A study of the academic achievement and attitudes of gifted and talented elementary school students

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1979

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The problem investigated in this study had two major considerations: (1) To determine if the educational approach used in teaching gifted and talented students at a special purpose school (experimental group) had a significant difference in the academic achievement of these students as compare to gifted and talented students in the regular school program (comparison group), (2) To investigate the influence of different educational approaches on the attitude of these students toward school. The purpose of the study was to provide school administrators with the additional data necessary to make valid decisions in determining the right program for gifted and talented students. The study examined and tested the following hypotheses: 1. There is no significant difference between the experimental and comparison group means on the fourth grade and sixth grade Reading and Mathematics achievement scores as measured by the Science Research Associates Assessment Survey after one year in the special program for gifted and talented students. 2. There is no significant difference between the pretest and posttest Reading and Mathematics achievement scores of fourth grade and sixth grade students in the special purpose school as measured by the California Achievement Test. 3. There is no significant difference in attitudes toward school between the experimental and comparison groups as measured by the Semantic Differential Instrument. 4. There is no significant difference in academic achievement in the experimental and comparison groups as it relates to sex. 5. There is no significant difference in attitudes toward school as it relates to sex. In addition to these hypotheses, the researcher also investigated the influence of ethnic group membership on the academic achievement and attitudes toward school of gifted and talented students. The sample used in the analysis for the first year of the program's operation consisted of 73 fourth grade and 70 sixth grade gifted and talented students assigned to the special purpose school (experimental group). The comparison group was made up of 38 fourth grade and 44 sixth grade gifted and talented students assigned to the regular school program. All of these students were pretested using SRA Achievement Test in September, 1976, and were posttested in April, 1977. The sample used in the analysis for the second year of the program's operation consisted of 102 fourth grade and 102 sixth grade gifted and talented students at the special purpose school. The California Achievement Test was administered to these students in October, 1977 and again in April, 1978. [...]

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