GLADYS A PACK, Fordham University


This study examined how federal policy for the gifted and talented was formulated and transferred to the local setting via a replication process. By looking at five schools attempting to replicate a specific gifted program, this study set out to determine whether or not the program was ever implemented and institutionalized and what factors facilitated or impeded implementation. In addition, the study examined the management of gifted policy and was concerned with the relationship between replication and implementation of gifted policy at the local level. This study further tested the Berman and McLaughlin diffusion model using the replication of a gifted program. The design of the study necessitated four phases of field work activity: (1) Examining policies and practices for the gifted; (2) Studying the development of a model project for the gifted; (3) Conducting a pilot study of nine replicating districts; and (4) Analyzing the replication of gifted and talented demonstration programs in five schools. These case studies employed a number of techniques including observations, interviews and formal questionnaires. Findings revealed major issues that weakened policy and programs for the gifted including lack of specificity in definition and identification of gifted, lack of a strong constituency and of research on gifted programs. A major problem in policy implementation has been a federal delivery system encouraging model program replication. This study indicates that replication as strict program adoption has not taken place. Replication as a fragile delivery system is dependent upon a host of program supporters at all levels and the mutual adaptation of program and site. A most important supporter role at the school level is the building administrator as program manager facilitating implementation. Policy and program recommendations included: (1) Strengthening of policy with major emphasis on research. (2) Development of diffusion centers. (3) Training district and building administrators in program management. With regard to model program diffusion, recommendations included: (1) Revising a replication concept to one of adaptation. (2) Limiting program modification to maintain program integrity. (3) Maintaining replicator contact. (4) Strengthening central office and school administrator involvement.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

PACK, GLADYS A, "A CASE STUDY OF REPLICATION OF PROGRAMS FOR THE GIFTED" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8423131.