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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding the delivery and impact of gifted education in America: A phenomenological study
by Webber, Susan, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2010, 150; 3424333
Abstract (Summary)

The learning and support needs of students identified as gifted are addressed in a variety of ways throughout the United States, but there is little consistency in state laws, and some states have few or no laws regarding gifted education, leaving this to local districts. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does have laws and policies in place, regarding gifted education, but the organization and implementation of gifted instruction and support are left to individual districts. This phenomenological study was designed to increase the understanding of the experience of young adults identified as gifted in their youth in two school districts in Pennsylvania, including Warren County and Corry Area districts. The study involved analyzing the perspectives and experiences, including identifying inspiring educational activities, and eventual career choices, of 21 young adult participants who graduated from either of these school districts between the years of 1997 to 2005, and 20 educators from the same two districts. Open-ended interviews were conducted with the 41 volunteer participants; the responses were coded according to repeating themes. Analysis of these data showed that educators and former gifted students feel that gifted programs are essential in schools. Former students expressed satisfaction in adulthood, and attributed some part to gifted education. Participants expressed a need for continuing teacher education related to providing enrichment within regular classrooms. Educators need continuing education in order to best meet gifted student needs, and to effectively communicate with other teachers and parents regarding the needs of gifted children. The results provide a basis for educational leaders to determine optimal educational and support strategies for gifted students in these two districts. These findings are the basis of recommendations that the districts continue to offer, or consider reinstating programs that have been offered to gifted students in the past. It is recommended that teachers and staff utilize a consistent system of communication related to gifted education. Further research involving a longitudinal study of gifted individuals from the same demographic areas could provide additional useful data. Additional research is needed to learn more about how foreign countries educate and motivate their high achieving students.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gaughan, Linda
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 71/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Gifted Education, Special education
Keywords: Enrichment, GIEP, Gifted, IEP, Individual Education Plan, Intelligence test, Talented
Publication Number: 3424333
ISBN: 978-1-124-23382-6
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