Date of Award

Fall 9-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Rhonda Bishop

Third Advisor

Dr. Shirley Lawler

Abstract

While substantiating the effectiveness of honors programs to increase learning among the academically gifted, assessment and any associated outcomes should also be effectively used to understand the psychosocial development challenges of these students and, at the same time, increase their learning in and out of the honors environment. Robinson’s (1997) research showed that, saddled with the typical college student’s at-risk characteristics, e.g., first-generation status, low-income, financial limitations, etc., gifted students also face unique adjustment challenges in terms of their social development. These challenges include habits and attitudes associated with and/or resulting from not having to work at their studies in high school, such as ‘grade shock,’ mediocrity, and an expectation of naturally being at the top of their class; not knowing their strengths and weaknesses due to a lack of academic challenge; not experiencing having to ask for help; and having multiples gifts and talents that are or can be channeled in multiple directions. This mixed methods study examined how educators may be able to use psychosocial student development theory and research in the use of personality type assessment instruments, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to support these students whose unique attitudes and behaviors put them at risk of losing their educational and career opportunities.

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