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Pullout Programs / Specialized Classes: What the
Research Says

  • Nine pull-out program research studies were examined for their effectiveness for gifted students.  The results indicate that pull-out models in gifted education have significant positive effects for the variables of achievement, critical thinking, and creativity. [1]

  • When pull-out gifted programs were eliminated, parents reported that their children were experiencing - "a decline in energy, curiosity, and intrinsic motivation to achieve at high levels and were beginning to disengage from the traditional curriculum." [2]

  • Studies found that students in special schools tended to score highest on standardized tests and other measurements compared to students of the same abilities in regular school settings. [3]

  • Over 99% of the students in specialized math and science high schools went on to earn a bachelor's degree or higher, with over 50% of the students continuing in challenging science or math fields.[4] 

  • Specialized classes or pull out programs means fewer repetitive drills and more challenging concepts. - "The achievement level of high ability students falls dramatically when they are required to do routine work at a routine pace."[5]  Click here for more information .

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[1] Vaughn, V. L., Feldhusen, J. F., & Asher, J. W. (1991). Meta-analysis and review of research on pull-out programs in gifted education.  Gifted Child Quarterly, 35(2), 92-98.

[2] Purcell, J. H. (1993) The effects of the elimination of gifted and talented programs on participating students and their parents. Gifted Child Quarterly, 37(4), 177-178.

[3] Viadero, Debra, "Special Programs Found to Benefit Gifted Students" Education Week, April 5, 1995

[4] Thomas, J. (2000). First year findings: NCSSSMST longitudinal study.  NCSSSMST Journal, 5(2), 4-5.

[5] Kulik, James A., "An Analysis of the Research on Ability Grouping." (Spring 1993, pp 8-9).  Storrs:  University of Connecticut, the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.