Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Faculty

Education and Arts

First Advisor

Professor Mark Hackling

Abstract

At Metropolitan High School (MHS) a gifted and talented science program (GTSP) operates to meet the educational needs of exceptional students. Academic achievement is dependent on many factors including cognitive ability, goal orientation, selfregulation of learning and self-efficacy. Few studies have attempted to investigate the significance of each of these in special populations particularly in the academic field of science. The literature indicates that educational programs should be subject to evaluation, yet such evaluation is not routinely carried out. In a balanced teaching system, components such as curriculum, teaching methods, assessment procedures and classroom environment are aligned so that they complement each other to create the desired outcomes. The aim of this research was to investigate whether components of the GTSP were aligned to promote a deep approach to learning and the use of self-regulated learning strategies which are important intrapersonal catalysts in Gagné‟s model of giftedness and talents. In the pragmatist paradigm, quantitative and qualitative data forms were utilised to allow methodological triangulation to enhance the rigor of the research process. The research was an exploratory, parallel, nested, mixed model study. Data were integrated at the analysis phase to examine the GTSP, the object of the case study. Within the GTSP best practice education for the gifted was balanced against the requirements of the MHS science curriculum. GTSP students demonstrated high level outcomes in school, state and national measures of science achievement despite the fact that participation in the GTSP did not facilitate a significant increase in deep learning. In order to promote deep learning, self-regulation and the high achievement of GTSP students into the future, it is recommended that the assessment practices within the GTSP are reviewed and aligned with best practice education for the gifted.

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