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Journal for the Education of the Young Scientist and Giftedness

2014, Volume 2, Issue 2, 11-21

Review Article

Affective Curriculum for Gifted Students in Malaysia: A

ABSTRACT: In recent years, the Malaysian Ministry of Education has been reviving Brendan CHNG. HELP
gifted and talented programmes. Gifted students are well-known for their academic University, Faculty of
achievements, but their socio-emotional development are often given less attention in Education and
schools. This article discusses the socio-emotional issues of gifted adolescents, and the Languages, Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia.
needs for providing affective curriculum in gifted education to cater the socio-emotional E-mail:
needs of gifted adolescents. Various models for developing an affective curriculum are
also discussed within the context of the Malaysian education system. Finally, this article
considers the possible implications on teacher education and provides suggestions for
future research to be conducted in Malaysia.
Keywords: Gifted education, affective curriculum, socio-emotional development,
Received: 11 Oct 2014
Accepted:15 Nov 2014

2014 Journal for the Education of the Young Scientist and Giftedness
ISSN: 2147-9518, http://jeysg.org
12 Affective curriculum

INTRODUCTION addition, Ishak and Bakar (2010) found that low

Although gifted education has a relatively brief self-esteem, perfectionism, competitiveness, and
history in Malaysia, there has been a revival of anxiety are some of the psychological issues
gifted education programmes by the Ministry of experienced by Malaysian gifted students in their
Education (MOE) in recent years. In 2009, the research. Both studies concluded that Malaysian
National University of Malaysia had launched gifted students encounter similar socio-
the PERMATApintar Education Programme 1 emotional issues as their peers globally (Bakar &
and the School Holiday Camp 2 to identify and Ishak, 2010; Ishak & Bakar, 2010). Therefore, it
accommodate the learning needs of gifted and is equally important that the affective
talented students from across the country development of the gifted is also addressed
(Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, n.d.d). within the curriculum. Since gifted students
Furthermore, the recent Malaysia Education spend most of their time in school, it is
Blueprint 2013-2025 released by the MOE had imperative that the schools environment and
outlined long-terms plans to provide support the curriculum are designed especially in the
and implement gifted and talented programmes Malaysian context to minimise their socio-
in Malaysia (Ministry of Education, 2013). emotional issues and nurture their socio-
The field of gifted education has been emotional growth.
generally prioritised on achieving academic As the MOE is committing itself to build a
excellence. However, the affective development better understanding of the needs of gifted
i.e. the personal, social, and emotional children and promoting gifted education in
aspects of learning (Silverman, 1994a, p. 326) Malaysia, this article calls for attention to the
of the gifted has been given relatively much less socio-emotional needs of gifted students, and
attention as compared to their cognitive highlights the various strategies available to
development (Peterson, 2002; Silverman, 1994a). develop an affective curriculum within gifted
Furthermore, educators often perceive gifted and talented programmes in Malaysia. First, the
students as not needing help and assumed that article discusses the theories used in
the gifted are able to apply their abilities to understanding the characteristics and socio-
respond to their personal challenges (Peterson, emotional development of gifted individuals
2002). According to Silverman (1994a), ignoring before focussing on the socio-emotional issues
the emotional lives of the gifted can affect their that are particularly experienced by gifted
intellectual lives and motivation this is because adolescents in school. The article also discusses
the affective realm is not separate from the the features and importance of providing an
cognitive realm but rather, it interacts with each affective curriculum, as well as examining the
other and contributes to the learning and various strategies and models that can be used in
development of the gifted. Silverman (1994a, p. developing affective curriculum for gifted
327) adds that gifted students can become adolescents. The following section outlines the
anxious, depressed, alienated, socially inept, or ways in which these strategies and models could
emotionally blocked when their emotional be incorporated within the Malaysian education
experiences are neglected by the emphasis on system. Finally, the article concludes by
cognitive development in education. discussing the possible implications on teacher
Recent research on gifted students in education and suggestions for future research
Malaysia had highlighted the psychological and within the field of gifted education in Malaysia.
counselling issues of gifted students in gifted Social and Emotional Issues of Gifted
education programmes. Bakar and Ishaks (2010) Adolescents
research revealed some of the counselling issues Most studies on the psychosocial
faced by Malaysian gifted students attending a development of intellectually gifted students
school holiday programme, which includes have reinforced the myth that gifted students are
homesickness, relationship issues with peers, socially and emotionally well-adjusted (Clark,
anxiety, and having suicidal thoughts. In 2008; Gross, 2002). Robinson (2008, p. 34)
states that gifted individuals are more mature
1 The PERMATApintar Education Programme is a two- socially than their age peers in terms of
year university preparatory programme which uses friendship patterns, play interests, social
differentiated learning for students who have been knowledge and behaviour, and personality.
identified as gifted (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, n.d.b). Hollingworths (1926, 1942, as cited in Gross,
2 The School Holiday Camp is a series of science,
2002, p. 21) research suggests that gifted
technology and mathematics enrichment programmes for
gifted and talented students from Year 3 to Form 3 individuals with IQ levels between 125 and 155
(Ministry of Education, 2013). were well-balanced, self-confident, outgoing,

