The University of Montana
Department of Mathematical Sciences

Technical report #25/2010

Gifted girls and non-mathematical aspirations: A longitudinal case study of two gifted Korean girls

Kyeonghwa Lee
Seoul National University

Bharath Sriraman
The University of Montana


In this longitudinal study of two gifted Korean girls, the experiences with early admittance into a gifted program are charted alongside their family and societal experiences that ultimately influenced their career choices in non-mathematical fields. Over the course of 8 years, interviews were conducted with the two gifted girls and their parents to determine factors that led to their choosing a non mathematical area of specialization in spite of early identification and support of their mathematical talent. Qualitative analysis of the longitudinal data led to the development of three main factors as contributing to the career choices. One of the startling finding of this study was contrary to the findings of other gifted education research, the two girls' early experiences with gifted education kept them from choosing careers related to math.

Keywords: career aspirations; early identification; enculturation; gender inequalities; gifted education, Korea, mathematics, self-concept.

AMS Subject Classification: 97

Preprint of paper submitted to Gifted Child Quarterly Pdf (432 KB)