Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)
Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations
Gifted education; Educational psychology; Language arts; Reading instruction; Gifted persons; Achievement motivation; Educational psychology
This post hoc study focused on gifted programming in language arts for students in fourth through eighth grades in one large (n=12,229) diverse school district. One group of gifted students experienced cluster grouping, while the other group of gifted students experienced ability grouping for language arts instruction. The study examined whether motivational processes reported by gifted students differed by gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic level. The study also investigated whether gifted students who were ability grouped for reading instruction differed in self-efficacy, achievement goal orientation, achievement, and challenge seeking in language arts when compared to gifted students who were cluster grouped. Finally, student perception of classroom goal structure was compared between cluster-grouped gifted students and ability-grouped gifted students. Some students were surveyed at the end of eighth grade immediately following participation, and others were surveyed at the end of ninth grade.;Among gifted students, females exhibited greater levels of challenge-seeking behavior by selecting higher-level high school courses; therefore, gender was controlled in further analyses. Within the gifted population examined for this study, self-efficacy, personal achievement goal orientation, achievement, challenge seeking, and perception of classroom achievement goal structure did not vary by race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status (SES) of gifted adolescent students.;Using regression analysis, ability-grouped gifted students who were surveyed at the end of eighth grade were more likely to report challenge-seeking behavior and less likely to report mastery goal orientation than those who had been cluster grouped. Gifted students surveyed at the end of ninth grade who had been in ability-grouped classrooms reported greater self-efficacy, mastery goal orientation, and performance-approach goal orientation than gifted students who had been cluster grouped.;Finally, gifted students' perceptions of classroom goal structures were explored. Non-white students surveyed at the end of eighth grade reported lower performance-avoidance goal structure in their classrooms than did white students. Ninth grade gifted students who had been in ability-grouped classrooms reported greater mastery achievement goal structure than gifted students who had been cluster grouped since late elementary grades.;Motivational benefits were found for gifted students who had been ability grouped for language arts instruction. The study further suggested that the effects of ability grouping may ease the transition from middle school to high school for gifted students.
Esparza, Julie, "Gifted learners' motivational outcomes in cluster versus ability-grouped reading instruction : an ex-post facto study" (2015). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 3293.
Northern Illinois University
Rights Statement 2
NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.