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Center for Open Access in Science « https://www.centerprode.com/ojer.html 
cOA s Open Journal for Educational Research, 2020, 4(1), 15-30. 
= ISSN (Online) 2560-5313 « https://doi.org/10.32591/coas.ojer.0401.02015n 











Investigation of Gifted Students’ Science Laboratory 
Academic Risk Taking Tendencies and Science Learning 
Orientations in Terms of Some Variables 


Oguzhan Nacaroglu 
Science and Art Center, Malatya, TURKEY 


Oktay Kizkapan 
Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University, Education Faculty, Nevsehir, TURKEY 


Received: 17 January 2020 = Accepted: 6 April 2020 = Published Online: 17 April 2020 


Abstract 


In this research, it was aimed to investigate academic risk taking tendencies on laboratory 
activities and science learning orientations of gifted students. In the research (survey) 
quantitative research method designs was used. The sample of the research consisted of 187 
gifted students who are studying in a Science and Art Center in the Eastern Anatolia Region. In 
the research, Science Laboratory Academic Risk Taking Scale and Learning Engagement in 
Science Scale were used as data collection tools. The findings indicated that the academic risk 
taking tendencies on laboratory activities and science learning tendencies of the gifted students 
were high. In addition, it was found that there was a moderate and significant relationship 
between the academic risk taking tendencies and their science learning orientations of gifted 
students. 


Keywords: gifted students, laboratory activities, academic risk taking, science learning 
orientation, science and art center. 


1. Introduction 


In today’s world, there are rapid changes in science and industry. These changes have 
brought some innovations in the field of education and the roles of students and teachers in 
educational environments have also changed (Almeida & Simoes, 2019). In the new education 
systems individuals are expected to produce solutions to current problems, develop critical 
thinking skills, and make courageous decisions in difficult cases and exhibit behaviors such as 
adapting to technological developments (Kinshuk, 2016). Changes in students’ needs and desires 
brought up the updates in education systems and in this context, the science curriculum was 
inevitably updated at different times. 


In Turkish science curriculum, it is emphasized that students should have the skills to 
insist on learning, to take risks in appropriate conditions by planning and to produce evidence- 
based results (Ministry of National Education [MoNE], 2018). Undoubtedly, it is possible for 
students to acquire these competencies by creating suitable learning environments (Hassi, 2016). 
Laboratory activities, one of these learning environments, including processes such as trial-error 


© Authors. Terms and conditions of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) apply. 
Correspondence: Oktay Kizkapan, Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University, Education Faculty, Nevsehir, 
TURKEY. E-mail: okizkapan@gmail.com. 





O. Nacaroglu & O. Kizkapan — Investigation of Gifted Students’ Science Laboratory... 





and repetition play an important role in the science teaching process (Kwok, 2015; Yazici & Kurt, 
2018). 





¢ Gifted students have high academic risk taking tendency and high science learning 
orientations. 


* There is no significant difference between academic risk taking tendencies and science 
learning orientations of male and female gifted students. 


¢ Academic risk taking tendencies and science learning orientations of gifted students do not 
differ according to the program they are studying at science and art center. 


¢ There is a moderate and significant relationship between academic risk taking tendencies and 
science learning orientations of gifted students. 











Laboratory activities that make learning meaningful and permanent (Yavuz & Akcay, 
2017) increase the interest to the science course (Freedman, 1997). Students who actively take part 
in laboratory activities: make sense of what they learned by gaining reasoning and critical thinking 
skills (Atasoy, 2004), get opportunity to embody abstract knowledge, exhibit a positive attitude 
towards science (Freedman, 1997), and develop sophisticated epistemological beliefs on 
tentativeness of scientific knowledge (Kilig & Soran, 2011). Laboratory activities also play an 
important role in filling the gap between theoretical and practical applications in science teaching 
(Cullin, Hailu, Kupilik & Petersen, 2017). Therefore, it cannot be expected that the science course 
which does not include laboratory activities will meet the mentioned general and specific aims. 
Also, in order to meet these aims, students need to be supported for affective qualifications as well 
as cognitive development in learning processes (Freedman, 1997). One of these affective 
characteristics is the academic risk taking tendency (ARTT) that emphasizes the courage and 
desire of students in their learning processes (Robinson & Bell, 2012). 


