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Teacher beliefs about giftedness — examining and explaining teacher beliefs about gifted students’ characteristics in an experimental design

  • Previous research revealed that teachers hold beliefs about gifted students combining high intellectual ability with deficits in non-cognitive domains, outlined in the so-called disharmony hypothesis. Since teachers’ beliefs about giftedness can influence which students they identify as gifted, the empirical investigation of beliefs is of great practical relevance. This dissertation comprises three research articles that investigated teacher beliefs about gifted students’ characteristics in samples of pre-service teachers using an experimental vignette approach. Chapter I starts with a general introduction into beliefs, and presents the research aims of the present dissertation. The first article (Chapter II) focused on the interaction of beliefs about giftedness and gender in a sample of Australian pre-service teachers and tested if social desirability occurred when using the vignette design. Beside evidence for beliefs in line with the disharmony hypothesis, results revealed typical gender stereotypes. However, beliefs about giftedness appeared not to be gender specific and thus, to be similar for gifted girls and boys. The vignette approach was found to be an adequate design for assessing teacher beliefs. The second article (Chapter III) investigated teacher beliefs and their relationship to motivational orientations for teaching gifted students in a cross-country sample of German and Australian pre-service teachers. Motivational orientations comprise cognitive components (self-efficacy) and affective components (enthusiasm). Findings revealed beliefs in the sense of the disharmony hypothesis for pre-service teachers from both countries. Giftedness when paired with beliefs about high maladjustment was found to be negatively related to teachers’ self-efficacy for teaching gifted students. The third article (Chapter IV) examined the role of teachers’ belief in a just world for the formation of beliefs using a sample of Belgian pre-service teachers. It was found that the stronger pre-service teachers’ belief in a just world was, the more they perceived gifted students’ high intellectual ability as unfair and thus, neutralized that injustice by de-evaluating students’ non-cognitive abilities. In a general discussion (Chapter V), findings of the three articles are combined and reflected. Taken together, the present dissertation showed that teacher beliefs about gifted students’ characteristics are not gender specific, generalizable over countries, negatively related to teacher motivation and can be driven by fairness beliefs.

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Author:Svenja Matheis
Advisor:Manfred Schmitt, Franzis Preckel, Johanna Pretsch
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2019/05/13
Publishing institution:Universität Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau, Universitätsbibliothek
Granting institution:Universität Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau, Fachbereich 8
Date of final exam:2019/02/15
Release Date:2019/05/14
Tag:giftedness; stereotypes; teacher beliefs; teacher education; teacher motivation
Number of pages:181
Institutes:Fachbereich 8
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 155 Differentielle Psychologie, Entwicklungspsychologie
BKL-Classification:77 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht: § 53 UrhG