Date of Award

Spring 1-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. William Emrick

Second Advisor

Dr. Julie Turner

Third Advisor

Dr. Sunny Purvil


In 2004, the National Association for Gifted Children and the National Middle School Association collaborated to create a joint position statement supporting the educational needs of all middle school students, including those of high potential and ability. Since the creation of this position statement, research demonstrates that little has been done to further the understanding and development of middle school gifted adolescents and corresponding educational programming that meets the gifted adolescents’ needs. This study sought to provide clarity concerning the organization of middle school gifted programming and the components that contribute to the excellence of programs according to the perceptions of middle school gifted students, middle school educators of gifted students, and gifted education leaders. This study focused on six school districts’ middle school gifted education programs within a major midwestern metropolitan area. The study programs differed on delivery method of gifted services, time allotment for providing gifted services, curriculum employed within the classroom, and instruments used to evaluate student work and program excellence. Surveys, consisting of Likert scale items and open-ended response items; interviews; and observational data were used in this study to better understand the various middle school gifted programs. Data collection focused on student needs and delivery methods. The findings of this study illustrate the critical components of a middle school gifted program in relation to the delivery method, curriculum, and evaluation. The author will use the findings of this research to make recommendations to those districts supplementing or modifying gifted middle school programs. The author suggests direction for future research in the field of gifted education at the middle school level in order to provide a better understanding of middle school gifted education programming while meeting the needs of all stakeholders.


Copyright 2011