Hungary and the United States: A Comparison of Gifted Education


  • Julianna Connelly Sacred Heart University



There is a lot that can be learned about a country based on the programs and provisions it has for mathematically talented students. While it is difficult to identify a single U.S. "program" or "approach" for gifted education, in general the trend is to put mathematically talented students through the standard mathematics sequence, just starting at an earlier age. In Hungary, on the other hand, the focus is on enrichment over acceleration. This paper explores how some very different historical, cultural, and political forces have shaped these two countries' different approaches to educating mathematically talented students.

Author Biography

Julianna Connelly, Sacred Heart University

Dr. Julianna Connelly received her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2010 and has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT starting in September, 2010. She earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Olin College in 2006 and an M.A. in Mathematics Education from Teachers College in 2007. Her research interests include international comparative mathematics education, retention of female students in advanced mathematics, and education of gifted and talented students. Her teaching interests include inquiry-based learning, incorporation of historical sources in mathematics courses, and education of prospective K-12 teachers. Dr. Connelly conducted her dissertation research on the changes in the Hungarian education system for mathematically talented students over the past 20 years.






General Articles