“The path the person takes to become a
teacher of gifted learners is significant:
personal background, preservice training,
and professional reflections all help
prepare the teacher for her task”
(Graffam, 2006, p. 119).
The purpose of our study was to
investigate factors related to the
perceptions and values of preservice
teachers towards gifted education, in
terms of understanding giftedness and
the teaching of gifted students.
Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate
outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an
exceptional ability to reason and learn) or
competence (documented performance or
achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more
domains. Domains include any structured area of
activity with its own symbol system (e.g.,
mathematics, music, language) and/or set of
sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports)
(NAGC, 2008).
 Gifted
students have unique and
varied educational and emotional
needs that are exhibited during their
lives and ideally recognized,
developed, and supported by
parents, teachers, and mentors
(Subotnik, Olszewski-Kubilius, & Worrell,
Myths and Misperceptions
Lack of understanding differences among gifted minorities and
Lack of preparation in teacher training.
Lack of awareness going into the classroom.
Directly affects students’ experiences in gifted programming
Affects nomination for services
Not emphasized in teacher preparation
 Professional development and
coursework is positive- pedagogy and
teacher effectiveness
 Perceptions and values may not change
Social constructivist or interpretivism
(Creswell, 2013).
Theoretical framework based on Gagné
and Nadeau’s 1985 attitudes instrument,
Opinions about the Gifted and Their
Multi-case study
› 3 participants
› Compare the perceptions, beliefs, and
values of the participants
Interview and observe 3 preservice
 Participants also served as teachers
assistants at an enrichment program
3 undergraduate or graduate preservice
 2 began their student teacher
 1 in her senior year
 All three gifted or high achieving (not a
requirement, just a coincidence).
Pre- and post-interviews
 Participants participated in these
interviews at least twice, 6 hours.
 Participants were interviewed before
and after the program.
Participants were observed at least two
hours while working as teachers assistants
› One hour the first time
› One hour the second time
We used an observation protocol based
on the William and Mary Classroom
Observation Scales.
Gagné and Nadeau’s instrument:
› Needs and support
 Resistance to objections
 Rejection
 Ability grouping
 School acceleration
Historical context
› Social value
Historical context and self-concept as a
gifted student.
 Awareness of needs of gifted students
 Values and beliefs toward gifted students
and gifted education.
 Changes to Values and Challenges to
Perceptions and Beliefs
Background and experiences influenced
by and reflected in their views of
 All academically oriented, successful
 All influenced by family to do well
 2 of 3 formally identified as gifted
 2 of the 3 had little interaction with nongifted students
Consistent with literature
Some awareness of intellectual and socioemotional needs
Some misconceptions
Preconceived notion of how to teach
Believe in differentiation
Believe gifted students’ needs can be met
in an inclusion classroom
2 expected good behavior from gifted
Agreed gifted or accelerated studies
beneficial to them
 All take issue with the label “gifted”
 Family value and perception influential
to academic success
 2 noted differences between gifted and
 2 believe gifted programs provides
better education
Based on observations and interviews
 There was little change in gifted
teaching behaviors
 2 were surprised at negative behaviors of
gifted students
 Rose improved teaching behavior
Teacher preparation classes inadequate
 Novice teachers are not prepared to
meet the diverse needs of their future
Advocates at all levels need to be
aware of the limited training
 Implement incoming teachers
professional development
 Work with teacher education programs
 Short time frame
 Small sample
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