Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Floyd A. Landsaw


This study was designed to examine three existing gifted programs located in elementary schools in East Central Illinois for the purpose of understanding the role of the Learning Resource Center (LRC) in the development and implementation of programs to meet the needs of gifted students within the school populations.

The case study approach was used to conduct the study. Personal interviews, observations, and questionnaires were the major methods used for the collection of data. The study was organized into four areas: 1) “Background Information”: This area included all data concerning the school and community, the budget, the organizational structure, personnel, aspects of the gifted programs not associated with the LRC, and statements of philosophy and policy. 2) “Analysis of the Gifted LRC Program Using an Instructional Systems Model”: The following major elements of an instructional systems model were researched: identification of students, assessment of student needs and entry levels, specification of goals, specification of objectives, selection of strategies, implementation of learning activities, evaluation of performance, analysis of feedback, and implementation of modifications. 3) “Analysis of the Gifted LRC Program Using the Enrichment Triad Model Checklist”: The Enrichment Triad Model, a system for developing defensible gifted programs created by Joseph S. Renzulli, was used to determine the success or failure of each gifted LRC program in meeting the needs of gifted students. An observational checklist with twenty key elements was developed and used for this purpose. 4) “Attitude Surveys”: Attitudes of the gifted student participants, their classroom teachers, and their parents toward the gifted LRC program were researched. Teachers and parents were given brief attitude surveys; the students were interviewed individually.

The gifted LRC programs selected for study were located in elementary schools within a specified eight-county area of East Central Illinois. The Learning Resource Center and the Learning Resource Center professional were both integral aspects of the gifted programs in the schools. Permission for the study was granted by the LRC professional. Three gifted LRC programs were found which conformed to the established criteria.

Five instruments were .used in the acculmulation of data: 1) the Data Collection Outline, 2) the Enrichment Triad Model checklist, 3) the Student Attitude Interview format, 4) the Teacher Attitude Survey, and 5) the Parent Attitude Survey.

The three methods of presentation of data used were narrative description, tables, and illustrations. The data for each gifted LRC program was presented separately, and the three programs were not compared or contrasted.

Conclusions and recommendations were made separately for each gifted LRC program. The conclusions consisted of a list of the strengths and a list of the weaknesses identified for each program based on the data collected. A specific list of recommendations made for each program included suggestions to maintain or expand those areas identified as strengths within the program, and suggestions to correct those areas designated as weaknesses. In addition, conclusions and recommendations were constructed for the role of the Learning Resource Center in the education of gifted elementary students in general.

In summary it was concluded that Learning Resource Centers have the potential to offer significant contributions to the education of gifted elementary school students, and that attention to the various areas covered in this study would aid in developing and implementing gifted Learning Resource Center programs.