|Ph.D Thesis||Department of Education in Science and Technology|
|Supervisors:||Prof. Dori Yehudit|
|Dr. Miriam Carmi|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
Assessing higher order thinking skills can serve for identifying diverse capabilities of gifted students to comply with the multidimensional definition of giftedness. The research goal was to examine (a) if and to what extent gifted students programs affect the performance and perceptions of male and female students during their first two years of study in the gifted programs, and (b) gifted students' parent's perceptions about their child's educational frameworks.
The research population included 487 gifted students, 275 of them were boys and 212 girls. The girls were further divided into those who entered the gifted program without affirmative action and with affirmative action. Other division was by academic age - first year in the program vs. at the third year of the program. The parents' sample included about 100 taken from all the gifted programs.
The study included administration of thinking skills pre questionnaires to both the young and the grown-up student population and post questionnaires to the young population a year later.
Analyzing the question posing and asking inquiry questions assignments, we found no significant difference in the pre questionnaire scores between the young students' research groups. However, the grown-up students' pre questionnaire results and young students' post questionnaire results show significant differences in the mean scores between the three research groups. The scores of the girls who were accepted to the gifted program without affirmative action were significantly higher than those of the boys.
The graphing skills scores of the young girls who were accepted to the gifted program with affirmative action were significantly higher than those of the girls who were accepted to the gifted program without affirmative action. The same results were obtained for the question posing skill and the graphing skill of the grown-up students. Gifted girls who entered the programs with affirmative action performed the same as the others or at a higher level.
Gifted parents perceived the educational frameworks of their children positively. Gifted girls' parents attribute more weight to internal considerations emanating from their homes, while gifted boys' parents attribute more weight to external considerations such as authority, the outcomes of the gifted tests, or the educational team.
This research contributes to the body of knowledge in the domains of developing gifted students’ higher order thinking skills and gender issues. When properly applied, the assessment tools that we developed successfully identify differences in gender characteristics of gifted students' higher order thinking skills.