"Academically Gifted": How Defining Students Affects Self-Esteem

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Franklin, Emily
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Academically gifted programs are prominent in American education. Students are defined as academically gifted at a young age, most often around second or third grade using written tests or standardized test scores. Students who are involved in gifted programs are often given more opportunities and pushed to do more than those students who are not defined as gifted. A survey was created to analyze a student’s self-esteem. The survey asked the students questions about their self concept, home life, school habits, and interactions with others. Each question is a statement and must be answered with “always,” “most of the time,” “sometimes,” or “never.” They’re given a score (always is 4, most of the time is 3, etc.), and the higher the total score, the higher their self-esteem. Surveys were administered to students in randomly-selected homeroom classes by their homeroom teachers. A two sample t-test was conducted and the p-value at a 90% confidence level was .0767. Because the p-value at this confidence level is .0767, the data is significant enough to reject the null hypothesis that there is no significant between the self-esteem levels of gifted students and those of nongifted students, and support the alternative hypothesis that the self-esteem levels of gifted students are higher than those of nongifted students.