Constructions of high academic achievement through the analysis of critical events

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7 Scopus citations


In this study, critical events in the career development of Finnish Academy professors describe the trajectories of their achievement and success throughout the lifespan. Focused open-ended interviews, curricula vitae, and field notes produced representations of high achievement, which in this article relate to the system model of talent, to the concept of successful intelligence, and, more widely, to the poststructural understanding of knowledge construction. The purpose of the article is to describe the primary themes resulting from descriptive analysis. These themes included mentors, academic years abroad, strong interest in the domain, and luck. Also described are the transformative themes, which comprised situated construction of academic career and reflectiveness that lay beyond the constitution of descriptive themes. Interpretation moves from descriptive to transformative analysis and is supported with the stories of "Gatekeeper," "Professional Leader," and "Disappointed Idealist". These scientists' stories illustrate the situatedness and individualistic nature of scientific achievement, connecting and reconnecting issues of time, place, and power in various ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-223
Number of pages15
JournalGifted Child Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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