Investigation of Gifted Students' Cognitive Structures on the Concept of Innovation

Research Article

Keywords: STEM Education, Science and Art Center, gifted student, phenomenology, innovation, word association test, drawing - writing technique, 21st century skills


The aim of this research is to analyze the cognitive structures of gifted students regarding the concept of innovation. The phenomenology design, one of the qualitative research method designs, was used in the study. The criterion sampling method, one of the purposeful sampling methods, was used to determine the study group of the research. In the 2018 - 2019 academic year, 25 (15 boys, 10 girls) special talented students at the 7th and 8th grade level of secondary school in a Science and Art Center (BİLSEM) in Ankara Province formed the study group of the research. Word association test (WAT) and drawings were used as data collection tools in the research. Content analysis was used in the analysis of the data and the relationship of the participants to the concept of innovation was examined by using the cut-point technique. In addition, concept networks that show the associations at each breakpoint as a whole are drawn. Mind maps were drawn by using the frequency table prepared from the students' responses to the selected key concepts. The average reliability among coders was found to be 88.8%. Research data were collected under 7 categories. These; Definition and characteristics of innovation (f = 78), innovation and development (f = 52), stages of innovation (f = 46), innovation and business (f = 27), innovation-oriented skills (f = 18), innovation and product (f = 17), other (non-category concepts) (f = 13). It was determined that students produced 38 different answer words about the concept of innovation with 252 times and they most associated the concept of innovation with the concepts of "innovation", "development" and "technology". In the sentences they wrote together with the drawings, explanations emphasizing more technological products and development processes were observed.