Setting an Agenda: Research Priorities for the Gifted and Talented Through the Year 2000

Joseph S. Renzulli
Brian D. Reid
E. Jean Gubbins

This document reports on a national research needs assessment study which resulted in the identification of research priorities for The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT) through the year 2000. The report addresses: the scope, purpose, and mission of NRC/GT; a rationale for such research, noting six problem areas in program development resulting from limitations of previous research; the design of the needs assessment study; and the needs assessment methodology which involved surveying 13,749 individuals including teachers of the gifted, representatives of Collaborative School Districts, and members of State Research Advisory Councils. Analysis of the 5,074 returned surveys is reported, including a ranking of recommendations for research. Results suggest a need for future studies in two major categories: (1) the effectiveness of current programs, strategies, and practices; and (2) the cognitive, affective, and motivational needs of students. Specific questions related to each category are listed. Abstracts of 18 initial studies for the NRC/GT in these areas are presented. A final section presents the NRC/GT’s dissemination model to facilitate the dissemination of research results.


Renzulli, J. S., Reid, B. D., & Gubbins, E. J. (n.d.). Setting an agenda: Research priorities for the gifted and talented through the year 2000. Storrs: University of Connecticut, The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.

Setting an Agenda: Research Priorities for the Gifted and Talented Through the Year 2000
Joseph S. Renzulli
Brian D. Reid
E. Jean Gubbins


The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented has addressed six concerns related to limited progress in program development for the gifted and talented in the past. These problem areas include:

  • the emphasis on trait and status characteristics to guide identification and programming practices
  • the way in which research findings are translated into classroom practices
  • the interaction between research studies and public policies
  • the overdependence on test scores for determining the impact of educational intervention
  • the lack of research studies on special populations who have historically been underrepresented in gifted programs, and the lack of studies into areas such as the arts
  • the gifted student’s relationship to the regular curriculum

Recommendations for Research have been developed to address the disharmony that historically exists between practitioners and researchers. A prioritized final list of general areas of recommended research includes the following:

  • Impact of gifted programs on student outcomes
  • Regular curriculum modification
  • Teacher training/staff development necessary for curriculum modification or development
  • Grouping patterns and impact on learning outcomes
  • Individual vs curriculum approaches to education
  • Motivation
  • Effectiveness of differentiated programs for economically disadvantaged, underachieving and other special populations
  • Self-efficacy
  • Cultural/community reinforcement
  • Policy implications
  • Teachers as assessors
  • Grouping by special populations
  • Program options in relation to student characteristics
  • Process vs. content
  • Use of research in assessment
  • Impact/understanding of gifted/talented “differences”
  • Effects of grouping on all students when gifted are grouped
  • Assumptions/stereotypes of underachievement
  • Student characteristics associated with success
  • Cooperative learning
  • Relationship between community and program