Thesis

Action research on the effects of gifted and talented education professional development

This study examines the effects of how professional development in gifted and talented education impacts a teacher's pedagogy and students' learning. In particular, it focuses on the following research questions: How does Susan Winebrenner's gifted and talented education professional development impact a teacher's pedagogy? and What are the effects of Susan Winebrenner's gifted and talented education professional development on academically gifted students' attitude toward') school and learning? This study uses action research methodology to examine one teachers three year pedagogical journey to differentiate curriculum and instruction for gifted and talented students. The strategies implemented include: acceleration, compacting and tiered lessons, extensions, and enrichments. Data, in the form of lesson planning, student work, teacher journals and student interviews, was collected to compare the instructional delivery before, during, and after a year of professional development focused on how to meet the needs of gifted and talented elementary students. The results suggest that if teachers are given the professional development needed, gifted students will have better attitudes towards school and learning. KEY WORDS: acceleration, compacting, differentiation, enrichment, extensions, gifted and talented education, professional development, tiered lessons

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