Conceptions of giftedness: A qualitative study with Hong Kong parents of young children

Hong Yan Echo WU

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


A significant feature in the Chinese literature concerning giftedness is a deemphasis on natural ability and an emphasis on the impact of nurturing and learning. Through a qualitative approach, this project explores Hong Kong Chinese parents’ understandings and beliefs of giftedness, and their expected parental behaviours with their children. Thirty-two Hong Kong parents of young children are interviewed to examine their understandings of giftedness, and both qualitative and quantitative analyses are employed. The research findings offer insight to parents, educators and policy makers on the education of gifted and talented young children. This research project is the first of a three-phase longitudinal study that has the broad aim of uncovering the relationship between young parents’ conceptions of giftedness toward the education of gifted children, and their subsequent behaviours in the education of their children. In this phase of the project, the specific aims are to determine the conceptions of giftedness among Hong Kong Chinese parents, and their parenting behaviour and practices in relation to their children’s education – given the possibility that their child may be identified (or labelled) as “gifted”. Total of thirty-two semi-structured interviews are conducted with Hong Kong Chinese parents of children age 3-6 years old. This approach will be repeated in the subsequent two phases of the project to uncover any changes in their conceptions, and to characterize their actual behaviours in relations to their child’s education. Against the recent intense public interest in a small number of gifted children in Hong Kong, the findings of the first phase of this project will contribute to our basic understanding of the cultural basis of conceptions of giftedness, help shape future policy initiatives of the Hong Kong government. In the first and subsequent phases of the project, findings are also expected to provide specific advice to schools on how to implement these initiatives, particularly in relation to the communication and involvement of parents in the education of gifted children.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Wu, E. H. (2010, September). Conceptions of giftedness: A qualitative study with Hong Kong parents of young children. Poster session presented at the International Conference on Educational Research (ICER) 2010: Learning Communities for Sustainable Development, Khon Kaen University, Thailand.


  • Chinese
  • Gifted education
  • Giftedness
  • Parenting


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