Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Gifted children--Education--Iowa; Talented students--Education--Iowa; Middle school principals--Iowa--Attitudes; Middle school teachers--Iowa--Attitudes;


This descriptive study examined the perceived effects of the Iowa state-mandate, the Comprehensive School Improvement (CSI) Process, for Gifted and Talented (GT) Programming in Iowa. The study examined the assumption that mandates lead to internal changes in schools, increased collaboration among various groups, and improved school programs. Based on the mandated provisions of the Iowa Administrative Code, this study compared the perceptions of middle level teachers of gifted and talented students with middle level principals and investigated two areas: (a) the perceived changes in GT Programming in Iowa from the time the CSI Process was implemented to the present time and (b) the perceived effects of the CSI Process on GT Programming in Iowa.

A questionnaire was developed to survey the perceptions of the two subgroups. Four research questions guided the study. Two questionnaires were mailed to 266 public middle level schools in Iowa, one addressed to each subgroup. The total return was 243 (45.7%), and the working total numbered 215 (40.1%). Results revealed statistically significant perceived changes ( p < .05) for all categories, indicating that GT Programming has been changing in Iowa as reported by the respondents. The two subgroups differed on five components regarding perceived Levels of Use during the time prior to the CSI Process implementation: (a) multiple criteria for identification purposes, (b) performance measures, (c) aligning goals for gifted and talented students with district goals, (d) budget carryover of leftover funds into the next year's program budget, and (e) disaggregating data by considering gifted and talented students as a subgroup. The subgroups differed on three components regarding the Levels of Use for the present time: (a) qualitative differentiation for meeting cognitive needs, (b) qualitative differentiation for meeting affective needs, and (c) budget carryover of leftover funds into the next year's program budget.

Results also indicated that the CSI Process was perceived to have strengthened GT Programming or to have done no harm. With the exception of the use of multiple criteria in identification procedures, there were no differences between the two subgroups in perceptions regarding effects of the CSI Process.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Postsecondary Education

First Advisor

Dale R. Jackson. Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (xvi, 296 pages)



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