Risk taking is expressed as a desire to act against an uncertain situation (Young, 1991). 
Academic risk taking is expressed in different ways in the literature and it is generally defined as 
the willingness and courage of students to cope with the problems they face in their learning 
environments (Bozpolat & Koc, 2017; Varisoglu & Celikpazu, 2019; Yaman & Koksal, 2014). 
Academic risk taking skills allow students to think critically and deeply on problems that do not 
have a definite answer and to develop their experiences (Hills, Stroup & Wilensky, 2005; Weiner, 
1994). Therefore, students with high academic risk-taking skills want to learn something new, 
even if there is a possibility of making mistakes, they seek alternative solutions to the problems 
they face (Beghetto, 2009) and they show resistance to the problems (Clifford, 1991; Gupta & 
Pasrija, 2016). 


ARTT, which is one of the important variables that affect students’ behaviors in the 
classroom environment (Cetin, Ilhan & Yilmaz, 2014), can be examined under the direction of 
negative emotions as a result of failure, tendency to prefer difficult processes and re-recovery 
behaviors (Tay, Ozkan & Akyiirek-Tay, 2009). Although the importance of academic risk taking 
skills is emphasized in the science learning process (Cakir & Yaman, 2015; Gupta & Pasrija, 2016), 
it is stated that the academic risk taking levels of students cannot be at the desired level in today’s 
learning environments (Henriksen & Mishra, 2013). In this context, Bozpolat and Ko¢ (2017) 
emphasized that learning environments in which students can express their views freely without 
fear are important for cognitive development. For this reason, it is important that the teachers 
should know the level of academic risk taking skills of their students to be able to make the right 
orientation in appropriate learning environments (Avci & Ozenir, 2016; Eugene, 2010). In the light 
of these evaluations, the focus of the study is on gifted students who are able to move their 
knowledge to changing situations, and are willing to choose difficult tasks (Coleman, Micko & 
Cross, 2015) and are superior to their peers in terms of at least one qualification. 


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Gifted students have important roles in the development of societies (Karakaya, Unal, 
Cimen & Yilmaz, 2018). In the future, the education of these students (Akbas & Cetin, 2018), who 
has a high potential to participate in the decision-making mechanisms of countries, should be 
given special importance. At the same time, the cognitive and affective dimensions should be taken 
into consideration in the education of these students who are shown to be the closest candidate to 
be the future scientist and who like to solve the problems they face by questioning (Schreglmann, 
2016). It is also necessary to take the steps to increase the academic risk taking levels of these 
students for laboratory applications, which have a very important place in the science course. 
Because, considering the general and specific aims of science teaching, it is stated that science 
laboratory will help students in taking academic risk (Deveci, 2018). In this content, it is thought 
that one of the variables that affect students to take academic risk in science laboratory is science 
learning orientation (SLO). 


Learning orientations are one of the most important variables that ensure the 
achievement and continuity of students’ academic achievement (Sevil & Erdogan, 2018). 
Orientation to learning is a component of motivation, which is expressed as internal or external 
power that drives individuals to events (Yetisir & Ceylan, 2015). The learning orientations which 
express the actions taken to make the learning process meaningful and valuable (Wood & 
Bandura, 1989), enables students to learn from the mistakes they make and helps them cope with 
the problems they face. Achievement goal orientation which expresses the reasons why individuals 
want to learn and their beliefs in determining their goals in order to be successful (Ames, 1992), 
is examined in two parts as learning and performance goals (Ames & Archer, 1988). In the goal 
orientation theory, the reasons and motivation levels of the students’ performance in learning 
environments are taken into consideration (Ames, 1992) and it is thought that the students’ 
academic learning orientations should be emphasized in this direction (Yerdelen, Aydin, 
Girbiizoglu-Yalmancai & Goksu, 2014). In this context, in today’s education system, it is aimed to 
increase the learning orientation levels and to provide appropriate learning orientations along 
with the intrinsic motivation of the students (Hirst, Knippenberg & Zhan, 2009). 


