A Case Study Of The Experiences Of And Influences Upon Gifted High School Dropouts

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Educat.D.)


Elementary Education


Purpose. This study was developed to examine the social background, educational experiences, and psychological background of gifted high school dropouts. The areas of examination were: (1) the nuclear family; (2) the extended family/family-friend entity; (3) the peer group; (4) educational experiences; (5) psychological history.Procedure. Five gifted high school dropouts, three boys and two girls, were subjected to a tape recorded interview schedule. The dropout's parents and former school personnel were also interviewed. Each student's record was examined to gain information on intelligence tests, promotion, and other relevant data. The information was recorded in a narrative profile which was examined by the investigator.Findings. Based on the information obtained through the interviews, the following findings were obtained: (1) There was evidence of instability in the home environment. (2) Drug and alcohol consumption were a part of the dropout's environment. (3) Gifted dropouts exhibited a lack of interest and motivation in high school. (4) There was evidence of a negative and rebellious attitude towards school and authority. (5) There was evidence of an incomplete or inappropriate gifted curriculum in high school. (6) Gifted dropouts developed poor peer relationships and exhibited poor social adjustment. (7) There was evidence of lack of counseling in high school and inadequate communication between the school and the home.Recommendations. Based on the information obtained through the interviews, the following was recommended: (1) Schools and teachers must take the leadership roles in assisting gifted students by: (a) providing psychological services including counseling and testing programs. (b) keeping the student-teacher ratio at a low level. (c) training teachers to recognize potential gifted dropouts. (d) informing parents of their child's specific social, academic, and psychological problems. (e) providing courses and optional programs which meet the student's needs. (2) Tracking instruments need to be constructed from program entry to termination that would measure intellectual, psychological and social development. (3) Longitudinal studies need to be conducted which would examine the gifted dropout's pre-school development, their antisocial behavior, their abuse of drugs and alcohol, and the gifted programs they attended throughout school.


Education, Secondary

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