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First published online July 29, 2015

Retrospective Perceptions of Graduates of a Self-Contained Program in Taiwan for High School Students Talented in STEM


This retrospective qualitative study was designed to investigate perceptions of the learning experiences of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)-talented male students who were in a self-contained, single-gender, gifted program in a selective high school in Taiwan. Twenty-four graduates of the high school’s gifted program completed a confidential survey and participated in one-on-one interviews. The participants identified the most valuable learning experience as the independent study course; they reported that the independent study course influenced their choice of college major and positively affected their studies in their senior year of college. Most participants valued their overall academic experience in the self-contained program, although a few reported that they were unable to learn so many science-related subjects simultaneously at such a fast pace, suggesting that this type of program needs to be differentiated. The social impacts of the program varied. Implications of the findings for educators as well as suggestions for future research are discussed.

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Enyi Jen is a doctoral candidate of Gifted, Creative, and Talented Studies in the Department of Educational Studies at Purdue University. Prior to attending Purdue, she received her master’s degree in gifted education from National Taiwan Normal University in Taiwan and taught affective curriculum in one STEM gifted self-contained program in a high school in Taiwan for 5 years. She has been coordinating talent development programs for Gifted Education Resource Institute at Purdue for the last 5 years. Her research interests include talent development, social and emotional development of gifted learners, qualitative methods, and design-based research.
Sidney M. Moon is Professor Emerita of Gifted, Creative, and Talented Studies in the Department of Educational Studies at Purdue University. She has been involved in the field of gifted, creative, and talented studies for 33 years. In that time, she has contributed more than 75 books, articles, and chapters to the field. She has been active in the National Association for Gifted Children, where she has served as Chair of the Research and Evaluation Division, a member of the Board of Directors, and Association Editor, and in the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group, Research on Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent, where she has served as treasurer. Her research interests include gifted education programs, the social/emotional development of talented persons, and talent development in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

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Article first published online: July 29, 2015
Issue published: October 2015


  1. male gifted students
  2. self-contained gifted program
  3. secondary education
  4. STEM
  5. science education
  6. mathematics education

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© 2015 National Association for Gifted Children.
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Published online: July 29, 2015
Issue published: October 2015



Enyi Jen
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
Sidney M. Moon
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA


Enyi Jen, Purdue University, 100 N University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098, USA. Email: [email protected]

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