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Chng 13

and able to win the confidence and friendship of needs of the gifted; this theory suggests that all
age peers. However, these findings cannot be individuals must progress through eight
generalised throughout the gifted population developmental stages from infancy to adulthood
Hollingworth also found that individuals who (Gillespie, 2009). In every developmental stage,
are profoundly gifted (with IQs above 160) it contains a crisis that needs to be resolved by
experience various socio-emotional difficulties the individual. The failure to successfully
as other average-ability children are unable to negotiate within the stages only creates a
relate to them and hence, it is difficult to form backlog of issues for the individual as they seek
friendships with others (Gross, 2002). to establish their own social identity. As the
Winner (1996) mentions that these socio- environment influences the individuals success
emotional issues occur because of the unique in moving through these developmental stages,
personality structure of the gifted, which set it is essential to provide a nurturing environment
them apart from their average-ability peers. She that serves the socio-emotional needs of the
proposed that there are three main gifted to assist their social development and
characteristics that shape the distinctiveness of establish their social identity (Gillespie, 2009).
gifted individuals: Gifted individuals also perceive themselves
a) Work: gifted children are highly and their environment differently than others
motivated to work to achieve mastery; due to their high levels of intensity and
they derive pleasure from challenge, and sensitivity that affect their socio-emotional
at least by adolescence, they have an development. In Dabrowskis theory of positive
unusually strong sense of who they are disintegration, the development of the gifted
and what they want to be as adults; requires them to progress through pentatonic
b) Value structures: they are fiercely levels [that] represent the mapping of human
independent and nonconforming, as personality, or emotional development, along a
well as having advanced moral continuum from low (egocentric) to high
reasoning with zealous concerns about (altruistic) by means of positive disintegration
various ethnical, moral, and political (OConnor, 2002, p. 52; Robinson, 2008).
issues; Guiding this development process are the five
c) Relationship with peers: they tend to be overexcitabilities commonly found in gifted
more introverted and lonelier than the individuals i.e. psychomotor, sensual, intellectual,
average child, both because they have so imaginational, and emotional; both overexcitabilities
little in common with others and and the positive disintegration process of socio-
because they need and want to be alone emotional development create a unique inner
to develop their talent (Winner, 1996, p. experience which marks the gifted as different
212) from their peers (Silverman, 2000).
These qualities create dual experiences within Nevertheless, OConnor (2002, pp. 55-56)
the gifted, which are not only pleasurable and highlights that these overexcitabilities could also
fulfilling but it also can be more painful, be experienced in negative ways that result in
isolating, and stressful than of the average child the gifted being misunderstood and alienated
(Winner, 1996, p. 213). As Silverman (2000, p. 3) by those who do not share or understand their
mentions, gifted children not only think unique personality traits.
differently from their peers, they also feel Research suggests that gifted individuals,
differently. These internal experience and who have attained advanced development,
awareness become intensified with the display high levels of emotional and intellectual
asynchrony between their high cognitive ability overexcitabilities (Silverman, 2000; Tieso, 2009).
and their average physical and emotional Both of these overexcitabilities make them
development, which further complicates their more insightful and volatile in their relationships
socio-emotional problems when they socialise with peers and others, which could result in
with their age-peers (Silverman, 2000, 2002). discrepancy between how they perceive
According to Cross (1997, as cited in Clark, themselves and how they wish to be perceived
2008, p. 135), the social and emotional growth (Tieso, 2009, p. 663). In addition, the heightened
of the gifted relies on how well the sensitivity within the gifted often brings about
environment responds to and provides for their moral concerns for ethical and political issues, as
needs than to the different characteristics they well as passion for social justice (VanTassel-
present. Eriksons theory of psychosocial Baska, 1998b). They are also empathetic and
development is useful for highlighting the compassionate individuals who would dedicate
importance of satisfying the socio-emotional themselves toward healing the world problems

