Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Comparative Study of the Impact of School Characteristics on the Development of Gifted Student Potential
by Cantrell, Martha Kelly, Ed.D., Piedmont College, 2012, 193; 3548756
Abstract (Summary)

The impact of gifted education services is not monitored by accountability measures required by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB, 2002), and giftedness is not a suspect class in equity concerns (Leslie, 2009). Therefore, a research base that measures the impact of well-designed practices on student outcomes may serve as the strongest justification for the development of potential among gifted students in American public schools.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of school characteristics on the development of gifted student potential during the middle school years as measured by achievement, creativity, and motivation outcomes. For the purposes of this study, school characteristics referred to the curriculum (integrated versus traditional), the presence or lack of deliberate focus given to preparation for state criterion-referenced grade-level tests, and the attention given to matching curriculum to student interest.

The findings of the research study do not fully support concerns that a focus on state-mandated competency tests may create an unfavorable climate for the academic growth of high-achieving students. There was evidence that an integrated instructional approach that reduced focus on competency testing may foster higher levels of creative thinking. Findings also revealed the importance of periodically monitoring student retention of grade-level standards to guard against regression in levels of proficiency when students engage in accelerated curricula. The study highlighted a need for assessments that permit the evaluation of conceptual understanding and processes to provide a more informative review of academic achievement and creative thinking.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McCollum, Patricia
Commitee: Krisel, Sally, Smith, Hilton
School: Piedmont College
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Georgia
Source: DAI-A 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Gifted Education, Special education
Keywords: Gifted education, Gifted programs, Middle school, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Student potential, Talent development
Publication Number: 3548756
ISBN: 9781267844668
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