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2006Research Conference | June 15–16

This conference highlighted the work of invited speakers, independent researchers who have received grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences, and trainees supported through predoctoral training grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The presentations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Institute of Education Sciences.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
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Increasing Academic Achievement Among Gifted Underachievers

Del Siegle, University of Connecticut
Sally M. Reis, University of Connecticut
D. Betsy McCoach, University of Connecticut

Abstract: This poster presents results from the Increasing Academic Achievement Among Gifted Underachievers study conducted by The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT) under funding from the Jacob J. Javits Program. The underachievement of gifted students represents a loss of valuable human resources for the nation, as well as unrealized fulfillment for the individual. Although a previous NRC/GT needs assessment found that the issue of underachievement is foremost in the minds of practitioners, few quantitative studies have focused on interventions for reversing the underachievement of gifted students. For the purpose of this study, we define underachieving gifted students as gifted students who were performing poorly in school as measured by letter grades. We developed five different treatment approaches designed to increase mathematics or language arts/reading achievement of underachieving gifted middle school students. These treatments address the four areas of the Achievement-Orientation Model (Siegle & McCoach, 2005): a) student perceptions of school (environmental perceptions) b) valuing the goals of school (goal value) c) confidence in academic ability (self-efficacy), and d) self-regulation. In addition to the four components of the model, a fifth treatment based on interest-based projects and classroom modifications using curriculum compacting was created. Results revealed an average of one-half letter grade increase over a 6 to 9 week marking period. The goal valuation intervention produced the largest increase (1.2 letter grade increase) and the self-regulation intervention produced the smallest increase (0.1 letter grade increase).