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The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and gifted learners: A comparative study of success

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Denise Stewart Frost
Abstract:
The problem is that some secondary schools use the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program to service gifted students even though it was not developed as a gifted model. The purpose of the study is to determine if gifted identified students benefit more or less academically than students not identified as gifted as a result of their participation in the IB Diploma Program. An ex-post facto analysis was conducted of the course selections, IB assessment participation, and performance on the IB examinations between gifted identified students and students not identified as gifted enrolled in the IB Diploma Program in Georgia. Conclusions about the appropriateness of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program as a gifted model cannot be drawn from this study. No more was known about the gifted identified students or students not identified as gifted after they took the IB examinations than was known prior to their entrance. This study examined IB examination scores to determine if there was a difference between the two student groups. There was no difference between gifted identified students and students not identified as gifted in terms of their IB examination scores. A pattern of eight courses were identified such that enrollment in these courses differentiated between gifted identified students and students not identified as gifted. Gifted identified students were represented proportionally higher in History higher level, Economics standard level, Music higher level, Environmental Systems and Societies standard level and Language B at both the higher and standard level. Students not identified as gifted were represented proportionally higher in Mathematical Studies standard level and Psychology higher level. Several areas for further research were identified. It was suggested that other researchers examine the difference between full diploma candidates and certificate candidates as well as differences that might exist from school to school, paying particular attention to schools that offer the continuum of IB services (PYP, MYP, and DP) and those that only offer one IB Program. A program evaluation study of the IB Diploma Program as it relates to the relevant best practices literature for gifted education would also be appropriate.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page DEDICATION iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v LIST OF TABLES ix LIST OF FIGURES x LIST OF APPENDICES xi ABSTRACT xii CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY 1 International Baccalaureate Diploma Program 1 International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and Secondary Gifted Students . 3 Statement of the Problem 4 Purpose 5 Research Questions 5 Theoretical Framework 5 Conceptual Framework 8 Significance of the Study 9 Procedures 10 Limitations and Delimitations 11 Definitions of Terms 11 Summary 13 2. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE 15 International Baccalaureate Diploma Program 15 Gifted Definitions 23 Gagne's Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talented 25 Gifted Curriculum 26 Gifted Secondary Students 28 International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and Gifted Students 29 vi

Summary 37 3. METHODOLOGY 38 Research Questions 38 Research Design 39 Population 40 Data Collection 40 Institutional Review Board Approval 41 Data Analysis 41 Question One 42 Question Two 42 Question Three 42 Reporting Results 43 Summary 43 4. RESULTS OF DATA ANALYSIS 44 Introduction 44 Research Questions 44 Respondents 45 Data Entry, Cleaning, and Screening 46 Findings 47 Summary 57 5. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS 59 Summary of the Study 59 Summary of Major Findings 60 Discussion of Findings 61 Conclusions 63 Implications 63 Recommendations for Future Research 65 Summary 66 APPENDICES 69 AJVIercer IRB Letter 69 REFERENCES 71 vii

viii

LIST OF TABLES Page 1. Means of the Eight Courses in which Enrollment Differentiates Between Gifted Identified and Students Not Identified Gifted 50 2. Chi-Square Test for Goodness of Fit 52 3. Logistic Regression Model Summary 53 4. Summary Table of Statistics for the Courses that Differentiated Gifted Identified from Students Not Identified as Gifted 55 5. Multiple Regression Model Summary 57 IX

LIST OF FIGURES Page 1. Conceptual Framework 8 2. Diploma Programme Model 17 x

LIST OF APPENDICES Page A. Mercer IRB Approval Letter 69 XI

ABSTRACT DENISE STEWART FROST THE INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE DIPLOMA PROGRAM AND GIFTED LEARNERS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF SUCCESS Under the direction of DR. EDWARD L.BOUIE, JR. The problem is that some secondary schools use the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program to service gifted students even though it was not developed as a gifted model. The purpose of the study is to determine if gifted identified students benefit more or less academically than students not identified as gifted as a result of their participation in the IB Diploma Program. An ex-post facto analysis was conducted of the course selections, IB assessment participation, and performance on the IB examinations between gifted identified students and students not identified as gifted enrolled in the IB Diploma Program in Georgia. Conclusions about the appropriateness of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program as a gifted model cannot be drawn from this study. No more was known about the gifted identified students or students not identified as gifted after they took the IB examinations than was known prior to their entrance. This study examined IB examination scores to determine if there was a difference between the two student groups. There was no difference between gifted identified students and students not identified as gifted in terms of their IB examination scores. A pattern of eight courses xii