When the literature is examined, it is seen that there are studies examining students’ 
academic risk taking tendencies towards science (Beghetto, 2009; Cakir & Yaman, 2015; Cinar, 
2007; Dasci & Yaman, 2014). For example, Beghetto (2009), in his study conducted with primary 
school students, stated that academic risk taking behaviors of students decreased as the grade level 
decreased. Cakir and Yaman (2015) stated that there is a positive moderate relationship between 
academic risk taking skills and academic achievement of secondary school students. However, 
there is no study examining academic risk taking tendencies and science learning orientations of 
gifted students in science laboratory activities. In this respect, the study is thought to contribute 
to the literature. Because teaching activities carried out in order to increase academic risk taking 
skills and science learning orientations of gifted students in science laboratory activities are 
thought to help them to be willing to conduct scientific and academic studies by selecting 
professions appropriate to their interests and abilities, to be courageous and willing to solve the 
problems they face in their lives and to show leading behaviors for the scientific and technological 
advancement of the society. In order to take the necessary steps in this regard, it is important to 
examine the academic risk taking tendencies and learning orientations of gifted students in 
science laboratory activities. 


In the literature, gender is thought as one of the variables that have an impact on 
students’ academic risk taking tendencies and science learning orientations. It is seen that 
different results are reported in the literature about whether students’ academic risk taking 
tendencies and science learning orientations differ according to gender. For example, while 
Clifford et al. (1990) reporting that female students’ academic risk scores were lower than male 
students, Abdullah and Osman (2010) stated female students tend to take more risks than boys. 
In contrast to these studies, Strum (1971) examined the academic risk taking tendencies of 


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secondary school students and concluded that there was no significant relationship between 
academic risk taking and gender. This result is similar to that of Miller and Byrnes (1997) and Avci 
and Ozenir (2016). Therefore, inconsistencies between the results of these studies require that 
students' academic risk taking tendencies and science learning orientations should be examined 
in terms of gender variable. 


Along with the gender, another important variable that can be effective on students’ 
academic risk taking tendencies and science learning orientations is program within SAC. No 
study comparing academic risk taking tendencies and science learning orientations of students 
enrolled in different SAC programs was reached in the literature. However, it can be accepted that 
there is a hierarchy between SAC programs and classroom level. That is, age and class level of 
students increase as students go from support education to project production and management 
program. Therefore, the results of the studies investigating the changes in academic risk taking 
and science learning orientation according to grade level were examined. In this context, Acikgiil 
and Sahin (2019), who examined the academic risk taking tendencies of secondary school students 
in terms of different variables, found that the 6 grade students “academic risk taking scores were 
significantly higher than the 7 and 8t grade students” scores. Similarly, Atkins, Leder, 
O’Halloran, Pollard and Taylor (1991), who conducted studies with high school students, 
concluded that students’ academic risk taking tendencies decreased in contrast to the grade level. 
Beghetto (2009), on the other hand, stated that the higher the grade level, the lower the students’ 
academic risk taking levels. Dasc1 and Yaman (2014) concluded that academic risk taking 
behaviors of 4* and 8 grade students did not show significant differences. Therefore, the 
different results obtained in the researches require that academic risk taking and science learning 
orientations should be examined according to gender and program variables. In the current 
research, the study was conducted with gifted students studying in different programs at a SAC. 
SACs are an institution providing education to students who are diagnosed with special abilities 
in Turkey. In this educational institution, courses are offered under Support Education (SE), 
Recognizing Individual Capabilities (RIC), Developing Special Skill (DSS) and Project Production 
and Management (PPM) programs. Gifted students who succeed in certain exams are trained in 
these programs. In the present study, it was thought that examining academic risk taking 
tendencies and science learning orientations of gifted students according to gender and program 
variables would contribute to the literature. 


In the light of all these evaluations, in this study, it is aimed to investigate the academic 
risk taking tendencies in laboratory activities and science learning orientations of gifted students 
and the relationship between these two variables. In this context, the answers to the following 
problems were sought: 


(1) What is the level of gifted students’ to take academic risk taking tendency 
in laboratory activities? 


(2) Do the gifted students’ academic risk taking tendency in laboratory 
activities differ by gender? 


(3) Do the gifted students’ academic risk taking tendency in laboratory 
activities differ by the program they are studying? 


(4) What is the level of science learning orientation of gifted students? 
(5) Do the science learning orientations of gifted students differ by gender? 


(6) Do the science learning orientations of gifted students differ by the 
program they are studying? 


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(7) Is there a significant relationship between the academic risk taking tendency 
and the learning orientation of science students in laboratory activities of gifted 
students? 


