Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An examination of attitudes and actions of regular classroom and gifted teachers toward differentiating for gifted learners involved in a pullout gifted program
by Logan, Melissa N., Ed.D., The University of Mississippi, 2011, 106; 3479018
Abstract (Summary)

Bridging the gap in student performance has changed the teaching practice in classrooms across America. Educators have the responsibility to teach all learners. There is a need for instruction to be tailored to boost the higher-level achievers and balance the gaps.

This study examined the attitudes and actions of regular and gifted teachers toward differentiating instruction for gifted learners to find out: (a) the types of differentiated instruction regular classroom teachers use for gifted learners, (b) the differences in gifted teachers' lesson plans from regular teachers' lesson plans, (c) the evidence in lesson plans that demonstrate differentiated instruction, and (d) the comparison of regular teachers and gifted teachers attitudes toward providing differentiation for gifted learners.

The mixed methods design provided both quantitative and qualitative data. Subjects were regular and gifted teachers in grades second through fifth in a rural school district located in the Southeast United States. The quantitative data stated there was a significant difference in the mean attitude between regular and gifted teachers. Thus, the null hypothesis was rejected. A comprehensive look at the individual responses between both groups provided a comparison of the groups' responses to the survey items.

Additional data was collected and analyzed through the qualitative portion of the study. Lesson plans were coded for themes and patterns. Five observations were conducted to determine the types of instructional strategies used to provide differentiation. Effective differentiation was documented through the observations. However, the weakest component of differentiation documentation was in the lesson plans.

Based on the results of this study for both types of data, it was concluded there is a need for professional development to bridge the gap in understanding and implementation of differentiated instruction.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sumrall, Joe, Moore, Jerilou
Commitee: Davis, Doug, Monroe, Ann
School: The University of Mississippi
Department: Curriculum and Instruction
School Location: United States -- Mississippi
Source: DAI-A 73/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Gifted Education, Instructional Design, Teacher education
Keywords: Differentiatied instruction, Gifted teachers, Pullout, Regular teachers
Publication Number: 3479018
ISBN: 9781124970912
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