Learning Activities to Raise Creativity (LARC): An evaluation of a gifted program
This study evaluated a gifted program in a suburban school district outside in New York City. The gifted program, which has operated in the district since 1976, has undergone substantial changes in recent years. These changes, which involved both the structure and population of the program, were being questioned by the administrative and parent body of the district and led the district to request an evaluation of the program. This evaluation measured student, parent, and teacher satisfaction with the program and their attitudes toward specific aspects of and future changes in the program. Participants included 141 students who participated in the program, 87 parents, and 33 teachers. Questionnaires containing Likert-style questions and open-ended questions were administered to students, parents and teachers in December of the 1997–1998 school year. A high level of satisfaction with the program was found among the three groups, although there were some differences in student, parent, and teacher responses to the surveys. Differences based on gender, school, and grade were also found in student responses to the surveys. Telephone interviews were also conducted with 10 former program participants and 5 of their parents to obtain their perspectives on LARC and the perceived short- and long-term impacts of the program on their lives. Results of the evaluation were used to generate suggestions for changes to the program. A second component of the study was an examination of the high school academic outcomes of students who participated in the gifted program in elementary school in comparison to students who were referred to the program but did not meet all the criteria for admission to the program. The study found that former program participants had higher grade point averages, higher class ranks, and took more Honors and Advanced Placement courses in high school than the comparison group. In both the group of former program participants and the comparison group, girls had higher grade point averages, higher class ranks, and took more Honors courses in high school than their male counterparts. Additionally, girls from the comparison group had comparable grade point averages and class ranks to boys who attended the gifted program. Recommendations for future research and relevance to school psychology are discussed.
Frieman, Shulamis, "Learning Activities to Raise Creativity (LARC): An evaluation of a gifted program" (2000). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI9985689.
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