Teachers' Perceptions in the Identification of Students for Gifted Programs

Teachers' Perceptions in the Identification of Students for Gifted Programs

Author: 
John Buttiglieri
Program of study: 
Ed.D./CI
Abstract: 
This quantitative study examined teachers’ perceptions in the identification of students for gifted prescreening assessment. The data collected were using research, archived data from the district where the study was conducted, and a theme-related online survey. The research and archived data showed the same issues of underrepresentation of African Americans and Hispanics in gifted programs. The research showed a plethora of reasons for the underrepresentation of African Americans and Hispanics in gifted programs and the archived data from the 2010-2011 school year confirmed the research. The archived data from the 2010-2011 school year showed the district where the study was conducted had a range of 3.8% to 17.8% underrepresentation of African Americans and a 3.2% to 16.9% underrepresentation of Hispanics when using general population figures at the state and local level. A total of 318 elementary teachers and certified support staff responded to the survey request. The results from the online survey showed a serious need for gifted training of those responsible for identifying students for gifted prescreening assessment because of the clear misperceptions evidenced from the online survey results.
Dedication: 
I want to first and foremost dedicate this dissertation to my wife. She took on a great deal of responsibilities while I worked on my dissertation. I never asked but she always knew when to take care of life’s daily tasks that come up in our lives that can consume precious time as you meet deadlines and requirements in the dissertation process. I am grateful for her tremendous help in this dissertation, but also for making the last 32 years such a wonderful time in my life. I also want to dedicate this dissertation to my father who played a significant role in my life. He taught me to rely on myself, work hard and earn what you make in this life and most importantly, be honest with yourself. His positive effect on me during my formative years had a significant impact on the complete of this dissertation. Lastly, I want to dedicate this dissertation to my dogs, Buster and Tiffany. They spent many hours waiting for me to play with them, listening to me when I was at points of frustration, and being there to just make me realize what are the really important things in life—like a friendly pet, a gentle lick on the face, and most importantly, swimming together!
Acknowledgements: 
I want to first honor and place a humbling debt of gratitude to God for giving me the strength and opportunity to see this through. I firmly believe you must have a strong foundation in which to work from and my family and God has given me that base from which to complete this lengthy process. I want to thank my mentor, Dr. James Ramere, for sticking with me even when it looked as if I was dead in the water and not a wave in sight to push me forward. I also want to thank my committee members, Dr. John Avella, and Dr. Sarah Everts, for their help in this process. Your support and guidance has made this dissertation possible and I am grateful to my mentor and the dissertation committee. Lastly, I want to thank the district in which the study took place for providing the support to make this dissertation possible. In particular, I want to thank Dr. Botkin who gave me a tremendous amount of help at key moments in the process.