Journal for the Education of the Young Scientist & Giftedness, 2014, 2/2
14 Affective curriculum

(Clark, 2008; Silverman, 1994b, 1998, 2000). formed through life experiences (Dixon &
However, Silverman (1994b, p. 115) mentions Kurpius, 2009, p. 4), whereby the valuing of
that the greater the asynchrony and moral self is fundamental to human functioning
sensitivity, the greater the vulnerability of the (VanTassel-Baska, 1998a, p. 490) in which ones
child within a morally insensitive society. As self-concept influences their capacity to succeed,
suggested earlier, gifted students who tend to self-esteem, motivation, and relationships with
exhibit intense sensitivity and internal others. Unfortunately, studies found that gifted
responsiveness towards the actions of others students self-concept tend to decrease from
are likely to be socially rejected or ridiculed, elementary to high school as they become
which further leaves them feeling unaccepted by increasingly anxious and isolated due to their
peers (VanTassel-Baska, 1998a, p. 492). asynchronies with their socio-emotional
According to Silverman (1998), gifted development and schooling environment
children enter the adolescence stage in advance (Robinson, 2008; Sampson & Chason, 2008).
of their age-peers. This suggests that gifted Gifted adolescents with poor self-concepts may
adolescents would have to manage the various not only underestimate their actual abilities and
developmental issues as illustrated earlier in lower their self-esteem, but could also find
Eriksons psychosocial developmental theory problems with searching their own identity due
at an earlier age compared to others. According to lack of social interactions (Davis, Rimm, &
to Clark (2008), adolescents are overwhelmed by Siegle, 2011; VanTassel-Baska, 1998a).
the physical and emotional changes that occur Another common issue faced by gifted
during this period of growth. Gifted adolescents adolescents is perfectionism i.e. the
do share similar personal goals with other dissatisfaction with the difference between
adolescents: they seek for social acceptance; ones ideal performance and ones perception of
acknowledging their intellectual capacity and his or her actual performance (Coleman &
feeling the need to achieve academically; Cross, 2000, p. 204). According to VanTassel-
establishing their self-identity; and dealing with Baska (1998a, p. 493), gifted students have the
new responsibilities (Clark, 2008; Neihart & tendency for expecting more of themselves
Huan, 2009; Silverman, 1998). than is warranted given a particular set of
For some gifted adolescents, the desire to be circumstances. Although perfectionism can be
socially accepted by their peers often pressures healthy as gifted students become highly
them to conform within the norms of the social motivated in working towards their self-targeted
group. Gifted boys find themselves having to goals, an unhealthy preoccupation of achieving
either be athletically able or humorous in order perfection with unrealistic high standards can
for their academic success to be accepted, interfere with their confidence and lead to
whereas gifted girls tend to hide their abilities frustration and perceived failure in themselves
and instead favour activities that are (Clark, 2008; Sampson & Chason, 2008). This is
stereotypically feminine when seeking intimacy because gifted perfectionists feel a conflict
and acceptance among the female peer group between internal drives for excellence and
(Clark, 2008; Silverman, 1998; Winner, 1996). external pushes for performance (VanTassel-
Consequently, some gifted adolescents are Baska, 1998a, p. 493), which negatively impacts
willing to sacrifice their giftedness and hence their decision-making skills as a result of being
underachieve in school for the sake of hyper-vigilant that lead only to ineffective search
conformity and avoid being judged as a nerd or for alternative courses of action (Sampson &
geek (Davis, Rimm, & Siegle, 2011). Chason, 2008). Besides that, this neurotic
Furthermore, gifted adolescents from perfectionism has harmful influences on gifted
underrepresented groups, such as being twice- adolescents social relationship with others
exceptional, non-heterosexual or from minority their perfectionism isolates them from their
(sub) cultures, would experience further socio- peers due to perfectionistic work commitments,
emotional problems as they would find it more and also for their acceptance of only those
difficult to seek friendships (Peterson & Rischar, whose abilities meet their high standards (Clark,
2000; Reis & Renzulli, 2004; Winner, 1996). 2008; Robinson, 2008).
Generally, gifted students hold strong As gifted students reach late adolescence, life
academic self-concept but their social self- decisions would have been made together with
concept is often found to be poor (Davis, Rimm selections of college courses in preparation for
& Siegle, 2011; Neihart & Huan, 2009; Sampson their career (Silverman, 1998). However, some
& Chason, 2008). Self-concept is referred as gifted adolescents need more time to decide
peoples perception of themselves that is their future pathway as their multi-potentiality

