Thesis Title

The Importance of School-Wide Enrichment Programs in Elementary School Settings

Graduation Date

Spring 2011

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

Print

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD

Abstract

Due to the state of California’s budget crisis with education, over the last several years, Gifted and Talented education programs have been cut across the state. As a result, students are being simply taught to take a test, and enrichment to students, those considered “gifted” and all others, is not being offered to the extent that is needed. The purpose of this study to examine how elementary schools should provide all students with enrichment opportunities, not only those in gifted and talented education programs. The previous literature on this topic shows that overall students involved in gifted and talented education program thrive and are better prepared for adulthood. They think more critically and are better challenged in school.

This study was conducted in a first grade classroom, in a Program Improvement elementary school. Twenty first graders participated in a week of enrichment activities centered around the theme of nutrition. The curriculum included hands-on activities on the topics of healthy eating, cooking, healthy meals and snacks. As children completed the activities the teacher-researcher made notes about student behavior and engagement. The researcher found that by providing the students with a more hands-on, enrichment centered curriculum the students were more motivated and interested in the curriculum and behavior problems decreased.

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