were identified such that enrollment in these courses differentiated between gifted identified students and students not identified as gifted. Gifted identified students were represented proportionally higher in History higher level, Economics standard level, Music higher level, Environmental Systems and Societies standard level and Language B at both the higher and standard level. Students not identified as gifted were represented proportionally higher in Mathematical Studies standard level and Psychology higher level. Several areas for further research were identified. It was suggested that other researchers examine the difference between full diploma candidates and certificate candidates as well as differences that might exist from school to school, paying particular attention to schools that offer the continuum of IB services (PYP, MYP, and DP) and those that only offer one IB Program. A program evaluation study of the IB Diploma Program as it relates to the relevant best practices literature for gifted education would also be appropriate. xiu

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY According to Hertberg-Davis and Callahan (2008), Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Programs are used to provide services to gifted and talented students in secondary schools although neither program was developed as a gifted model. The common conception is that these programs are sufficient to meet the needs of the gifted and talented students (Sytsma, 2000). There has been tremendous growth of the International Baccalaureate Program and many school districts have adopted it as one of the means of serving their gifted populations at the high school level. Little quantitative research exists regarding the appropriateness of these programming options for gifted and talented students. Recent research by Clark, Moore, and Slate (2010), focused on a quantitative analysis of the success of gifted students within the Advanced Placement program. A similar analysis of gifted student success within the International Baccalaureate Program is needed. Clark, Moore, and Slate (2010) focused on the actual success of the gifted learners in Advanced Placement as measured by their participation rates on the AP exams and their AP exam scores as compared to students not identified as gifted enrolled in the same courses. International Baccalaureate Diploma Program The International Baccalaureate Program began in 1968 and had as its original purpose "to facilitate the international mobility of students, by providing schools with a curriculum and qualifications recognized by universities around the world" (International 1

Baccalaureate Organization, 2007a, p. 6). Today the International Baccalaureate is an organization of three programs, the Primary Years Program, the Middle Years Program, and the Diploma Program, united under one mission serving approximately 2,617 IB World Schools in 135 countries with over 50,000 teachers and 711,000 students aged 3 to 19 years (International Baccalaureate Organization [IBO], 2009). The Diploma Years Program serves students aged 16 to 19 during the final two years of high school and is an "academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepares students for success at university and life beyond" (IBO, 2007b, p. 11). The current mission of the International Baccalaureate is to "develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect" (IBO, 2007b, p. 5). To achieve this mission the IBO developed a learner profile that calls for IB students to be: inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective (IBO, 2007b). The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program has been growing exponentially in recent years in the United States. Since 1997, students in the Southern Regional Education Board states which include Georgia consistently have accounted for about half of the IB program participants in the nation (Southern Regional Education Board [SREB], 2003). This statistic held true in 2005 when SREB states served 17,840 students in IB programs-more than 50 percent of the IB students in the nation (SREB, 2006). Seven SREB states- Georgia included- had fourteen or more IB high schools in 2005 (SREB, 2006). The number of IB schools continued to grow across the region and the nation from 2006 to 2008. SREB states increased IB enrollment by 15 percent from

