Gifted girls and nonmathematical aspirations: A longitudinal case study of two gifted Korean girls

Kyeong Hwa Lee, Bharath Sriraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In this longitudinal study of two gifted Korean girls, experiences with early admittance into a gifted program are charted alongside their family and societal experiences that ultimately influenced their career choices in nonmathematical fields. The 8-year-long qualitative study involved extensive interviews with the two gifted girls and their parents to determine factors that led to their choice of a nonmathematical area of specialization in spite of early identification and support of their mathematical talent. Using tenets of qualitative inquiry to code the longitudinal data, the authors identified three main factors that contributed to these career choices, which are presented in the form of narratives. One of the startling findings of this study, contrary to the literature in gifted education research, is that the two girls' early experiences with gifted education kept them from choosing careers related to mathematics. The article also narrates the enculturation of mathematically gifted girls in Korea that leads to nonmathematical career aspirations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalGifted Child Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Korea
  • career aspirations
  • early identification
  • enculturation
  • gender inequalities
  • gifted education
  • mathematics
  • self-concept


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