these options involve delivering content that is more advanced than grade-level expectations, the environment for delivery may have widely differing effects on social and emotional adjustment. Similarly, curricular options entitled “enrichment” may use curricular options ranging from a specific curricular model, such as the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (Renzulli and Reis, 1985), to activities structured around a set of guidelines for curricular modification, such as those that grew out of the work of the National/State Leadership Training Institute (Kaplan, 1979), or models for differentiation in the regular classroom (Tomlinson, 1999; Winebrenner, 2000).

Nonetheless, the meta-analyses of grouping programs for gifted students that involve a substantial adjustment of curriculum to match identified student strengths have shown clear positive effects on gifted children (Kulik, 1992; Kulik and Kulik, 1997). Rogers (1991) also concluded that ability grouping for curriculum extension in a pull-out program produces an academic effect size of 0.65.

Research on Curriculum Models

Research studies on several of the major curriculum models has yielded some evidence of success in achieving the goals specified by the models for a particular type of gifted student. We briefly discuss acceleration, schoolwide enrichment, triarchic components, and integrated curriculum models.


Perhaps no other curriculum or programming model has been more widely investigated than acceleration. In this report, acceleration is considered a curriculum model in the sense that whatever the placement of the child, he or she will either be studying the content at a more rapid pace or at a more advanced level than might be expected of a child of that age or normal grade placement. As one example of this model, the effects of the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth on students who score exceptionally high on the quantitative portion of the SAT as middle-school students have been reported in more than 300 published articles, journals, and books. These reports have ranged from case studies of individual children to long-term follow-ups of the effects on groups of students who had been enrolled in the program. Outcome variables that are assessed in control group studies are represented by a study that compared students who participated in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth academic programs with nonparticipating eligible students over a 5-year time period. In general, the Johns Hopkins model has been an out-of-school model with instruction offered through colleges and universities during the summer. Both groups exhibited high academic achievement, but the center youth took more advanced courses at an earlier age and enrolled in more

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement