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Challenges faced in the Identification of gifted and talented boys in primary schools in a selected region of Saudi Arabia

Alnwaimis, Nwaimis Salem


Nwaimis Salem Alnwaimis


Carol Azumah Dennis

John Arnall Bennett

Ioanna Palaiologou

Catherine, 1962 Montgomery


Saudi Arabia is one of a number of countries worldwide seeking to identify and develop gifted and talented children, as a resource for the country. Scholars in Saudi Arabia have been critical of the government project seeking to identify gifted and talented children and develop their abilities, but none have so far discussed specifically the identification of gifted and talented boys, and the challenges such a process may face. Previous work has described the system of gifted education as a whole or has alluded briefly to identification in a few lines within an account of the whole system. Challenges have been identified in gifted education, but their relevance to identification has not been explored. This study differs in focusing solely on issues in the identification of giftedness and talent. This study, therefore, explores perceptions of the challenges to the identification of gifted and talented children, focusing on boys’ primary schools in the selected location of KSA.
Within an interpretive framework, a case study strategy was employed, involving interviews with policy makers, teachers from four primary schools, and two parents of gifted children, regarding their perceptions of challenges related to policy, the education system, pedagogy and the Saudi culture. Context was provided by means of research notes, and the interview data were supplemented by analysis of Ministry of Education documents.
The findings reveal conceptual and practical confusion about the definitions of giftedness and talent, criteria for identification and the distinction between the identification of gifted and talented children and provision for them. In addition to incomplete, unclear and inconsistent policy, issues were raised regarding the ways in which resource shortages and inadequate teacher training influence pedagogical choices and, hence, children’s opportunities to demonstrate giftedness and talent. Moreover, cultural factors contribute to resistance to the identification and development of gifted and talented children. Although not generalizable, the results provide preliminary indications of issues that should be further investigated if the Gifted and Talented Education Project is to succeed. The thesis provides new insight into the procedures used, and the challenges faced, in identifying gifted and talented boys in the selected location. In so doing, it contributes to context-specific understanding of the roles played by policy, systemic, pedagogy and cultural factors in the ways giftedness and talent are understood and identified.


Alnwaimis, N. S. (2017). Challenges faced in the Identification of gifted and talented boys in primary schools in a selected region of Saudi Arabia. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Mar 31, 2022
Publicly Available Date Feb 24, 2023
Keywords Education
Public URL
Additional Information Centre for Educational Studies, The University of Hull
Award Date Jan 1, 2017


Thesis (2.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2017 Alnwaimis, Nwaimis Salem. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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