Background: Gifted children learn differently compared to their peers in several ways. However, their educational needs are
often not met in regular schools, which may result in underachievement and social-emotional and behavioral problems. A pullout
program, the "Day a Week School" (DWS), was offered to gifted children in 25 elementary schools from neighborhoods of higher
and lower SES in Amsterdam.
Objective: To investigate whether DWS decreases children’s social-emotional and behavior
problems and parents’ stress, and improves children’s self-concept, enjoyment at school, and academic achievement.
Gifted children (grades 3-5) were selected through a standardized identification procedure assessing "out-of-the box", logical,
and creative thinking and motivation (n = 89). Children, as well as both their parents and teachers, completed questionnaires
before the start of DWS and after 2,5 months. Results were analyzed for all children and for at-risk children with higher
levels of psychopathology before starting DWS.
Results: Analyses on the total group showed small positive effects
on children’s self-reported self-concept dimensions, scholastic competence and behavioral conduct, as well as on fathers’
reported child prosocial behavior. In the at-risk group, children reported medium positive effects on scholastic competence
and behavioral conduct, and on sleep problems and worry, and small improvements on enjoyment at school. Parents of at-risk
children reported decreased child’s somatic complaints and decreased social-emotional and behavioral problems. Finally, teachers
reported higher academic achievement and medium positive effects on inattention-hyperactivity in the at-risk group.
Day a Week School appears to be a promising pullout program for gifted children, particularly for children at-risk for psychopathology.