2. Method 
2.1 Research design 


In this research, a survey design, one of the quantitative research design, was used. 
The survey design includes the process of collecting, organizing and describing data from the 
whole or a significant part of the accessible population in order to reach a generalizable judgment 
(King & He, 2005). In the present study, the survey design was preferred since it was aimed to 
investigate the academic risk taking tendencies and science learning orientations of gifted 
students in science laboratory studies. 


2.2 Population and sample 


The sample of the study consisted of 187 gifted students in a SAC in Turkey. The 
sample of the study was selected from the accessible population using the appropriate sampling 
method and demographic information for the participants is presented in Table 1: 


Table 1. Demographic information for participants 














Variables Personal characteristics f % 
Gender Girl 97 51-9 
Boy 90 48.1 
8-11 77 41.2 
Age 12-15 88 47.1 
16-18 22 11.8 
Support Education (SE) 49 26.9 
. Recognizing Individual Capabilities (RIC) 55 20.4 
Studicd OU Erozram Developing Special Skills (DSS) 53 28.3 
Project Production and Management (PPM) 30 16.0 





When Table 1 is examined, 97 (51.9%) of the participants are girls and 90 (48.1%) are 
boys. Among participants, 49 of them are in SE, 55 of them are in RIC, 53 of them are in DSS and 
30 of them are studying in PPM program. 


2.3 Data collection tools 


The science laboratory Academic Risk Taking Scale (ARTS) was used to examine the 
participants’ tendency to take academic risk for science laboratory studies. The necessary 
permissions were obtained before the scale developed by Deveci (2018) was used. The scale 
consists of 12 items and consists of Cautious Risk Taking, Academic Risk Taking and 
Unconditional Risk Taking dimensions. Sample items for each dimension are given in Table 2: 


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Table 2. Dimensions and sample items of ARTS 














Scale Dimensions Items Sample Item 
Cautious Risk Taking 1, 2, 3, I enjoy watching my friends 
4,5 doing dangerous experiments. 
Science Laboratory I do not avoid to try different 
Academic Risk Taking Academic Risk Taking 6,7, 8,9 solutions while doing 
Scale experiments. 
Unconditional Risk I prefer to do experiments 
Taking a acs alone in the lab taking risks. 





In order to ensure the content validity of the scale, opinions of two education experts 
and one Turkish teacher were taken. In this context, the educational experts examined the 
appropriateness of the items of the scale for the gifted students, and the Turkish teacher examined 
the scale in terms of intelligibility, spelling and spelling rules. As a result of the evaluations, 
considering the intensive science laboratory studies carried out in SACs, the education experts 
stated that the scale could be used to examine the academic risk taking tendencies of these 
students for laboratory studies. Cronbach’s Alpha value was calculated to ensure the reliability of 
the data collection tool. In this context, while Deveci (2018) calculated the reliability coefficient of 
the scale as .79, it was calculated as .83 in the present study. In addition, Science Learning 
Orientation Scale (SLOS), which was adapted by Yetisir and Ceylan (2015), was used as data 
collection tool. The scale consists of 32 items and four dimensions. These dimensions are: 
Orientation to Learning Objectives, Self-regulation, Valuing, Self-efficacy. Sample items for each 
dimension are given in Table 3: 


Table 3. Dimensions and sample items of SLOS 

















Scale Dimensions Items Sample Item 
F ; ‘ It’s important to 
Orientation tO Learning 1, 2,3,4,5, 6,7, 8 understand what I'm 
Objectives ‘ 
working on. 
; . 3 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, What I have learned has 
ae vee 14, 15, 16 practical value. 
17, 18, 19, 20, 21, No matter how hard the 
Self-efficacy : 
22, 23, 24 studies are, I can learn. 
‘ : 25, 26, 27, 28,29, Even if there's better things 
Self-regulation 30, 31, 32 to do, I keep working. 





Cronbach’s Alpha value was calculated to ensure the reliability of the SLOS. As a result 
of this study, the reliability coefficient of the scale was calculated as .84. 


2.4 Data analysis 


In the study, the lowest score that students can get from the ARTS is 12 and the highest 
score is 60. On the other hand, the lowest score that can be obtained from SLOS is 32 and the 
highest score is 160. In order to determine the students’ academic risk taking tendencies and 
learning orientation levels, the cut-off points were determined by subtracting the lowest score 
from the highest score that can be obtained from the scale in order to make the response options 
continuous. In this context, the cut-off values for both scales and the corresponding levels are 
given in Table 4. 


