When tested against empirical data, goodness of fit statistics were: 2 = 121.24 , df = 98 , p = .056 , GFI= 0.99 and AGFI = 0.96. The factors in the model explained 87% of the variance in the characteristics of scientifically-talented students. 4.The factors affecting the overall characteristics of scientifically-talented students were found to be, in order of influence intensity, as follows: school environment, classroom environment, parent /guardian support, socio-economic status of parent/guardian, and family environmentใ

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