An analysis of the factors that hinder the nurturing of gifted students in developing countries

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Gifted education provides the institutional context for the current study, where traditionally, identifying and nurturing gifted learners has been the major task of practitioners in this field. In developing countries, as well as in developed ones, some of the major hindrances facing gifted education if it is to accomplish its function, are addressed herein. Based on Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory, the current study has aimed at analysing the factors that hinder nurturing gifted students in developing countries, from the perspective of the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macro-system of gifted students in the contect of their own countries, along with identifying lessons that can be learned from developed countries that might be of benefit to developing countries with regard to nurturing gifted students. This study has used a desk research methodology, with (58) studies reviewed. The results indicate that gifted education in developing countries has been hindered by a lack of systematic and organised approaches in terms of the readiness of the main actors at all various levels of the ecological system. Many developing countries have not yet developed a comprehensive vision and effective infrastructure that is capable of upgrading the skills and abilities of gifted learners. In many cases, however, where such an infrastructure exists, inappropriate conditions for the discovering and nurturing of gifted learners are exacerbated by a complicated set of practices that discriminate against certain kinds of giftedness or those practices that discourage the gifted. This study provides some key recommendations that should reduce these obstacles and improve the current status of gifted education in developing countries, in addition to providing directions for future research.