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Table 4. Cut-off points for the scales 





Cut-off Points 








Level Academic Risk Taking Scale Science ae Orientation 
Very Low 12.0-21.6 32.0-57.6 
Low 21.6-31.2 57.6-83.2 
Moderate 31.2-40.8 83.2-108.8 
High 40.8-50.4 108.8-134.4 
Very High 50.4-60.0 134.4-160.0 





In order to determine whether the students’ academic risk taking tendencies and 
science learning orientation scores differed by gender t-test was used, and ANOVA was used to 
determine whether they differed by the program. In order to perform ANOVA and t-test analyzes, 
firstly, the descriptive statistical analysis was done to check whether the data showed normal 
distribution within the groups. Finally, correlation analysis was conducted in order to determine 
whether there is a significant relationship between students’ academic risk taking tendencies and 
science learning orientations. In this context, Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient 
analysis, which is used to determine whether there is correlation between normal distributed 
variables and direction of determined correlation, is used. 


3. Results 


In this study, firstly, the findings obtained from descriptive statistical analysis are 
presented. In this context, it was checked by normality test whether the students’ academic risk 
taking and science learning orientation scores were distributed normally. In normality tests, 
Kolmogorov-Smirnov test is suggested if the sample consists of 35 or more participants (McKillup, 
2012). Since there are 187 participants in the study, Kolmogorov-Smirnov normality test was 
performed and the results are given in Table 5. 


Table 5. Normality test results 





Kolmogorov-Smirnov 

















Scales Variables Statistics df Sig. 
ands Boy .078 90 -200 

Girl .059 07 .200 

Academic Risk SE .089 49 .200 
Taking Pen RIC .080 55 .200 

8 DSS 117 53 .067 

PPM .094 30 .200 

Geider Boy .068 90 .200 

Girl .078 97 174 

Science Learning SE 134 49 .028 
Orientation Prosar RIC .070 55 .200 
DSS .060 53 .200 

PPM 114 30 -200 





As can be seen in Table 5, students’ academic risk taking tendencies and science 
learning orientation scores show a normal distribution by gender (p> .05). Therefore, t-test can 
be used when comparing students’ scores according to gender. On the other hand, it was seen that 
the normality assumption in the SE group was not met (p <.05), but not for the other programs 
(p> .05). After the scores of the students registered in the SE program were found to be significant, 
the mean, mode and median values and kurtosis and skewness values of these students’ scores 
were examined. The mean (44.92), mode (45.00) and median (45.00) values of students were very 
close to each other. In addition, the kurtosis (.524) and skewness (.328) values of the scores do 


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not exceed the range of +1/-1. Therefore, it was assumed that the scores were normally distributed 
within this group (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2006; George & Mallery; 2001). Based on these results, it 
was decided that ANOVA could be used to determine whether the scores differ according to the 
group variable. 


From the findings of normality assumption, the findings about the level of students’ 
academic risk taking tendencies and science learning orientations were examined. The mean 
scores of the students were evaluated according to the criteria defined in Table 4. The results 
obtained are given in Table 6. 


Table 6. Average values of students from the scales 











Scale Mean 
Academic Risk Taking Tendency 45.21 
Science Learning Orientation 123.94 





In Table 4, it is stated that the average of the scores from the scales is accepted as 
“High” if it is in the range of 40.8-50.4 for the academic risk taking tendency scale and in the 
108.8-134.4 range for the science learning orientation scale. In this context, when the values in 
Table 6 are compared with the determined limit values, it can be said that students’ academic risk 
taking tendencies and science learning orientations are “high”. 


After determining the levels of the students, the analysis was conducted to determine 
whether the scores obtained from the scales differ by gender. The t-test was used to compare scores 
according to gender. The obtained results are given in Table 7. 


Table 7. Comparison results of ARTT and science learning orientation scores by gender 


Levene Test on Equality 


of Variances Viet 
F p. t SD p. 
Science Equal Variances Assumed .228 .633 .874 185 383 
Learning Equal Variances Not eo8 er aay 


Orientation Assumed 


When Table 7 is examined, it is seen that the assumption of equality of variances is not 
violated for both scales (p> .05). Therefore, the significance values in the case where the variances 
are equal are considered in the table. Since the t-test results for both scales are not significant, it 
can be said that there is no significant difference between the ARTT (p>.05, t=-.036) and science 
learning orientations (p>.05, t=.874) of gifted female and male students. In other words, the 
tendency of gifted students to take academic risk and science learning orientation does not change 
according to gender. 


