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An Exploratory Study of the Effectiveness of the Staff Development Model and the Research-Based Assessment Plan in Improving the Identification of Gifted Economically Disadvantaged Students

Mary M. Frasier
Scott L. Hunsaker
Jongyeun Lee
Vernon S. Finley
Jaime H. García
Darlene Martin
Elaine Frank

A Staff Development Model (SDM) and a Research-Based Assessment Plan (RAP) developed by researchers at The University of Georgia were investigated for their potential to improve the identification and education of gifted students from economically disadvantaged families, some of whom may have limited proficiency in the English language. The concept of giftedness as a psychological construct defined by a basic set of traits, aptitudes, and behaviors (TABs) formed the basis of the two models. Overall, the models were perceived as an effective way to (a) improve teachers' ability in observing giftedness in target population student groups, and (b) facilitate the collection and use of information derived from multiple sources when making decisions for program placement and services. A basic implication of this study is that the TABs associated with the giftedness construct appeared to provide a feasible way to train teachers to recognize exceptional ability in target population student groups. Secondly, the SDM and the RAP process appeared to affirm the importance of involving teachers and other staff in the entire process of identifying gifted target students. Finally, feedback on the RAP suggests that the RAP is a viable way to systematically consider the interrelationships of information from multiple sources when making gifted program placement decisions.

Reference:
Frasier, M. M., Hunsaker, S. L., Lee, J., Finley, V. S., García, J. H., Martin, D., & Frank, E. (1995). An exploratory study of the effectiveness of the staff development model and the research-based assessment plan in improving the identification of gifted economically disadvantaged students (RM95224). Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut.


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An Exploratory Study of the Effectiveness of the Staff Development Model and the Research-Based Assessment Plan in Improving the Identification of Gifted Economically Disadvantaged Students
Mary M. Frasier
Scott L. Hunsaker
Jongyeun Lee
Vernon S. Finley
Jaime H. García
Darlene Martin
Elaine Frank


Guidelines

  1. Economically disadvantaged gifted students are often not recommended for gifted programs by their teachers because their gifts and talents are difficult to recognize.
  2. Educators should not rely exclusively on traditional assessment procedures (IQ tests, achievement tests) to identify economically disadvantaged gifted students. A variety of information (student products, checklists, portfolios) needs to be considered.
  3. Teacher training in the identification of economically disadvantaged gifted students improves the teacher's ability to recognize unique talents and gifts.
  4. Once classroom teachers have been adequately trained in assessment procedures, they should play a key role in the identification process. Referral, identification, and programming need to be approached from the classroom teacher's perspective.