Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Gifted children--Identification; Ability--Testing;


At one time, students were only considered gifted if they received a score of 140 or higher on an IQ test. Renowned gifted researcher, Joseph Renzulli, challenged this notion with his three-ring conception of giftedness; an interaction between above average ability, creativity, and task-commitment in areas of passion. Renzulli also promoted the development of leadership and social capital through Operation Houndstooth.

Today, the national definition for gifted children acknowledges academics, leadership, arts, and creative talents. Schools are beginning to expand their definitions and identification procedures to acknowledge students with creative talents and leadership abilities. How do these students compare when interacting and exploring topics with academically gifted students? This question was explored through a nine-lesson prairie restoration unit within a middle-school extended learning program. Students studied prairies and prairie restoration using Edward de Bono's CoRT Thinking Skills, creative choice activities, and content knowledge.

Results showed the creative, high-potential students outperformed their academically-gifted peers on the content knowledge posttest and throughout the lesson activities. They provided more responses during CoRT Thinking Skill activities, incorporated more creative strengths in their products, and connected content to their personal lives. All students showed task-commitment and responsible leadership during the creation and implementation of their Type III projects and creativity was present throughout the unit. The results of this project show that creative; high-potential students benefit from gifted programming and should be included with academically-gifted peers.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Audrey C. Rule


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Date Original


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