3 2006 to 2008 and accounted for 45 percent of the nation's total IB enrollment (SREB, 2009). International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and Secondary Gifted Students The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, along with the College Board's Advanced Placement Program, are often the only options available for gifted and talented students at the secondary level (Hertberg-Davis & Callahan, 2008; Sytsma, 2000; Vanderbrook, 2006). Most current research involves qualitative analysis of students' perceptions of their experiences within the IB Program. Hertberg-Davis and Callahan (2008) examined how gifted secondary students perceived the curriculum, instruction, and environments of the AP and IB courses. Their research found that the students positively perceived the challenge level, quality of AP and IB teachers, learning environment within AP and IB courses, working with students of similar ability and motivation levels, and the adult-like relationships with teachers as being a good fit for gifted students. Within this same study, elements of lack of fit for gifted students, as identified by the students themselves, included the rigidity of curriculum and instruction in AP and IB courses, lack of opportunities to learn assumed background skills, student make-up courses, and the perceived pay-offs of AP and IB courses. Vanderbrook (2006) interviewed five gifted female students, two of whom were enrolled in an IB Program and the others were enrolled in Advanced Placement. The participants all agreed that the curricula were appropriately challenging, however the students also felt their nonacademic needs were not met within these programs. A problem for all participants in this study was a lack of guidance and absence of counseling services for both career and emotional support. The academic and emotional support experienced by these girls

4 was found among their intellectual peers most often through the use of study groups. The quality of the IB and AP teachers also influenced the participants' positive feelings and beliefs about their classes. In attempting to determine the appropriateness of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program for gifted and talented students, a quantitative analysis of the success of gifted students as compared to non-identified gifted students is warranted. A comparison of course selection, participation on the IB assessments, and performance on the IB examinations between gifted identified IB students and IB students not identified as gifted can add to the body of literature concerning the International Baccalaureate Program and gifted learners. Statement of the Problem According to Hertberg-Davis and Callahan (2008), Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Programs are used by many school districts to provide services to gifted and talented students in secondary schools although neither program was developed as a gifted model. While both AP and IB courses are open to all students, whether identified gifted or not, no empirical data are available which suggest that gifted students in these programs gain any more or less academically than their non-gifted peers (Clark, et. al, 2010). The common conception is that these programs are sufficient to meet the needs of the gifted and talented students (Sytsma, 2000), however Van Tassel- Baska (1989) cautions that a mistaken belief about appropriate curriculum for gifted learners is that one curriculum package will provide what is needed for the entire gifted population. According to Hertberg-Davis, Callahan, and Kyburg (2006), Advanced Placement and the International Baccalaureate Programs should be considered only as

5 two options for gifted and talented students at the secondary level, not as the sole offerings for these students. Purpose The purpose of the study is to determine if gifted identified students benefit more or less academically than students not identified as gifted as a result of their participation in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. This information can then be used to make inferences as to the appropriateness of the program for identified gifted and talented students. Research Questions 1. What are the differences in IB course choices between identified gifted students and students not identified as gifted? 2. Is there a significant difference between identified gifted students and students not identified as gifted in participation rates on the International Baccalaureate examinations? 3. With individual background variables held constant, is there a significant difference between the scores of identified gifted students and students not identified as gifted on the IB examinations? Theoretical Framework This study used Gagne's (1985) Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT) as a theoretical framework. The DMGT distinguishes between giftedness and talent. Gagne (2000) defines giftedness as the possession and use of untrained and spontaneously expressed superior natural abilities also called aptitudes or gifts, in at least one ability domain, to a degree that places an individual at least among the top 10% of his

6 or her age peers. These gifts are divided into four natural aptitude domains: intellectual, creative, socioaffective, and sensorimotor. These gifts are seen as a person's potential to succeed. Talents on the other hand progressively emerge from the transformation of these gifts into well-trained and systematically developed skills characteristics. Talents are created from the natural abilities as they are developed through informal and formal learning and practice. The developmental process is influenced both positively and negatively by intrapersonal catalysts, environmental catalysts, and chance (Gagne, 2004; Gagne & Schader, 2006). Using Gagne's model as a framework, this study compared gifted identified and students not identified as gifted so that a judgment could be made regarding whether gifted identified students benefit more or less academically through their participation in the IB Diploma Program. This information was then used to make inferences as to the appropriateness of the program for identified gifted and talented students. The student's natural abilities are transformed into talents through the developmental process of informal and formal learning and practice (Gagne, 2000). These talents are the manifestations of high ability through accomplishment in one or more fields that are relevant to school-age adolescents, including academic achievement in various subjects (Barber & Torney-Purta, 2008). Systematically diverse skills are developed in extremely diverse fields such as academics, arts, business, leisure, social action, sports, and technology (Gagne, 2000). The development of talent as defined by Gagne necessarily implies the presence of well above average natural abilities; one cannot be talented without first being gifted (Gagne, 2004). Academic achievement in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program subject areas as exhibited by the scores

7 on the IB exams is one aspect of this study for both gifted identified students and student not identified as gifted. The developmental process is facilitated or hindered by environmental and intrapersonal catalysts (Gagne, 2000). The school setting and the IB Diploma Program in particular were viewed as the environmental catalysts for this study. According to Gagne (2004), schools serve as an important and complex environmental catalyst. Within the environmental catalyst, provisions or programs influence high achievement (or to use Gagne's term, talent) and it is in this context that this study examined the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. The IB Diploma Program includes accelerated coursework in six areas, a philosophy course called theory of knowledge, an independent research project in a subject area of the student's choice, and a service component. Previous qualitative research studies concerning the IB Diploma Program have examined the relationships between gifted identified students and their non-gifted peers (Foust, Hertberg-Davis, & Callahan, 2009; Hertberg-Davis & Callahan, 2008; Shaunessy & Suldo, 2010) and IB students and their teachers (Hertberg-Davis & Callahan, 2008; Kyburg, Hertberg-Davis, & Callahan, 2007; Vanderbrook, 2006). Intrapersonal catalysts also influence the transformation of natural abilities into achievement or talents and are divided into physical and psychological factors. Gagne's DMGT model is considered unique compared to other conceptions of giftedness because he considers student motivation as a condition facilitating the development of high achievement rather than as an integral part of giftedness itself (Barber & Torney-Purta, 2008). Students that have self-selected to participate in the IB Diploma Program as well as the courses that they have chosen to take within the program exhibit motivation and

8 interest in those subjects. Student motivation and persistence is also evident in the choice of topic and completion of the extended essay of the Diploma Program. This study examined the course selection of the gifted identified and students not identified as gifted within the IB Diploma Program. Self-management and awareness of self and others is developed within the theory of knowledge course of the IB Diploma Program which is another component of the intrapersonal catalyst. Conceptual Framework The conceptual framework for this study involved a comparison of identified gifted and students not identified as gifted enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in relation to their outcomes. The outcomes compared consisted of the IB courses in which the students were enrolled, their participation rates on the IB assessments and their final scores on the IB examinations. • Courses in which the students participate • Exam participation rates • Final scores on IB exams Gifted identified students + » Students not identified as gifted international Baccalaureate Diploma Program Figure 1: Conceptual Framework

9 Significance of the Study Curriculum programming decisions for gifted and talented learners should be made with the particular needs of the gifted student in mind. Current research reveals that many high schools today offer the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Programs as the only curriculum choice for gifted and talented learners (Hertberg-Davis & Callahan, 2008; Sytsma, 2000; Vanderbrook, 2006). If there is not a significant difference between gifted identified IB students and IB students not identified as gifted in performance as exhibited by their participation on IB exams and their IB exam scores, the needs of the gifted students may not be met. School decision makers may want to provide additional gifted services to ensure that all of the needs of the gifted students' are being met. Most identification of gifted students occurs in elementary school with almost no students being identified at the secondary level. Schools may want to investigate the possibility of measuring all students not previously identified as gifted who have chosen to enroll in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program to see if they qualify as gifted. Gifted identified students in gifted classes bring increased funding into a school. According to Amendment 7.1.4.a to the State Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.38 (Georgia Department of Education, 2010), Georgia classifies International Baccalaureate courses as advanced content classes that serve as direct services to gifted and talented students in Georgia. Although the IB diploma program is a program designed for juniors and seniors in high school, the additional identification of previously non-identified gifted students early in the junior year could potentially earn the school more state funding.

10 If significant differences between gifted identified IB students and IB students not identified as gifted are found, IB coordinators may use this information to help in the recruitment of gifted students to the IB program. These findings also might indicate that the IB Diploma Program is appropriate for gifted students. This might lead to an increase in IB Diploma Program applicant schools if school leaders wish to offer the IB Program to their gifted students and are not currently an IB World School. If differences in the course selection of gifted identified and students not identified as gifted within the IB Diploma Program are found, curricular decisions may be made and different courses offered within schools. IB offers a variety of courses within the six groups that would serve to meet the requirement for that particular group. For example, schools may choose to offer Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Systems and Societies or Design Technology as Group 4 offerings. If patterns are identified in the results that gifted identified students tend to choose particular courses within the IB program and students not identified as gifted tend to choose others, schools might decide to offer a variety of courses to fulfill the IB diploma requirements. Procedures This study was an ex-post facto analysis of the courses selected by gifted and non- gifted identified students, IB assessment participation, and performance on the IB examinations between gifted and students not identified as gifted enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program within Georgia. According to the Davidson Institute (2010), Georgia is one of six states where gifted education is both mandated and fully funded by state statute. A request for archival data from the 25 IB World Schools in the State of Georgia was submitted. Data collected were for the

11 students enrolled in the IB Diploma program for the two most recent testing sessions of May 2009 and May 2010. Limitations and Delimitations This study was limited by the differences in the admissions requirements into the IB Diploma Program at the various schools. Some IB World Schools had open admissions policies that admitted any student who wished to enroll in IB courses. Other schools had an extensive application process that often required teacher recommendations and writing samples. Still others had variations in between these two extremes. The study was also limited by the different referral and identification processes and procedures by the various local education agencies. Although all schools in Georgia would use the same multiple criteria formula for gifted identification, the referral and testing processes and procedures can vary greatly from district to district. It was unknown during this study when and how the student participants were identified gifted which is a limitation of the study. Another limitation to this study was the possibility that some IB students took AP courses prior to their enrollment in the IB program. This might be true of both identified gifted students and students not identified as gifted. Another limitation to this study was that only a certain number of school districts that were requested to participate in the study actually responded. This study was delimited to the International Baccalaureate World Schools in the state of Georgia, and to the population of students enrolled in the IB Diploma Program during the two most recent testing sessions. There are currently 25 IB World Schools in Georgia representing 19 separate school districts. Definitions of Terms

12 A Gifted student in Georgia is defined as a student who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual or creative ability(ies), exhibits an exceptionally high degree of motivation, and/or excels in specific academic fields, and who needs special instruction and/or special ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her abilities (SBOE Rule 160-4-2-.38). Initial eligibility for gifted education services is established if a student either (a) scores at the 99th percentile (for grades K-2) or the 96th percentile (for grades 3-12) on the composite or full scale score of a standardized test of mental ability and meet one of the achievement criteria described below, or (b) qualify through a multiple-criteria assessment process by meeting criteria in any three of the following four areas: mental ability (intelligence), achievement, creativity and motivation. Mental ability scores shall be equal to or greater than 96* percentile on a composite or full scale score or appropriate component score on a standardized test of mental ability. Achievement- Students shall (a) score greater than or equal to the 90th percentile on the total battery, total math or total reading section(s) of a standardized achievement test; or (b) have produced a superior student-generated product or performance, where the superior performance is one that can be translated into a numerical score greater than or equal to 90 on a scale or 1-100 as evaluated by a panel of three or more qualified e valuators. Non-gifted students are those who have not been identified as gifted using Georgia's multiple identification criteria.

13 IB World Schools are those that have been approved by the International Baccalaureate Organization to offer any of the three IB Programs. Summary In summary, this study determined if there was a difference between identified gifted students and students not identified as gifted in terms of the IB courses in which they enrolled, their participation rates in the International Baccalaureate examinations, and their performance on International Baccalaureate examinations. Because many secondary schools have chosen to service their gifted populations with the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Programs, questions have arisen about whether the gifted students' needs are being met in these advance program options. Using Gagne's Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talented as a theoretical framework, this study examined the outcomes of student participation within the IB Diploma Program. Archival data was used to conduct a quantitative analysis of the courses selected, IB assessment participation, and performance on the IB examinations between gifted identified students and students not identified as gifted within Georgia. Findings from this study could be used to make curricular decisions at the district and school level in programming needs, to aid in the selection of course offerings, and to enhance the identification of gifted students. Recruiting of potential International Baccalaureate students as well as new IB World Schools could also be influenced. This study was limited by the differences in the admissions requirements into the IB Diploma Program at various schools. The study was also limited by the different referral and identification processes and procedures for gifted identification by the various local education agencies.

