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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Dewey W. Chambers

First Committee Member


Second Committee Member

Roy J. Timmons

Third Committee Member

Heath Lowry

Fourth Committee Member

Marjorie C. Bruce


Problem. From all of the findings gleaned from research and scholarly opinion dealing with gifted education, it seems desirable to have special programs for these students. However, contradictions have appeared among educators concerning programs for the gifted. Teaching specific skills and the relationship of these skills to test scores has not yet been established for gifted children. Research in this area is sparce. Purpose. The purpose of the study is to investigate the effectiveness of the Benen Reading Skills Instructional Approach with gifted students to determine the desirability of special programs of this type for gifted students, and if such instruction increased the scores in vocabulary skills, comprehension skills, syllabication skills, sound discrimination skills and blending skills for these students. Procedures. The research undertaken for this study utilized fourth grade gifted students found in ten gifted centers in Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia. Four schools were randomly selected from the ten gifted centers, two being assigned as control groups and two as experimental groups. Fifty-one students were in the control group and forty-nine were in the experimental group. Both groups received the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test, Forms W and X as a pre-test and posttest. The two control groups were taught the traditional reading program by their classroom teacher. The two experimental groups were taught the BRSIA by their classroom teacher one period a day, five days a week, for the period of four weeks. The analysis of covariance procedures were used to measure gains in vocabulary achievement, comprehension achievement, syllabication achievement, sound discrimination achievement and blending achievement. Conclusions. The experimental group had significantly higher gains than the control group on all five subtests of the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test. The results revealed significant differences in achievement gains between the experimental and control groups at the .10 level of significance. Recommendations. Further study is recommended in the field of reading programs for the gifted. It is also recommended that further research be performed to see what other diagnostic measures are available for testing gifted students. Other research studies in the field of reading programs for the gifted are recommended, such as using another trade book at the fourth grade level, research conducted using the same teacher from both the experimental and control groups, and longitudinal studies to note if gains made will last over a period of years.



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