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Chng 15

holds them back from making a firm decision therefore limited in learning through social
(Owens, 2009). Kerr (1990, p. 1, as cited in interactions, could learn to manage their socio-
Sampson & Chason, 2008, p. 334) describes emotional issues through affective curriculum
multi-potentiality as the ability to select and (VanTassel-Baska & Stambaugh, 2006).
develop any number of career options because Silverman (1994a, p. 326) suggests that affective
of a wide variety of interests, aptitudes, and education is best emphasised during adolescence
abilities. Gifted students with multi-potentiality because their socio-emotional development and
find it difficult to narrow down the broad issues requires more attention rather than the
options available to them into a career choice, desire for mastery that characterised an earlier
and this dilemma is even intensified with their developmental period.
perfectionism in looking for the perfect or ideal According to Silverman (1994a, p. 328), it is
career (Colangelo, 2003). Hence, these important to distinguish between affective
perfectionism and multi-potentiality lead the education and counselling to ensure that
gifted into a state of frustration, distress, and teachers would not become overwhelmed by
difficulty in developing a sense of purpose the responsibility of attending to the students
because they cannot easily integrate or prioritize emotional needs. In affective education, the
their abilities and talents (Owens, 2009, p. 607; activities are less personal than counselling and
Sampson & Chason, 2008). deal with emotional issues in less depth; students
Studies have been conducted that highlights learn more and become aware of their personal
how gifted programmes can influence the socio- beliefs and philosophies without necessarily
emotional well-being (or affective outcomes) of changing them. A comprehensive affective
gifted students. In Plunkett and Kronborgs programme should also provide opportunities
(2007) research, they found that the supportive for the gifted to discuss common concerns with
and positive social and academic context created other gifted students as they have different
within the Extended Curriculum Program issues from their age-peers, and also because
classes had satisfied the gifted girls social and they would not feel comfortable revealing their
emotional needs, whereby they felt a strong problems in a mixed-ability group (Silverman,
sense of belonging among themselves with 1994a).
respects in each others abilities. Findings from Nevertheless, the role of teachers should
VanTassel-Baska, Feng, Swanson, Quek, and extend beyond merely educating gifted students;
Chandlers (2009) research showed that the teachers of the gifted can also provide first-hand
gifted programme had benefited gifted students counselling service for students showing signs of
from minority groups; it enhanced their self- early socio-emotional issues. According to
confidence and developed higher level skills of Mayer and Salovey (1997, p. 19), some of the
communication and thinking. Besides that, most important learning takes place in the
Eddles-Hirsch, Vialle, Rogers, and McCormicks informal relationships between the student and
(2010) study on the impact of social context and teacher. VanTassel-Baska and Baska (2000)
challenging instruction on the affective suggest that teachers of the gifted are natural
development of high-ability students suggests facilitators in addressing the gifted students
that the type of extension programmes and counselling needs as they are better trained than
gender culture of the school can influence the others in responding to the needs of gifted
students affective outcomes and how they students who are already familiar to them. First,
engage in social coping strategies. teachers need to adopt a helping mind-set that
Affective Curriculum in Gifted Education requires a non-judgemental attitude,
As feelings drive the thinking process, it is genuineness, focused attention, and the
essential that gifted students emotional state is understanding that students need guidance to
focused as a motivational tool for enhancing resolve their own issues (Greene, 2005, p. 229).
learning, especially when they are exposed to In addition, teachers should also adopt
various socio-emotional issues and risks as counselling skills such as active listening to
discussed earlier in this paper (VanTassel-Baska explore, interpret and offer solutions to the
& Stambaugh, 2006). Mayer and Salovey (1997, situation presented by the students during class
p. 22) argue that the use of emotions as one discussion (Green, 2005; Peterson, 2002;
basis for thinking, and thinking with emotions VanTassel-Baska & Baska, 2000).
themselves, may be related to important social The remaining section of this paper describes
competencies and adaptive behaviour. Gifted the various models that could be used to
students from minority groups, who may be develop an affective curriculum for gifted
socially marginalised in schools settings and adolescences in Malaysia. These models include

