Talent, purpose, and goal orientations: Case studies of talented adolescents.

Authors: 
Timothy S. Reilly
Publication Year: 
2009
Publication name or Publisher: 
High Ability Studies. 20(2) 161-172. DOI: 10.1080/13598130903358519

A key concern in research on talented adolescents is what adult achievements they will have. This paper examine the intentions of two (n=2) talented college students before they transition into adulthood. One of these adolescents is pursuing a goal primarily in order to impact the world, while the other is pursuing his goal for self‐oriented reasons. This research explores the relation of these adolescents’ goals to their primary goal orientation and to the Houndstooth Model (Renzulli, Koehler, & Fogarty, 2006, Operation Houndstooth intervention theory: Social capital in today’s schools, Gifted Child Today, 29(1), 14–24) through case studies. Two goal orientations emerged from these case studies, one a contribution orientation, the other a challenge orientation. In addition, this analysis suggests that vision, a characteristic in the Houndstooth Model, is important in coordinating talented adolescents’ efforts and moral strengths. Implications and considerations for future research on the intentions of talented adolescents and goal orientations more generally are discussed.