To develop quality programs that address the special needs of gifted and talented students, a sound knowledge base on the special educational and emotional needs of gifted and talented students is of utmost importance. To this end, PGT has secured funding from the Research Grants Council and from the Quality Education Fund to study the characteristics and needs of gifted students through self-reports and interviews with gifted students, their teachers, parents and peers. The findings have enabled us to modify our programs to fit the needs and learning styles of gifted students, and provide valuable insight into ways of reversing underachievement, nurturing creativity and developing leadership. Our major research areas include:

Assessment of Giftedness and Talents

Assessing for giftedness or special talents in individuals is a complex process. We are developing a series of screening tests which will enable us to screen for different abilities in a group testing format within the multiple intelligences framework. These tests are designed to uncover potential so that those with high potential abilities in particular domains can be provided with opportunities to participate in enrichment courses designed to further develop these abilities. Such screening procedures will also enable us to refer children for more specific testing or training to enhance the possibilities of future achievement in these specific domains.

Learning, Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Children

Gifted children often have learning, social and emotional needs that differ from their age peers. Through researching and identifying these needs and characteristics, we aim to improve existing educational and counseling services for gifted children to better meet their emotional and learning needs. Our research will inform parents and teachers on these specific needs and on how the home and school environments can be made more conducive to the development of talents of these children.

Program Development and Evaluation

We strongly believe that gifted students should be given opportunities to participate in enrichment activities that nurture and develop their talents. As a major provider of such activities we are committed to research on program development and the evaluation of the outcome effects of our courses on student participants. Our research will inform educators in the field of gifted education on how participation in similar programs or training courses can benefit gifted and talented students.