Journal for the Education of the Young Scientist & Giftedness, 2014, 2/2
16 Affective curriculum

Krathwohls Taxonomy of the Affective between both taxonomies can be applied in

Domain; emotional intelligence; bibliotherapy; curriculum planning as an approach to integrate
talent development plan; and career cognitive and affective behaviours (Silverman,
development programmes. 1994a), as shown below:
Krathwohls Taxonomy of the Affective Cognitive Affective
Domain Taxonomy Taxonomy
The Krathwohls Taxonomy of the Affective Knowledge Receiving
Domain was produced as part of the Taxonomy Comprehension Responding
of Educational Objectives, which consists of Application Valuing
three main components i.e. cognitive, affective, Analysis Organisation
and psychomotor (Krathwohl, Bloom, & Masia, Synthesis Characterisation
1964). It addresses the affective domain of Evaluation
educational objectives that deals with interests, (Krathwohl, Bloom, & Masia, 1964, pp.
attitudes, values, appreciation, adjustment, and 49-50)
emotional sets or biases. Like Blooms cognitive These combinations do not always have to
taxonomy that was first developed, the occur on the same level of the taxonomies
categories within the affective taxonomy are sometimes certain cognitive processes can
structured in a hierarchical order that are benefit more through engaging with other levels
arranged along a continuum of internalisation of affective processes to bring about certain
from the lowest to the highest forms of affective outcomes (Krathwohl, Bloom, & Masia, 1964);
manifestation. According to Krathwohl, Bloom, Smutny, 2008). Studies had shown that the
and Masia (1964, p. 44), the progression of combined affective and cognitive processes can
internalisation entails the student to attend to be applied to aesthetic sensitivity, interpersonal
phenomena, to respond to them, to value them, relations, moral and ethical development, and
and to conceptualise them while organising his self-knowledge in students (Eberle & Hall, 1979,
or her values in a value complex that as cited in Silverman, 1994a).
characterises their way of life. The categories Emotional intelligence and development
within the taxonomy of affective domain are According to VanTassel-Baska and
listed as below: Stambaugh (2006), the development of the
1.0 Receiving (attending) theoretical framework and test for
1.1. Awareness understanding and assessing emotional
1.2. Willingness to receive intelligence had paved way for gifted curriculum
1.3. Controlled or selected developers to design curriculums that foster the
attention emotional growth of the gifted. Emotional
2.0 Responding intelligence is defined as the ability to perceive
2.1. Acquiescence in responding emotions, to access and generate emotions so as
2.2. Willingness to respond to assist thought, to understand emotions and
2.3. Satisfaction in respond emotional knowledge, and to reflectively
3.0 Valuing regulate emotions so as to promote emotional
3.1. Acceptance of a value and intellectual growth (Mayer & Salovey,
3.2. Preference for a value 1997, p. 5). Mayer and Salovey (1997, p. 10)
3.3. Commitment (conviction) conceptualised the emotional intelligence
4.0 Organisation framework into four main branches arranged
4.1. Conceptualisation of a value from more basic psychological processes to
4.2. Organisation of a value higher, more psychologically integrated
system processes i.e.:
5.0 Characterisation of a value or value 1) Perception, Appraisal, and Expression
complex of Emotion
5.1. Generalised set 2) Emotional Facilitation of Thinking
5.2. Characterisation (Krathwohl, 3) Understanding and Analysing
Bloom, & Masia, 1964, p. 95) Emotions; Employing Emotional
Krathwohl, Bloom, and Masia (1964, p. 62) Knowledge
suggest that both cognitive and affective 4) Reflective Regulation of Emotions to
taxonomies are closely interlinked each Promote Emotional and Intellectual
affective behaviour has a cognitive-behaviour Growth (Mayer & Salovey, 1997, p. 11)
counterpart of some kind and vice versa.
Hence, the connections of each category

