Bricolage and the Evolution of Giftedness and Talent in Taiwan

  • Dale AlbaneseEmail author
  • Ming-Jen Yu
  • Jing-Jyi Wu
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


Discourse in Taiwan regarding talent development reflects anxiety, both from a government seeking to increase economic competitiveness and a populous striving for individual success amidst uncertainty. Identification and development of giftedness and talent within the mainstream education system has predominantly focussed on academic and intellectual giftedness and talent in select areas of the arts and sports, overlooking other potential. At the same time, efforts to reform Taiwan’s education, which nominally aspire to move away from examination-based education and towards a more inclusive appreciation of diverse abilities, have been met with controversy and resulted, paradoxically, in increased pressure for students. To help understand this paradox and further illuminate processes for social change, a sociocultural understanding of how Taiwanese society defines success and identifies and develops giftedness and talent is developed in this chapter. We argue that education in Taiwan is influenced by both meritocracy and a preference for harmonising rather than strictly revolutionary creativity and further posit such harmonising creative work a bricolage. We then discuss how these characteristics have shaped the evolution of GATE in Taiwan, both in mainstream education reform and GATE development, and in informal bricolage work on the margins, focussing in part on the role of competitions and contests in GATE and research. Finally, we close with a discussion of the implications of these findings and conceptual approach for understanding the evolution of GATE in Taiwan and other Confucian-influenced societies, along with methodological implications. Responding to calls to employ diverse methods of inquiry and simultaneously think methodologically and philosophically in education research, this chapter is itself a bricolage and thus affords a novel perspective on processes relevant to the evolution of giftedness and talent in Taiwan, as well as on the work of educational research in general.


Competitions Bricolage Meritocracy Talent Education reform 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Creativity and Innovation StudiesNational Chengchi UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

Section editors and affiliations

  • Seokhee Cho
    • 1
  1. 1.St. John's UniversityNew YorkUSA

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