Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


Curriculum and Instruction

Committee Director

Peter Baker

Committee Member

Charlene Fleener

Committee Member

Shana Pribesh

Committee Member

Del Siegle


Recent concerns in the field of gifted education focus on students who are not performing at their ability level. These students can be classified as underachieving gifted students. In their research, Rubenstein, Siegle, Reis, McCoach, and Burton (2012) found that though gifted students are not typically considered at risk, there is a growing group of gifted students who are not motivated to learn, which is frustrating for parents, teachers, and counselors. Highly capable students are not being engaged in their classes which causes underachievement in these students (Kim, 2008). The purpose of this mixed methodological study will be to investigate if a low cost goal-setting intervention impacts academic performance and attitudes in gifted achievers and underachievers as well as non-gifted achievers and underachievers. How students value a goal setting intervention as it relates to a higher level mathematics course will also be addressed.

Data were collected through reported grades, intervention meetings, interviews, and student questionnaires and analyzed using descriptive statics, analysis of variance (ANOVA), analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), and content analysis of interview transcripts. Findings from the study confirm that there is a higher Academic Self-Perception in underachieving gifted students who received the intervention. Results from the exit questionnaire show that though students did not improve academically, they still found value in a goal-setting intervention.