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Chng 17

Mayer and Salovey (1997) further divided may also be formed through mutual
each of these branches into four representative understanding within the group, which help to
abilities, which were arranged in order of their foster a healthy socio-emotional development
respective developmental level of emotional (Hbert & Kent, 2000).
abilities. They added that people high in Talent development plan
emotional intelligence are expected to progress According to Moon and Ray (2006), personal
more quickly through the abilities designated and social competencies are vital in contributing
and to master more of them (Mayer & Salovey, the successful and happy adult lives for talented
1997, p. 10). The detailed outline of this individuals; the possession of personal and
framework provides a useful model for social talents would facilitate talented students
translating and incorporating the theoretical development of high-level expertise in
understandings of emotional intelligence into preparation for the various demanding career
nurturing the emotional development of the domains. Therefore, gifted students should be
gifted in the classroom. Mayer and Salovey encouraged to develop their own personal talent
(1997) highlight that everyone operates from plan to ensure that they have metacognitive
different emotional starting places, where some control over the growth of their socio-emotional
people may not acquire the appropriate domains (VanTassel-Baska & Stambaugh, 2006).
emotional skills and hence could develop There are two types of instructional strategies,
psychological disorders. They also suggested i.e. direct and indirect, which could be used in
that emotional skills could best be learnt secondary schools to help gifted adolescents
through informal relationships between the build the knowledge, skills, and psychological
student and teacher, who serve as an important dispositions that comprise their talents. Direct
and potentially wise adult model (Mayer & instructional strategies aim at developing
Salovey, 1997). Furthermore, emotionally personal and social talent by explicit teaching of
intelligent skills can also be taught in the knowledge or skills in the personal or social
standard curriculum, as illustrated in an example domains, whereas the purpose of indirect
by VanTassel-Baska and Stambaugh (2006) of a instructional strategies is to provide experiential
comprehensive prototypical lesson for opportunities for students to practise personal
secondary classrooms. The goal and outcome in or social skills (Moon & Ray, 2006).
each sample lesson design are oriented along the Moon and Ray (2006, p. 257) explain that
four main branches of emotional intelligence, direct instructional strategies for personal talent
whereas its activities and assessments are require developing a differentiated, sequenced
planned in aiming at developing students personal talent curricula that can teach gifted
mastery across the levels of emotional abilities adolescents all aspects of personal talent to
(VanTassel-Baska & Stambaugh, 2006). promote individuals awareness of strengths,
Bibliotherapy weaknesses, and personality traits. Meanwhile,
Bibliotherapy is the use of reading materials students personal talent can be developed with
to produce affective change and promote indirect means through providing student-
personality growth and development in its centred learning environments that balance
readers (Hbert & Kent, 2000). The purpose of challenge with support, as well as getting
employing bibliotherapy in the gifted curriculum teachers to model skills such as adaptive
is to help gifted adolescents understand attributions for success and failure or effective
themselves and cope with socio-emotional time management (Moon & Ray, 2006, p. 256).
problems by reading literature which relates to The Autonomous Learner Model (ALM; Betts
their personal situations and responds to their & Kercher, 1999, as cited in Moon & Ray, 2006,
developmental needs. When the gifted p. 257) is an example of a gifted education
adolescents begin to identify themselves with model that employs direct and indirect
one or more of the characters in the novel, they instructional strategies to help students develop
may feel a sense of relief knowing that they are their personal and social talents. The
not alone in facing specific issues. The reader development of personal talent in the ALM is
could then learn vicariously to solve problems optimised through promoting self-awareness by
through reflecting the actions of the characters identifying ones interests, abilities, and values
in the book. Furthermore, conducting within enrichment, seminars, and in-depth study
discussions during the bibliotherapy session also of self-selected topics. The ALM also includes
create opportunities for gifted adolescents to interpersonal and intrapersonal skills
listen to their peers and understand that they too development as part of the social talent
share similar feelings and problems. Friendships development, which aims at helping students