14 Another limitation to this study was the possibility that students enrolled in IB whether gifted identified or not identified as gifted had previously taken several AP courses. This study was delimited to the International Baccalaureate World Schools in the state of Georgia, and to the population of students enrolled in the IB Diploma Program. Chapter two will review the relevant literature.

CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE International Baccalaureate Diploma Program The International Baccalaureate Programme began in 1968 and had as its original purpose "to facilitate the international mobility of students, by providing schools with a curriculum and qualifications recognized by universities around the world" (IBO, 2007a, p. 6). Today the International Baccalaureate is three separate programs serving over 876,000 students in 3,072 schools in 139 different countries (IBO, 2010). The Primary Years Programme, for students aged 3 to 12, "focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside" (IBO, 2007b, p. 11). The Middle Years Programme, for students aged 11 to 16, "provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages student to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, becoming critical and reflective thinkers" (IBO, 2007b, p. 11). Developed first, the Diploma Years Programme is designed for students aged 16 to 19 and is an "academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students for success at university and life beyond" (IBO, 2007b, p. 11). "All three programmes: > Have a strong international dimension > Draw on content from educational cultures around the world > Require study across a broad range of subjects 15

16 > Include both individual subjects and transdisciplinary areas > Give special emphasis to learning languages > Focus on developing the skills of learning > Provide opportunities for individual and collaborative planning and research > Encourage students to become responsible members of their community" (IBO, 2007b, p. 13) The current mission of the International Baccalaureate is to "develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect" (IBO,2007a, p. 2). To achieve this mission the IBO developed a learner profile that calls for IB students to be: inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective (IBO, 2007b, pp. 18-19). The IB Diploma Programme is a rigorous, broad and balanced program of international education to be completed over a period of two years and aimed at students aged 16 to 19 years of age.

17 - w* * *' ^ s t J**g8*riv A! V d ~?4 # f rw art* Mad" e w*t i% / / / y / ^ Figure 2 The Diploma Programme Model. (IBO, 2009). Reprinted with permission. Students are required to study six subjects and complete the curriculum core at the same time. The IB Diploma Programme model shows the learner profile at the center surrounded by the core requirements of a course in theory of knowledge (TOK), the extended essay, and creativity, action, and service (CAS). The outer portion of the hexagon reflects the six areas that are the discipline-based course of study. "Each academic discipline provides its own methodological framework that students learn to understand and use" (IBO, 2009, p. 2) Of the six subjects that students must study, three, but not more than four, must be studied at the higher level requiring 240 hours of contact and three must be studied at the standard level requiring 150 hours of contact. The subject choices available in the Diploma Program are described below:

Full document contains 90 pages
Abstract: The problem is that some secondary schools use the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program to service gifted students even though it was not developed as a gifted model. The purpose of the study is to determine if gifted identified students benefit more or less academically than students not identified as gifted as a result of their participation in the IB Diploma Program. An ex-post facto analysis was conducted of the course selections, IB assessment participation, and performance on the IB examinations between gifted identified students and students not identified as gifted enrolled in the IB Diploma Program in Georgia. Conclusions about the appropriateness of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program as a gifted model cannot be drawn from this study. No more was known about the gifted identified students or students not identified as gifted after they took the IB examinations than was known prior to their entrance. This study examined IB examination scores to determine if there was a difference between the two student groups. There was no difference between gifted identified students and students not identified as gifted in terms of their IB examination scores. A pattern of eight courses were identified such that enrollment in these courses differentiated between gifted identified students and students not identified as gifted. Gifted identified students were represented proportionally higher in History higher level, Economics standard level, Music higher level, Environmental Systems and Societies standard level and Language B at both the higher and standard level. Students not identified as gifted were represented proportionally higher in Mathematical Studies standard level and Psychology higher level. Several areas for further research were identified. It was suggested that other researchers examine the difference between full diploma candidates and certificate candidates as well as differences that might exist from school to school, paying particular attention to schools that offer the continuum of IB services (PYP, MYP, and DP) and those that only offer one IB Program. A program evaluation study of the IB Diploma Program as it relates to the relevant best practices literature for gifted education would also be appropriate.