School Smarts: Measuring Adolescent Attitude toward Intelligent Behavior In School.Report as inadecuate

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Intelligence is one component of self esteem, but it is not well represented in standard measures. To further research on intelligence and self esteem, adolescent attitude toward intelligent behavior in school were measured. To measure students' opinions, an instrument referred to as Thoughts on Thinking was developed. This thirty statement, ten-point scale was administered to 699 students in grades 5 through 12 in a small suburban school district. There were 84 students who identified themselves as having participated in the district gifted program while 615 did not so identify themselves. Three factors were found to be present: factor I: Smartness Self-Esteem; factor II: Smartness Preference; and factor III: Smartness Self-Concept. Significance for grade level and gifted ability on factor I; for grade level and gender on factor II; and for gender and gifted ability on factor III were found. On factor I, fifth graders were found to be significantly more confident that they were smart than were other grade levels. The same finding held true for those identified as gifted versus those not identified as gifted. On factor II, males more strongly preferred athletics/popularity to intelligence than did females. On factor III, the identified gifted had significantly less concern than those students not identified as gifted. Generally, attitudes toward intelligence were found to be extremely stable in fifth through twelfth grades. (Author/MKA)

Descriptors: Academically Gifted, Adolescent Attitudes, Adolescents, Childhood Attitudes, Elementary Secondary Education, Intelligence, Self Concept, Self Esteem, Sex Differences, Student Attitudes, Student Behavior

Author: Nichols, Marci


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