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18 Affective curriculum

prepared to cooperate with others in content subjects with greater emphasis on values relating
domains e.g. enrichment, seminars, and in-depth to unity and harmony among students (Ministry
study of self-selected topics (Moon & Ray, of Education, 2013). Furthermore, there have
2006). been criticisms that teachers of Moral Education
Career development programme were inclined to focus on instilling a fixed set
According to Peterson (2002), career of values rather than the components of
development programmes should be included in character education and cognitive moral
the gifted curriculum that not only focuses on development (Chang, 2010, p. 7), which does
the gifted students interests and academic not realistically foster and reflect the moral
strengths, but also taking accounts of their development of students in Malaysia.
personal characteristics, personal values, and Teachers could also translate the example by
personal fit in various career environment. The VanTassel-Baska and Stambaughs (2006)
purpose of career development is to help the prototypical lesson for teaching emotionally
gifted become more aware of their personal intelligent skills into the classrooms of Islamic
needs as related to potential career contexts, Education and Moral Education. Liau, Liau,
such as arranging a whole-day career shadowing Teoh, and Liaus (2003, p. 63) research on
experience to expose them with the mundane Malaysian secondary school students level of
and dramatic aspects of the work, experience emotional intelligence had highlighted the
both physical and emotional stressors related to importance of incorporating the concept of
the career, and get a sense of their own fit with emotional literacy based on a pedagogy of
the types of personalities found in the field of multiliteracies into subjects such as Moral
their interests (Peterson, 2002, p. 68). Other Education and Islamic Education. According to
than that, organising field trips for the students Liau et al. (2003, p. 62), the pedagogy of
can help to correct stereotypes or mistaken multiliteracies approach provides educators an
impressions formed by the media regarding the appropriate framework for developing a
working lifestyles of the industry. Peterson comprehensive moral education programme that
(2002, p. 68) also suggests that panels of adults would enhance the emotional literacy of
who have made more than two career changes students. This approach exposes students
should be invited to prove the students that directly and indirectly to their interactions with
one does not have to have perfect career other peers and teachers, as well as with the
direction at a young age and that individuals can wider community, which gives them the
make changes later. This would reassure gifted opportunity to engage in meaningful practices
students with perfectionism and multi- with the emotional skills that they have taught
potentiality who might encounter issues with (Liau et al., 2003).
choosing a career pathway. Other than that, bibliotherapy can be
Incorporating Affective Curriculum in included as part of the existing Nilam Reading
Gifted Education within the Malaysian Programme in Malaysian schools, which was
Context implemented to cultivate a reading habit among
Islamic Education and Moral Education 3 students. Teachers of the gifted should also be
would serve as ideal platforms for integrating encouraged to incorporate bibliotherapy as part
Krathwohls taxonomies of affective and of their classroom activities during the literature
cognitive domains into the Malaysian component of Bahasa Malaysia (Malay Language)
curriculum. These taxonomies can be easily and English language subjects. A preliminary
retrofitted within the current School-based study by Ishak and Bakar (2014) on gifted
Assessment Management System to evaluate students attending a school holiday programme
students performances within the affective and in Malaysia had found that most gifted students
cognitive domains. It is timely to revise the would prefer to solve their own problems rather
curriculum for these subjects as the Malaysia than seeking help from their home-room
Education Blueprint 2013-2025 mentioned that the teachers, peers, counsellors, and parents. These
MOE has plans to enhance both of these gifted students were also less willing to discuss
their issues with others or in a group (Ishak &
Bakar, 2014). Hence, bibliotherapy is a suitable
3 Moral Education is a compulsory formal subject in the avenue for gifted students to encourage them to
Malaysian curriculum which is taught to non-Muslim share and discuss their feelings among their
students, whereas Islamic Education is taught to all Muslim peers, which creates a supportive environment
students. All students are required to sit in a formal
centralised public examination for these subjects at the end for their socio-emotional development.
of Form Five (Chang, 2010).

