Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

First Advisor

Toby Jenkins-Henry

Abstract

This action research study was a presentation of a problem of practice involving a perceived underdevelopment of higher-order thinking skills of gifted (GT) children. I identified a weakness in the previous current third-grade math curriculum that appeared to hinder the development of higher-order thinking skills. This observation led to the development of an intervention that included alternate teaching materials and strategies. The intervention aimed to address the effect of curricular modifications using a different teaching approach called curriculum compacting. Curriculum compacting (Reis, Burns, & Renzulli, 1993; Renzulli & Reis, 1994) is an instructional strategy that has been used to streamline learning activities for students who demonstrate proficiency on curricular objectives before teaching. The present study was guided by the following research question: What are the effects of curriculum compacting on students’ ability to use higher-order thinking to solve complex math problems? The findings suggested that curriculum compacting was an effective intervention to increase higher-order thinking for gifted, third-grade students.

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