Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of Giftedness

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Preservice Teachers Perceptions of Giftedness. Amy Morgan Schmidt, M.Ed. Young Eun Son, M.A.Ed. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


<p>PowerPoint Presentation</p> <p>Preservice Teachers Perceptions of GiftednessAmy Morgan Schmidt, M.Ed.Young Eun Son, M.A.Ed.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). PurposeThe 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. In our research, we wanted to know why a preservice teacher does or does not value gifted education, and what shaped their perceptions and values about gifted education. This study was conducted in the context of a medium-sized college in a southeastern state that also hosts an enrichment program for gifted students. To better understand participants perceptions and their change, if any, about gifted education, we interviewed and observed them before and after participating in the enrichment program. Changes in beliefs, values, and understandings were welcome, but the change was not the main purpose of the study.3What is Giftedness?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). </p> <p>What is Giftedness?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, &amp; Worrell, 2011).</p> <p>What the Research SaysMyths and MisperceptionsLack of understanding differences among gifted minorities and low-SESLack of preparation in teacher training.Lack of awareness going into the classroom.Directly affects students experiences in gifted programmingAffects nomination for services</p> <p>Among preservice teachers beliefs are myths that have been found in previous literature, such as every student is gifted in some way or gifted students do not need special programming or gifted students may be identified by their high grades alone (Berman, Schultz, &amp; Weber 2012 p.22-23; Megay-Nespoli.2011).Teachers awareness or ignorance of giftedness can directly affect the opportunities for talented students to experience gifted programming (Davis &amp; Rimm, 2004; Davidson Institute, 2006; Ford, 2012; Ford &amp; Whiting, 2007). Training programs for preservice teachers do not prepare new teachers for effectively serving gifted students (McCoach &amp; Siegle, 2007; Hansen &amp; Feldhusen, 1994; Tomlinson, et al., 1994).</p> <p>6What the Research SaysNot emphasized in teacher preparation programsProfessional development and coursework is positive- pedagogy and teacher effectivenessPerceptions and values may not changeAlthough preservice teachers should be trained based on the NAGC/CEC teacher preparation standards before teaching in the classroom with identified gifted learners, this only remains an expectation rather than a reality in the present situation of general teacher education (Berman, Schultz, &amp; Weber, 2012; John, VanTassel-Baska, &amp; Robinson, 2008; Tomlinson et al., 1994; Bangel, 2004). </p> <p>The studies have indicated that training in gifted education to improve pedagogies, such as teaching strategies or skills in instructing gifted students, is beneficial to preservice teachers (Newman, Greg, &amp; Dantzler, 2009; Bangel, Moon, &amp; Capobianco, 2010). </p> <p>On the other hand, studies demonstrate conflicting results regarding whether the perceptions or values of preservice teachers can change after participating in gifted education training programs (Ribich, Barone, &amp; Agostino, 1998; Megay-Nespoli, 2001). 7MethodologySocial constructivist or interpretivism (Creswell, 2013).</p> <p>Theoretical framework based on Gagn and Nadeaus 1985 attitudes instrument, Opinions about the Gifted and Their Education</p> <p>Case StudyMulti-case study3 participantsCompare the perceptions, beliefs, and values of the participantsInterview and observe 3 preservice teachers Participants also served as teachers assistants at an enrichment program</p> <p>Participants3 undergraduate or graduate preservice teachers2 began their student teacher1 in her senior yearAll three gifted or high achieving (not a requirement, just a coincidence).InterviewsPre- and post-interviewsParticipants participated in these interviews at least twice, 6 hours. Participants were interviewed before and after the program.ObservationsParticipants were observed at least two hours while working as teachers assistantsOne hour the first timeOne hour the second time</p> <p>We used an observation protocol based on the William and Mary Classroom Observation Scales.