The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

How Do German Science Teachers Characterize Biological Giftedness

Anke Renger, University Hamburg (Germany)

Julia Schwanewedel, University Hamburg (Germany)


In 2016, a joint initiative of Germany’s federal government and Germany’s federal states called "LemaS" started. The aim of this initiative is to foster high-achieving and potentially gifted students in regular school lessons (iPEGE 2009). One of the 22 sub-projects focusses on STEM – biology education and empirically investigates what characterizes biology-related talent. The overall aim is to develop a diagnostic-tool for biological giftedness and conveying tools.
The previous talent models (e.g. Gagné 1993) are not biology-specific. However, studies have shown that talent is content-related. Therefore, a specialist description of talent is required. To find out what characterizes biological giftedness, teaching experts (N=70), i.e. biology teachers from participating schools, take part in an online survey including open questions on talent and relating to the German federal educational STEM-standards (KMK 2005). The 2ndpart evaluates whether teaching experts see these standards as indicators of biology-related talent. Survey data were analysed using qualitative content analysis and (descriptive) statistics.
Preliminary data (N=10) regarding the characterization of biological giftedness show that almost all survey participants see interest and the resulting motivation as important factors of talent (8 out of 10). Furthermore, half of the participants state they do not equate talent with achievement, but in a willingness to perform. Final results will be available at the conference.
The results show, in addition to general also characteristics of biology-related talent. This is intended to modify Gagné's talent model for biology-related talent. Based on this expanded model, diagnostics and support instruments for teaching are to be developed and tested.

Keywords: talent-models, biological giftedness, STEM, education.


  • iPEGE (International Panel of Experts for Gifted Education). (2009). Professional Promotion of the Gifted and Talented: Recommendations for the qualification of experts in gifted education.
  • Gagné, F. (1993). Constructs and models pertaining to exceptional human abilities. In: K. A. Heller, F. J. Mönks & A. H. Passow (Hrsg.). International Handbook of Research and Development of Giftedness and Talent (S. 69 – 87). Oxford: Pergamon.
  • KMK (2005). Bildungsstandards im Fach Biologie für den Mittleren Schulabschluss. München 2005. München: Luchterhand.

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