HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 17 no. 2 (2008)

Teachers of Gifted Students in Hong Kong: Competencies and Characteristics

Hoi Yan Cheung | Shane N. Phillipson

Discipline: Education, Learning



This empirical research studied the desired characteristics and competencies for teaching gifted students in 177 Hong Kong in-service teachers. 102 in-service teachers had experience in teaching gifted students whilst 75 had no experience at all. The scale used in this study was modified from D. W. Chan (2001) to allow for self-assessments by Chinese speaking teachers. Firstly, a Chinese translation was developed from the English version using all of the 39 original items. Teachers were asked to rate themselves using a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (do not possess) to 5 (totally possess), and to complete a questionnaire exploring their gender, age, length of teaching experience, years spent teaching gifted students, and their highest educational level. Exploratory factor analysis extracted five desired characteristics and three desired competencies. Overall, the items were found to be suitable for investigating self-assessments of the competencies and characteristics of Hong Kong in-service teachers. Results of the study show that the two groups of teachers had significant differences in all desired characteristics and competencies, except for competency in counseling. Furthermore, regression analysis showed that experience in working with gifted students was the best predictor of the desired characteristics for teaching gifted students. The results are discussed in terms of teacher education programmes for teachers of gifted students.