A follow-up study of students who were eligible to participate in the Gifted Math Program (GMP) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Betty Kay Wood, Purdue University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact the Gifted Math Program (GMP) had upon elementary and secondary students who participated in this special program. Achievement, motivation, and attitudes of the participating students were addressed, as well as the influence the GMP had upon their choice of profession. ^ The investigation was approached from a positivist research paradigm, and utilized both an ex post facto and a descriptive research design. In the first phase of the research, students who were identified as eligible for the GMP program were asked to complete a questionnaire (see Appendix A). The final sample included 50 students who participated in the program and 50 students who did not participate. The second phase involved telephone interviews with 14 students who participated in the program, four students who did not participate, and nine parents of GMP participants. The semi-structured format of the interviews allowed GMP participants, nonparticipants, and parents to elaborate on topics they felt needed explanation, and/or discuss areas not mentioned in the questionnaire. ^ This study yielded results that showed that the GMP had a positive impact on the participants. Goals of the program seem to have been achieved. Participants who responded finished their high school mathematics coursework before normally expected and went on to participate in college credit mathematics. It was also found that these participants attained higher degrees than nonparticipants (eligible but did not participate). Participants who responded were also more involved in jobs that were mathematics related than nonparticipants. These participants felt challenged and experienced intellectual growth. In general, participants who responded were pleased with their experience in the Gifted Math Program. ^

Degree

Ph.D.

Advisors

Major Professors: John F. Feldhusen, Purdue University, Sidney M. Moon, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Education, Mathematics|Education, Special

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