The Beliefs and Values of Gifted Finnish Adolescents

Kirsi Tirri

This study investigated the beliefs and values of mathematically gifted Finnish adolescents (N=37). In the personal interviews, students were asked to reflect on their beliefs, values and their worldviews. The interaction of science and religion was also discussed in the interviews. The beliefs and values of gifted adolescents reflected five possible worldviews: theism, naturalism, pantheism, spiritism and polytheism and postmodernism. The study showed the tendency of gifted students to favour naturalism as a leading worldview, which was the easiest view to combine with their interest in natural sciences. However, theism and postmodernism were also identified as prominent worldviews among gifted adolescents. A need for intelligent religious education was identified to provide an alternative of intelligent belief for unbelief.