E. Jean Gubbins
The University of Connecticut
Year 2 of The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented has begun with as much energy and speed as our initial “jump start” on the research projects in Year 1. So much happened during the first year of operation that it is hard to believe that several research projects described in our June NRC/GT Newsletter are ending, others are continuing, and seven projects are being initiated. Right now, we are completing or starting fourteen national studies. Applied research of this scope is incredible! Results from Year 1 are being interpreted everyday and most Center hallway conversations revolve around:
“Did you hear about the effects of the treatment in this study?”
“Do you think we should analyze the data another way?”
“How soon will another few pages of the analyses be written?”
“Students involved in the treatment groups for the Curriculum Compacting Study outperformed the control group students on the post achievement tests in science and in math concepts.”
“During the observations for the Classroom Practices Study, we found that teachers posed a small number of higher-level questions (application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) to elementary school students.”
Such comments are heard throughout the Center at The University of Connecticut. Questions are raised, responses are entertained, and then it is back to our respective offices to see if the data should be distilled another way.
We are stretched because of all the research activity. But the excitement surrounding the studies provides the motivation to keep pushing. We can’t wait to release the results from the Curriculum Compacting Study and the Classroom Practices Study at The University of Connecticut. We have already shared the results of the Needs Assessment Study in the June newsletter. Now, we are preparing a monograph entitled Setting an Agenda: Research Priorities for the Gifted and Talented Through the Year 2000. When the monograph is available, we will let you know.
Our research would not be possible without the funding from the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act from the United States Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. The money, however, only makes the researchers available for what they do best. Where the Year 1 research was implemented would have been a major problem without the network of Collaborative School Districts. Our network has grown to 277 districts as of November 1, 1991. Since our March listing of the districts in our Center brochure, we have added the following sites:
There are only two states that are nut represented in the Collaborative School District network: South Dakota and Delaware. Also, we have not been able to recruit schools in the following territories: Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Trust Territory. We will keep trying to get the word out.
Our Content Area Consultant Bank is expanding. We are in the process of preparing a directory which contains listings of 134 consultants interested in providing workshops for teachers or parents; consulting on policy issues, program development, evaluation, or clinical evaluation and intervention; or conducting projects with the NRC/GT. We would like to welcome the following Consultant Bank Members as of November 1, 1991:
Several Content Area Consultant Bank members have been commissioned to write papers in our Research-Based Decision Making Series. The abstract of Dr. Karen Rogers’ paper entitled, The Relationship of Grouping Practices to the Education of the Gifted and Talented Learner is featured in this newsletter. A complimentary copy of the Executive Summary for this paper and future papers will be mailed to Collaborative School Districts, Consultant Bank members, State Departments of Education, National Research Center Advisory Council members, Regional Educational Laboratories, Educational Research and Development Centers, Parent Organizations and Javits Grants Recipients. A copy of the full-length paper is available on a cost-recovery basis (see the newsletter message).
In addition to the papers listed in our last newsletter on Ability Grouping (Dr. James Kulik), Self-Concept (Dr. Robert Hoge and Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli), Identification of Art Students and Programming for Art Students (Dr. Gilbert Clark and Dr. Enid Zimmerman), we have commissioned papers on the following topics:
We are excited about this Research-Based Decision Making Series. The series extends the range of topics of interest to practitioners involved in the NRC/GT. More topics will be announced in the future.
The United States Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, our funding agency, recently requested information on the relationship of The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented mission to The National Education Goals, America 2000, and Core Subject Areas. The major elements of each research study were analyzed and recorded in a matrix. Two examples of studies and their major elements follow:
- Self-concept assessment
- content assessment
- Motivation assessment
- Behavioral adjustment assessment by teachers and parents
Theory-based Approach to Identification, Teaching, and Evaluation – Yale University
- high school psychology text
- Triarchic abilities test
- Assessment of intelligence
- Problem solving/thinking skills
- Product development
- Curriculum match to intellectual style
The resulting matrix is several pages and it really illustrates how our studies reflect the educational issues of interest at the national level.
Future issues of the NRC/GT Newsletter will summarize more findings from our Year 1 studies. We will keep you apprised of the NRC/GT publications at national conventions.