A psychological approach to career evaluation for gifted and talented high school seniors

Sandra L King, Marquette University


It has long been recognized in the research literature that students classified as gifted and talented have special needs and abilities. Yet, the commitment to individualization has been halting and incomplete. One area of special need for the gifted is that of career education. Due to multipotentiality, career search for the gifted can be a painful process of focusing on one talent and rejecting other areas. The career evaluation process has been impeded by many difficulties, since existing conceptual models are not well developed, implementation is in its beginning stages, and few instruments have been developed to measure impact on students. A comprehensive career education model includes a developmental framework of career awareness, career exploration, and career preparation. Addressing the needs of gifted students, however, requires tailoring of integral aspects of the program, particularly the career evaluation component. This study was devoted to creating a career evaluation model that could be used for all high school seniors, with an enrichment component which would address the unique needs of the gifted and talented. The study was initiated by presenting questionnaires to members of Mensa of Wisconsin. It was determined that these people indeed suffered a lack of appropriate assistance in career decision making as high school students. After reviewing theories of career education, legislation, and research and development in the field, a model career evaluation program was designed using Joseph Renzulli's Enrichment Triad as a format. The model was then given to twelve educators experienced in the area of gifted education in high schools in the greater Milwaukee area for critical review. To test the model's validity, the experts were given a questionnaire to rate the integral aspects of the program. It is anticipated that the developed model will provide a basis for curriculum planners and other educators to create innovative career evaluation programs to better meet the needs of gifted and talented students.

Recommended Citation

King, Sandra L, "A psychological approach to career evaluation for gifted and talented high school seniors" (1988). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI8925433.