After determining whether the scores obtained from the scales did not differ according 
to gender, it was examined whether the scores of the students differed by the program they were 
studying. Since there are four different program types in SAC, ANOVA was used to compare the 
scores. As a result of the analysis, information on the assumption of equality of variances is given 
in Table 8 and ANOVA results are given in Table 9. 


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Table 8. Levene test results for ARTT and SLO scores 


Levene Statistics SD1 SD2 p. 
Academic Risk Taking Tendency .896 3 183 444 
Science Learning Orientation .994 3 183 .3907 


As can be seen in Table 8, the assumption of equality of variances in both scales was 
not violated (p> .05). After checking this assumption, ANOVA was carried out and the results are 
given in Table 9. 


Table 9. ANOVA results for ARTT and SLO scores 


Sum of 
Squares SD Mean Square F p. 
mead Between Groups 64.008 3 21.336 .839 .474 
Academic Risk Within Group 4655-435 183 25.440 
Taking Tendency 
Total 4719.444 186 
Sci L : Between Groups 656.282 3 218.761 1.186 .317 
uae ee Within Group 33762.071 183 184.492 
rientation 
Total 34418.353 186 


When Table 9 is examined, it can be said that academic risk taking tendencies and 
science learning orientations of gifted students do not differ according to the program variable (for 
Academic Risk Taking Tendency [F(3-183) =.839; p=.474> .05], for Science Learning Orientation 
[F(3-183) =1.186; p=.317> .05]. 


After comparing student scores according to the program studied at SAC, it was 
examined whether there was a significant relationship between academic risk taking tendencies 
and science learning orientations of gifted students. In order to determine the relationship 
between variables, Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient analysis was performed and 
the results are given in Table 10. 


Table 10. The results of the relationship between ARTT and SLO 


Academic Risk Science Learning 
Taking Tendency Orientation 

Academic Risk Taking Pearson Correlations 1 .430°° 
Tendency p. .000 

N 187 187 
Science Learning Orientation Pearson Correlations .430°° 1 

p. .000 

N 187 187 


** Correlation is significant at 0.01 (2-Way) level. 


If the correlation coefficient between the two variables is between .10 and .29, it refers 
to low correlation, if correlation coefficient is between .30 an.49, it means the correlation is 
moderate and if the coefficient is between .50 and 1.00, then the two variables are highly correlated 
(Cohen, 1988). Therefore, as it can be seen in Table 10, it can be said that there is a moderate and 
significant correlation in a positive way between the academic risk taking tendencies of gifted 
students and their science learning orientations (p <.05, r = .430). 


4. Discussion 


In this research, it was aimed to investigate academic risk taking tendencies and 
science learning orientations of gifted students in laboratory activities. In this context, 187 gifted 
students who were studying at a SAC in Turkey participated to the study. When the findings 


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O. Nacaroglu & O. Kizkapan — Investigation of Gifted Students’ Science Laboratory... 





obtained were examined, it was concluded that the gifted students had high academic risk taking 
tendencies in the laboratory activities (Table 6). This result is similar to some studies (Akda§, 
Koéksal & Ertekin, 2017; Akkaya, 2016; Tay, Ozkan & Tay, 2009). The high academic risk-taking 
tendencies of gifted students may be the result of their education which aims to develop skills such 
as solving problems by questioning (Schreglmann, 2016), transferring knowledge to changing 
situations and showing a tendency to choose compelling tasks (Coleman, Micko & Cross, 2015). 
Because gifted students actively participate in laboratory applications and projects at science and 
art centers besides their normal education (Baris, 2019; MoNE, 2016). It can be concluded that 
these practices and activities aimed at solving actual problems provide high levels of academic 
risk-taking for laboratory studies of gifted students. In support of this result, Tay, Ozkan and Tay, 
(2009) stated that there is a positive relationship between problem solving skills and academic 
risk taking tendencies of gifted students. 


