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Case study of gifted education in two Oklahoma school districts

Rains, Marcia
The purpose of this study was to investigate and study the importance of educational services mandated for Oklahoma's gifted and talented students with the conclusion being likely able to assist educators in providing gifted service options to meet the needs of gifted learners. Research has shown the need to provide educational services to gifted children, yet many educators operate under the assumption that precocious students can best be served in a general education classroom.
The research questions for this descriptive case study centered on the stakeholders account of the configurations of program options received and how effectively those services met the needs of gifted students. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews in two different districts at the elementary and middle school levels. Within each district, the interview participants included one teacher of gifted students, two parents of gifted students, and three students enrolled in gifted education program options.
The study found that both districts were reported to provide a plethora of options to meet the needs of their gifted students according to documentation submitted to the state; however, limited program options were available to the participants at each school. The stakeholder participants felt the services provided were meeting the academic needs of advanced students. While participant satisfaction with gifted services was noticeable, there was little evidence to demonstrate planning for social and emotional needs in either setting.