</p> <p>ResultsGagn and Nadeaus instrument: Needs and supportResistance to objectionsRejectionAbility groupingSchool accelerationHistorical contextSocial value</p> <p>The instrument explored six factors of attitudes toward giftedness and gifted education: needs and support, resistance to objections, social value, rejection, ability grouping, and school acceleration. As these topics were not mentioned by participants in the interviews, we eliminated rejection, resistance to objections, ability grouping, and school acceleration and grouped them as part of needs and support. We used participants historical context to guide us in understanding what they knew about gifted students needs and the support researchers suggest is best for gifted students. We also used historical context and self-concept of as a gifted student to explore participants social value of giftedness and gifted education.</p> <p>13Main ThemesHistorical context and self-concept as a gifted student. Awareness of needs of gifted studentsValues and beliefs toward gifted students and gifted education. Changes to Values and Challenges to Perceptions and Beliefs</p> <p>Historical Context and Self ConceptBackground and experiences influenced by and reflected in their views of giftedness. All academically oriented, successfulAll influenced by family to do well2 of 3 formally identified as gifted2 of the 3 had little interaction with non-gifted students</p> <p>Our findings indicate our participants backgrounds and experiences are influenced by and reflected in their views of and preparation for giftedness and gifted education (Graffam, 2006; Berman, Shultz, &amp; Weber, 2006).</p> <p>15Awareness of Needs of Gifted StudentsConsistent with literatureSome awareness of intellectual and socio-emotional needsSome misconceptionsPreconceived notion of how to teach studentsBelieve in differentiationBelieve gifted students needs can be met in an inclusion classroom2 expected good behavior from gifted students.We found that our participants perceptions of gifted students and awareness of gifted educational practices were consistent with the literature. All participants have some awareness of the unique intellectual and socio-emotional needs of gifted students, but they also hold some misconceptions. All participants have a preconceived notion of how to teach gifted students. To meet intellectual needs, participants are aware of some methods and best practices as identified in the literature, especially differentiation. All participants recognize that differentiation of assignments and content can help meet the intellectual needs and interest of all students, and especially gifted students. These participants feel gifted students needs can be met in an inclusion environment. Two participants expect gifted students to behave well and be prepared and excited to learn.16Values and BeliefsAgreed gifted or accelerated studies beneficial to themAll take issue with the label giftedFamily value and perception influential to academic success2 noted differences between gifted and non-gifted2 believe gifted programs provides better educationAll participants agree that their gifted programming and advanced studies were beneficial to their academic success and preparation for college; however, all take issue with the label gifted. Family value and perceptions of gifted education were influential in their academic success and appreciation of their experiences in gifted programs and advanced academic courses. Two of the participants noted the perceived difference between gifted programming and students and regular classes and non-gifted students, believing that gifted classes provided better education and opportunities than regular classes. These values may connect with their current perceptions and personal values of gifted programming. </p> <p>17Changes to Values and BeliefsBased on observations and interviewsThere was little change in gifted teaching behaviors2 were surprised at negative behaviors of gifted studentsRose improved teaching behaviorAny change experienced came from the participants becoming more familiar with the students and more comfortable in their roles. </p> <p>Two of the participants were surprised by the behavior problems displayed by some students. This challenged their original perceptions of gifted students being the good students. Rose surprised us with her professional growth over the length of the study. She was able to better articulate how she perceived gifted students and how she would apply gifted teaching strategies to her future classroom. She attributes this change to not only her experiences in as the teacher assistant but also to the few short weeks she has had as a new student teacher in a high school gifted language arts class. </p> <p>18ImplicationsTeacher preparation classes inadequateNovice teachers are not prepared to meet the diverse needs of their future studentsOur study was only a snippet of insight into preservice teachers perceptions, beliefs, and values about gifted education. From what we have learned, we believe teacher preparation classes are not addressing the needs of gifted students, and equipped with their own perceptions and values based in their experiences, three soon-to-be educators are not ready for working with gifted students. This should be a concern for those in the field of teacher education, school administrators, parents and other advocates of the gifted. We hope that with more research exploring preservice teachers training on giftedness and gifted education, perhaps future teachers will enter the workforce better equipped to meet the needs of all students.