Academic journal article Journal of Secondary Gifted Education

Governor's Schools: Fostering the Social and Emotional Well-Being of Gifted and Talented Students

Academic journal article Journal of Secondary Gifted Education

Governor's Schools: Fostering the Social and Emotional Well-Being of Gifted and Talented Students

Article excerpt

Reviewing and conducting research on summer residential program models for gifted and talented students will illuminate the academic, social, and emotional difficulties they face and reveal which practices are effective in addressing these issues. One program model, the Governor's School, warrants particular attention because of its mission to provide an accelerated and enriched curriculum and a positive social environment in a seasonal residential program. To date, few well-designed studies directly assess the effect of attending a Governor's School on participants' social and emotional well-being. In order to provide a context for an in-depth examination of 8 studies conducted between 1965 and 1991 on participants in Governor's Schools in the Southeast, this review of literature begins with 2 landmark studies conducted on participants in summer residential programs between 1984 and 1993. Significant and tangential findings from all of these studies show that participation in summer residential programs has positive effects on students; the most significant effect is the formation of strong friendship bonds and support networks among program participants. However, the extent of supportive evidence is minimal due to limitations of the research designs, and a considerable lack of current research. Gaps in the literature reviewed are discussed, and suggestions for future research are presented.

**********

In the United States, several summer residential programs exist for gifted and talented secondary students. "These programs vary in content, duration, intensity, age group served, delivery model, funding, and overall mission. Some programs are based primarily on acceleration and enrichment, and some are based primarily on differentiated curriculum (VanTassel-Baska, Landau, & Olszewski, 1984). There is a long history of interest in how such programs impact the various academic, social, and emotional needs of gifted and talented secondary students. One program model, the Governor's School, warrants particular attention because of its mission to provide an accelerated and enriched curriculum in a positive social environment. In this review of literature, research on different summer residential programs for secondary gifted students will be analyzed, synthesized, and discussed in order to provide a context for examining the Governor's School model and research related to its academic, social, and emotional effects on participants.

A Review of Landmark Studies Conducted on Summer Residential Programs

Many research studies have been conducted on summer residential programs to assess the long-term impacts of program attendance on academic and professional achievement; however, few studies have been conducted to determine the impact of attending a summer residential program on participants' social and emotional development. A research study conducted by VanTassel-Baska and colleagues in 1984 was one of the first large-scale studies designed to address the lack of research on the long-term social and emotional effects of attending a summer residential program. Similarly, Enersen's (1993) study examined the long-term program impacts on participants' academic, social, and emotional selves, and this study was one of the first qualitative studies to assess the interplay between the various selves. Together, these two studies serve as landmark research in summer residential programs for the gifted.

VanTassel-Baska and colleagues (1984) conducted their study with the rationale that program directors had reported that attending a summer program had an immediate profound effect on the participant's life, as well as specific long-term effects with regard to schooling; however, no research had been conducted to substantiate these claims. Therefore, the researchers examined the effects and benefits of participation in the 1983 summer session of the Midwest Talent Search at Northwestern University by conducting a follow-up study on 100 program participants. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.