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Chng 19

Some elements of the talent development potentiality. Previous research had revealed that
plan and career development programme can be Malaysian gifted students are not any different
identified in the current PERMATApintar than their peers in other parts of the world in
Education Programme and the School Holiday terms of socio-emotional issues (Bakar & Ishak,
Camp. Both programmes were designed to 2010; Ishak & Bakar, 2014).
promote holistic education for the gifted and Therefore, this highlights the need for
talented while developing their potentials and applying affective curriculum in gifted education
creativity as well as to uncover their hidden to tap into the emotional aspects of gifted
talents, which reflect the direct and indirect students, which is then used to enhance their
instructional strategies of the talent development learning as well as their abilities in responding to
plan (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, n.d.d). socio-emotional problems. Various models
Participants in the School Holiday Camp are not could be used to develop an affective
only being challenged in academic-related curriculum, which can be implemented within
activities, but are also required to adhere a code currently existing gifted programmes and the
of honour to create a responsible and Malaysian education system. Nevertheless,
cooperative community within the programme Silverman (1994a) as well as VanTassel-Baska
(Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, n.d.a). In and Stambaugh (2006) suggested that curriculum
addition to these existing programmes, the talent developers must also consider several matters in
development plan and career development developing affective curriculum for gifted
programme should be incorporated into the students. First, the affective programme must be
ASASIpintar Programme 4 as they are more deliberate and planned it cannot be placed in
relevant to older gifted students who need response to existing problems but instead
guidance for deciding their future career path dynamically constructed to prevent their
(Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, n.d.c). occurrence. Furthermore, it must be flexible and
Nevertheless, the talent and career development responsive to the changing needs of the gifted,
programmes should not only be confined within such as allowing discussion groups to be
gifted education, but also be extended into the conducted in unstructured times. Another factor
general curriculum so that other average-ability to be considered is connecting the affective
students can also benefit from such self- programme with cognitive development by
development programmes. employing various strategies that could serve as
CONCLUSION and IMPLICATIONS appropriate catalysts for enhancing students
Although most gifted people are socially and productivity. Other than that, the presence of a
emotionally well-adjusted throughout their lives, trained counsellor at secondary level would be
there are some numbers of gifted individuals ideal for enhancing the effectiveness of the
who do suffer socio-emotional issues due to the group process by acting as a consultant to the
asynchrony between their cognitive and socio- teacher (Silverman, 1994a; VanTassel-Baska &
emotional development. The unique personality Stambaugh, 2006).
profile and overexcitabilities in the gifted make Besides educating gifted students, teachers of
them feel and think differently from their non- the gifted can also play a significant role in
gifted counterparts, which in turn make it counselling them through applying some
difficult for them to find friendships within their counselling skills within the classroom. This
social group. As they enter adolescence, gifted would have implications for teacher education in
adolescents are faced with even more dilemmas Malaysia, whereby student teachers should not
that could jeopardise their self-development if only learn how to identify gifted and talented
their social and emotional needs are not students in their classroom, but also be trained
properly served. Gifted adolescents not only with adequate counselling skills to manage the
find themselves being pressured to fit within the socio-emotional needs of their students. In
norms to be socially accepted by their peers, but addition, the MOE and schools should
also having to deal with issues regarding their encourage teachers to attend professional
poor self-concepts, perfectionism, and multi- development courses in gifted and affective
education. This is to ensure that teachers of the
4 The ASASIpintar Programme is a pre-university course gifted are able to incorporate best practices
for gifted and talented students, which is managed by the when delivering affective programmes by
PERMATApintar National Gifted Centre at the National ensuring that it directly respond to the socio-
University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, emotional issues of the gifted students.
n.d.c). Henceforth, it would be worthy if further
investigations are conducted by the MOE and

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