Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Curriculum Differentiation for Gifted Learners Using Instructional Technology: A Multiple-Case Study
by Heald, Suzanne Blair, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2016, 147; 10105310
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative explanatory case study documented instructional methods used and environmental conditions experienced by standard classroom teachers attempting to integrate instructional technology to support a differentiated curriculum for gifted learners. This research method was chosen as it allows for a teacher’s understanding of educating gifted learners in the classroom as well as the effectiveness of curriculum differentiation for the gifted learner through the use of instructional technology. With minimal guidance how to successfully challenge a gifted learner in the regular classroom along with preconceived assumptions about the concept of giftedness, teachers can be overwhelmed when faced with typical gifted learners. Through the perspectives of standard classroom teachers who are attempting to use instructional technology to support the differentiated learning needs of their gifted learners, the study has the potential to support teachers who strive to ensure their gifted learners study something new every day. The study focused on two fourth- through sixth-grade schools using a qualitative explanatory case study through patterns in teacher interviews, teacher observations, and analysis of student technology work. Data sources included in-depth interviews with sixteen tenured teachers at two public fourth- through sixth-grade schools, an analysis of 183 student work samples, and nine classroom observations. Data were analyzed and coded to identify instructional technology practices standard classroom teachers use for curriculum differentiation with gifted learners. Recommendations based on the findings included school system’s technology departments support teacher’s efforts to appropriately challenge gifted learners through enlisting the help of the developers of sites such as MobyMax or Kahoot, classroom teachers making use of gifted education specialists expertise as well as the specialist monitoring the gifted learners in order to better support the classroom teachers, and effective professional development using teachers who successfully use instructional technology as a differentiation technique for gifted learners as well as ones who establish a cohesive classroom community. Recommendations for future research included similar studies conducted in other districts not only on the same grades but also middle and high school level gifted learners. Additional studies could focus on systems that have limited amount of technology as compared to those who have a one-to-one technology program.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brizek, Michael
Commitee: Bedford, Laurie, Piferi, Rachel
School: Northcentral University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Gifted Education, Teacher education, Educational technology
Keywords: Educational technology, Elementary education, Gifted education
Publication Number: 10105310
ISBN: 978-1-339-68796-4
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