Examining Teachers' Talent Recognition Process During a Summer Talent Development Program

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-5622-5829
Pennington, Leighann, Curriculum and Instruction - School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
Brighton, Catherine, CU-Curr Instr & Sp Ed, University of Virginia

This Capstone Project focused on a local problem of practice, the need to increase identification of students from underrepresented populations for the gifted education program at Fairland County School (FCS) district. Two approaches to addressing the macro-problem of underrepresentation include broadening teachers’ conceptions of giftedness and supporting teachers in developing a deeper understanding of how potential, gifts, and talents manifest in primary-grade students. Project Kaleidoscope applied these approaches through implementing a summer talent development program for students with high potential and professional development opportunities. For this qualitative, descriptive case study, I sampled archival data from Project Kaleidoscope 2019 summer intersession and focused on the case of a pair of co-teachers in one classroom at Poplar Elementary School. Data sources included observations, an interview, teacher-collected data, observational forms (Traits, Atrributes, and Behaviors (TABs)), and student work products. This study examined the following research questions: 1) Given the unique context of the summer intersession, to what extent did teachers make note of and talk about student outputs as indicative of potential, gifts, or talents? 2) To what degree do the things teachers make note of and talk about align with the content of the TABs form, summer curriculum, professional development modules, and the summer intersession teacher training? Results indicated that teachers successfully recognized the potential, gifts, and talents of students from underrepresented populations who were overlooked during the school year, including English Learners. Several factors were positively associated with the talent recognition process, including the application of the TABs observational tool, a high-quality curriculum aligned to the TABs, and professional development for talent recognition. Recommendations for FCS to continue improving the talent recognition process and talent development are provided.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
talent development, talent recognition, gifted education, high-quality curriculum, underrepresented, gifted identification, primary grade, teacher noticing
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