Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




George Smeaton


To meet the educational needs and acceleration of talented and gifted (TAG) students, it is important to determine the best learning environment to afford optimal academic success during their educational experience. A study at a Bartow County school district in Georgia has been conducted in order to establish this best learning environment. This study investigated if Lexile scores (ability) and academic averages (performance) differ for 6th grade TAG students in homogeneous classes compared to TAG students in heterogeneous settings. Vygotsky's theory of social constructivism, which proposes that students need to feel socially and cognitively supported by their environment, was the theoretical foundation of this study. Using a time series, quasi-experimental, between-group comparison, and a 2-group, nonequivalent control group design, this study analyzed archival data for reading, language arts, and social studies from sixth grade middle school TAG students (n = 43) who were enrolled in both homogenous and heterogeneous settings depending on the scheduling of the courses. The results revealed no significant differences in either the reading or language arts classes but did reveal a significant difference (p = .03) in the level of academic performance for social studies in homogeneous classes compared to students in heterogeneous classes. The findings may contribute to positive social change by informing educators about the utility of specific curricular content for TAG students in a particular setting.