Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

June 1979


The purpose of this study was to obtain information on program provisions for gifted students in Virginia. Characteristics of an adequate program for the gifted were ascertained through use of a gifted program evaluation model developed by Joseph S. Renzulli and Virgil S. Ward entitled Diagnostic and Evaluative Scales For Differential Education For The Gifted, "DESDEG". The review of literature indicated that DESDEG provided a structural framework in the analysis of programs for gifted students. The descriptive survey method of research was used to conduct the study. The instrument utilized for this study was a questionnaire/opinionnaire developed around the five key features of programs for the gifted and the fifteen program requirements deemed as central subdivisions for program evaluation in DESDEG, and a review of related literature. The survey instrument was mailed to a population of 135 contact persons responsible for completing forms used in requesting Virginia state reimbursement to school divisions in providing programs for gifted students. All school divisions in Virginia were represented by the 135 contact persons. Each individual in the population was asked to complete the survey instrument questionnaire/opinionnaire in relation to the existing program for the gifted in his or her school division. A total of 119 contact persons, 88.1 percent, responded to the instrument. The six research questions of the study provided information regarding the extent to which program provisions for the gifted in Virginia have been met. Virginia school divisions did not have extensive funding of programs for gifted students. Only 4.2 percent of responses indicated local school division expenditures of more than twenty percent of general per pupil cost on gifted students. The identification of the gifted was the strongest feature of programs for the gifted in Virginia. The role of the teacher of the gifted was not articulated and distinguished in the local school divisions. One source of data indicated that only 49.5 percent of the divisions placed emphasis on teachers of the gifted. Curricular offerings for the gifted program were not adequate and needed further development according to 76.4 percent of responses. Approximately 46 percent of the responses indicated that the personnel organization of the gifted program consisted of a group of persons who exercised informal leadership. Program prototypes were emphasized in 52.9 percent of the responses. The need for a minimum gifted program developed by the Virginia State Department of Education with corresponding alternatives and ranges of activities within the program was expressed by respondents. An interpretation of data presented in this study indicated that program provisions for the gifted in Virginia's school divisions were in various stages of development and implementation. The conclusions drawn as a result of the study were summarized as follows: 1. Virginia school divisions did not have adequate funding of programs for gifted students. 2. More direct assistance from the Virginia State Department of Education was needed at the local level in gifted program formulation and establishment. 3. There was some evidence that programs for the gifted were viewed as not in need of special provisions when compared to programs for vocational and low achieving students. 4. There was a discrepancy between the perception of program emphasis on curriculum and the actual emphasis in program operation. 5. Programs for the gifted were not offered at all grade levels within each school division. 6. There was a discrepancy between the high ranking of the teacher as a program requirement, the criteria used for teacher selection, and the emphasis placed on the teacher of the gifted. 7. In-service needs of instructional personnel for the gifted needed to be reviewed for the appropriateness of objectives and strategies. 8. Program prototypes and the organizational structure of programs for the gifted needed additional emphasis. 9. A written plan for the gifted program together with a systematic plan of evaluation was not available in many local school divisions. 10. Program awareness needed to be greatly expanded.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted

Included in

Education Commons