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High School Teachers' Perceptions of Giftedness, Gifted Education, and Talent Development

Description: In the field of gifted education, there is little research on the perceptions of high school teachers of the gifted about giftedness, good gifted education practices, and the nature and needs of gifted learners. The purpose of this study was to form a deeper understanding of how those educators who guide gifted learners out of high school and into adulthood perceive giftedness and gifted education. This qualitative study, conducted in two phases, took place in a large suburban school district with three large high school systems and was focused on the responses of high school teachers to assess their attitudes, feelings, and opinions about the nature and needs of gifted learners using a grounded theory model of analysis. Data collected from the 11 participants in the first phase of the analysis was combined with that collected from the 13 participants in phase two and validated throughout with continual comparison through memoing. Participants reported a general lack of engagement with scholarly work in the gifted education field as well as a dependence on the school district for effective training in classroom practice. Evidence also suggested a view of giftedness among the participants as an inherent quality of some people who needed to be properly trained in the instructional environment. Implications from this study suggest further research, both qualitative and quantitative, needs to focus on clarifying the perception of giftedness among high school teachers as well as how the delivery of effective training to those teachers can be implemented.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Russell, Joseph
Partner: UNT Libraries