Similarly, gifted students have a high science learning orientation (Table 6). In the 
process of examining science learning orientations, it is emphasized that self-efficacy, self- 
regulation skills, valuation and achievement goal orientations are important and these dimensions 
are indispensable elements in science teaching (Yetisir & Ceylan, 2015). It is stated in the literature 
that if the students value the course, they demonstrate the skills to organize the learning in line 
with certain goals and exhibit the necessary desire and courage in the subject, their orientation 
towards the course and academic achievement will be high (Arslan, 2011; Israel, 2007; Sevil & 
Erdogan, 2018). Therefore, it is expected that gifted students have high science learning 
orientations. 


Regarding the gender variable, it was found that there is no significant difference 
between academic risk taking tendencies of male and female gifted students for laboratory 
activities (Table 7). This result is different from some studies (Clifford, Chou, Mao, Lan & Kuo, 
1990) examining students’ tendency to take academic risk but shows similarity with some other 
studies (Chou, 1992; Strum, 1971). These results reveal the inconsistency of whether students’ 
academic risk taking tendencies show a significant difference in terms of gender. Therefore, it is 
important to carry out more studies on this issue. Similarly, there is no significant difference 
between the science learning orientations of male and female gifted students (Table 7). This is 
desirable in terms of gender equality. Therefore, it can be concluded that the intrinsic motivations, 
self-efficacy and self-regulation skills of male and female participants are similar. In the literature, 
while some studies reached similar results with the current research (Irven & Senler, 2017; Kanat 
& Kozikoglu, 2018; Kiran & Sungur, 2012), there are also other studies that reach different results 
(Anderman & Young, 1994; Britner & Pajares, 2006). Therefore, this inconsistency in the 
literature reveals the importance of further studies on this issue. 


It was determined that the academic risk taking tendencies of the gifted students did 
not differ in terms of the program studied. This result shows that the students’ academic risk 
taking level does not change as they move to higher education program and it differs with some 
studies in the literature (Beghetto, 2009; Byrnes, Miller & Schafer, 1999; Dasci & Yaman, 2014). 
For example, Dasci and Yaman (2014) examined the students’ tendency to take academic risk in 
science course according to Piaget’s cognitive development period and stated that the students 
studying at lower grades had higher academic risk taking levels compared to the students studying 
at higher grades. Researchers also stated that students’ academic achievement can be increased 
by developing academic risk taking behaviors from young ages. Beghetto (2009), on the other 
hand, emphasized that academic risk taking behaviors increase as the grade level increase. These 
results indicate that there is no cetain relationship between program studied at SACS and 
academic risk taking behaviors. Nevertheless, it can be concluded that the main reason why the 
academic risk taking levels of the students for laboratory studies did not differ by the program 
variable is because similar learning environments including experimental practices, laboratory 
activities and projects, which enable students to take an active part in each program applied in 


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SACs. However, in order to obtain a clearer result, it is important to conduct studies examining 
the academic risk taking tendencies of different groups of students towards laboratory activities. 
Likewise, it was seen that the participants’ science learning orientations did not differ in terms of 
the program they studied (Table 9). According to this result, it can be concluded that the science 
courses conducted at each program provide the students’ inner motivation, self-efficacy and self- 
regulation skills. 


5. Conclusion 


It is determined that there is a moderate and significant relationship between 
academic risk taking tendencies and science learning orientations of gifted students (Table 10). 
According to these results, it can be concluded that high levels of academic risk taking tendencies 
are associated with higher levels of science learning orientations. Therefore, it is thought that the 
setting learning environments that will enable students to take academic risks in laboratory 
activities will make their learning meaningful and valuable (Wood & Bandura, 1989). Besides, it 
is emphasized that academic achievement of students with high science learning orientations will 
be continuous (Sevil & Erdogan, 2018). In the light of all these assessments, it is important to 
create learning environments where students can take academic risks for the gifted students who 
have the potential to play important roles in the development of societies (Karakaya et al., 2018). 


The following recommendations were made within the framework of the results of the 
research: In order to increase the academic risk taking skills of the gifted students in laboratory 
studies, projects and experimental practices should be given more attention in both schools and 
SACs. 


The findings of this study are limited with the data collected from 187 gifted students 
who are studying at a SAC in Turkey. By extending the scope of the study, more reliable results 
can be obtained. 


Quantitative research method was used in the study. It is important to investigate 
students' academic risk taking tendencies with in-depth research using qualitative research 
methods. 


Acknowledgements 


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public 
commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 


The authors declare no competing interests. 


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