Date of Award

12-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Moses Norman

Second Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Third Advisor

Dr. Barbara Hill

Abstract

African Americans continue to be the smallest represented segment of population in gifted education. The significance of this study was to determine the impact of teacher perception and influence on the screening process of African-American students into the gifted studies programs of two economically disadvantaged schools in a metro Atlanta school system. This study took a look at how teachers perceive students and what other influences have an impact on African-Americans students in economically disadvantaged communities and their choice to seek participation in the gifted studies program. This research study also analyzed the multiple criteria process that has been the most successful instrument in the nomination process of students for testing into gifted studies. During the interview process, teachers were asked about characteristics that they attribute to gifted students and were also questioned on what other external or environmental factors have a large impact on students’ ability to be screened and processed into gifted studies programs. The researcher also viewed lesson plans for the use of differentiated instructional practices and opportunities. The researcher also spent time completing classroom observations as a means of collecting additional data. Based upon the findings, the researcher concluded that teachers have a significant impact on the ability of students to be screened for gifted studies. This is imperative as many of the teachers that participated in the research project did not always accurately identify behaviors that are sought after in accordance with the multiple criteria paperwork. It was also found that students were largely influenced by their friends and their participation in the gifted studies program. Another finding included the need for additional training and exposure by teachers in what gifted characteristics look like and ways to integrate gifted strategies into current lesson plans.

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