Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Joyce VanTassel-Baska


The purposes of this comparative study were to determine the effects of (1) a specially developed gifted curriculum for grades four and five on gifted learners, (2) two contrasting instructional delivery systems for gifted students, and (3) differential levels of teacher training in gifted education. The sample was 112 fourth and fifth grade academically gifted students. The students were grouped for comparison based on their assignment to the regular classroom teacher for the 1988-89 school year. Group 1A students attended a one day pull-out gifted program and were assigned to the school based enrichment program taught by teachers who had completed the division training. Group 1B students attended the one day pull-out gifted program and were assigned to the school-based enrichment program taught by teachers with little training. Group 2 students attended the pull-out gifted program and were assigned to regular classrooms. Student growth in the specially developed gifted curriculum was measured in higher level thinking skills, creative thinking skills, self-concept, and research skills, areas that reflected the major goals of the program.;Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used to determine student growth gains. Repeated Measures Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) were used to determine differential effects of the two program delivery models as well as the staff development model. Significant student growth gains in the thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation; the creative thinking skill of figural fluency; and all major research skills were recorded. The pretest scores on the ME Scale revealed that the students had relatively good self-concepts at the start of the study; posttest results indicated that self-concept levels were maintained. No value-added effects which might be attributed to the school-based enrichment curriculum were recorded for either Group 1A or 1B. With the exception of the performance of Group 1A students in grade five on research skills, no significant student growth differences that could be attributed to staff development were recorded.;Implications of the study suggested the need to add a complementary scope and sequence of skills to the school-based enrichment program for each goal area of the gifted program and the importance of staff communication and collaboration between the school-based enrichment program and the pull-out centers. The selection of a delivery model should be reviewed and decisions made based on student needs combined with school district expectations and constraints. The staff development program should be reviewed for focus and emphasis.



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