</p> <p>19SuggestionsAdvocates at all levels need to be aware of the limited trainingImplement incoming teachers professional developmentWork with teacher education programsLimitationsDiversityShort time frameSmall sampleReferencesArchambault, F. X.,Westberg, K. L., Brown, S. W., Hallmark, B. W., Zhang, W., &amp; Emmons, C. L. (1993). Classroom practices used with gifted third and fourth grade students. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 16, 103-119.Bangel, N. (2004). Growth as a professional through teaching in Super Saturday (Unpublished masters thesis). Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.Bangel, N. J., Moon, S. M., &amp; Capobianco, B. M. (2010). Preservice teachers perceptions and experiences in a gifted education training model. Gifted Child Quarterly, 54(3), 209-221. doi:10.1177/0016986210369257Berman, K. M., Schultz, R. A., &amp; Weber, C. L. (2012). A lack of awareness and emphasis in preservice teacher training: Preconceived beliefs about the gifted and talented. Gifted Child Today, 35(1), 1826. doi:10.1177/1076217511428307Cho, G., &amp; DeCastro-Ambrosetti, D. (2005/2006). Is ignorance bliss? Preservice teachers attitudes toward multicultural education. The High School Journal, 89(2), 24-28.Copenhaver, R.W., &amp; McIntyre, D. (1992). Teachers perception of gifted students. Roeper Review. 92(3).Council for Exceptional Children. (2011). Exceptional learners (report). Retrieved from Council for Exceptional Children website:, J.W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Cross, T. L. (2002). Competing with myths about the social and emotional development of gifted students. Gifted Child Today, 25(3), 44.Davidson Institute. (2006). State mandates for gifted programs as of 2006 [Website]. Retrieved from, G. A. &amp; Rimm. S. B. (2004). Education of the gifted and talented. Boston, MA: Pearson.DeLeon, J., Argus-Calvo, B., &amp; Medina, C. (1997). A model for identifying rural gifted and talented students in the visual arts. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 16(4), 16-23.Eisner, E.W. (1991). The enlightened eye: Qualitative inquiry and the enhancement of educational practice. New York, NY: Macmillan. Ford, D. Y. (2010). Underrepresentation of culturally different students in gifted education: Reflections about current problems and recommendations for the future. Gifted Child Today, 33(3), 31-35.</p> <p>ReferencesFord, D. Y. (2012) Ensuring equity in gifted education: Suggestions for change, again. Gifted Child Today. 31(1), 74-75.Ford, D. Y., &amp; Whiting, G. W. (2007). A mind is a terrible thing to erase: Black students' underrepresentation in gifted education. Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse Exceptional Learners, 10(1/2), 28-44. Retrieved from, M.D., Gall, J.P., &amp; Borg, W.R. (2007). Educational research: An introduction. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.Gagn, F. &amp; Nadeau, L. (1985). Dimensions of attitudes towards giftedness. In A.H. Roldan (Ed.). Gifted and Talented children, youth, and adults: Their social perspectives and culture (pp.148-170). Monroe.NJ: Trillium.Graffam, B. (2006). A case study of teachers of gifted learners: Moving from prescribed practice to described practitioners. Gifted Child Quarterly, 50(2), 119131. doi:10.1177/001698620605000204.Hansen, J. B., &amp; Feldhusen, J. F. (1994). Comparison of trained and untrained teachers of gifted students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 38(3), 115-121.Hong, E., Greene, M., &amp; Hartzell, S. (2011). Cognitive and motivational characteristics of elementary teachers in general education classrooms and in gifted programs. Gifted Child Quarterly, 55(4), 250264. doi:10.1177/0016986211418107.Karp, A. (2006). Teachers of the mathematically gifted tell about themselves and their profession. Roeper Review, 32(4), 272280. doi:10.1080/02783193.2010.485306.Matsuda, P.K. (2006). The myth of linguistic homogeneity in U.S. college composition. College English, 68(6), 637-651. Retrieved from, D. B., &amp; Siegle, D. (2007). What predicts teachers attitudes toward the gifted? Gifted Child Quarterly, 51(3), 246-254. doi:10.1177/0016986207302719.McCoach, D.B., &amp; Siegle, D. (2005, Apri...</p>


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