The Forging of an Academic Identity
This chapter argues that a more promising lens through which one can examine the education of youth who are underrepresented in tertiary education is the lens of talent development. This perspective strives to develop a broader and more diverse set of competencies and interests in students to help them achieve at the highest levels. More closely associated with gifted and talented education programs than with underachievement and school failure, the talent development paradigm points to the importance of opportunities, appropriate support, and psychosocial factors such as the development of task commitment and identity, in promoting achievement. Drawing upon interviews with a cross-section of California College Preparatory Academy (CAL Prep)’s seniors, the chapter showcases those themes that are recognized as important achievement-related factors in gifted education and underscores that a critical element in any educational enterprise such as CAL Prep is successfully reconciling the students’ cultural and academic identities.
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