Marilena Z. LEANA-TASCILAR* Melodi OZYAPRAK** Ozgur YILMAZ***
*Assist. Prof. Dr., İstanbul University.
Problem Statement: Turkey began studies of gifted education relatively recently in comparison with other countries and these studies are focused more to the education of gifted children and their teachers instead of parents. Guiding and educating the parents of gifted students has recently been put into practice in our country while no matter how qualified a curriculum is, one will never reach the ultimate goal of education unless parent education is included. Therefore, studies focused on parent education and guiding of gifted students are vital need of gifted education in Turkey.
Purpose of the Study: The aim of the paper was to increase the awareness levels of gifted children’s parents about giftedness via distance education.
Method: In total 154 parents, who have children at age 6-8, were interested with the study. 40 (31 mothers, 9 fathers) of them participated regularly in the training. One group pretest-posttest experimental model was used. Topics such identification of giftedness, intelligence, developmental aspects, perfectionism, depression, motivation, and educational preventions were covered in 8 sessions.
Findings and Results: The effects of training, measured by the Scale of Awareness of Gifted Children’s Parents. Results showed that parents’ awareness increased significantly (t=5.29, p< .001) in total. However in some sub-scales there were not significant differences, the mean scores of the post-tests were higher than the pre-tests.
Conclusion and Recommendations: In conclusion, since gifted education field is growing in Turkey, it is very important to inform parents about their children’s needs. Results showed that distance education is a practical and economical way to achieve that goal. The researchers due to very positive feedbacks about the study can recommend to do further studies with bigger sample from all over the country. In addition, for further studies more comprehensive questionnaire may be developed to evaluate the effects of the training program in a better way.
Keywords: Gifted and Talented, Training of Gifted Parents, Distance Education, Adult Education, Scale of Awareness of Gifted Children’s Parents.