Narrative Exploration of Teacher Experiences in Culturally Responsive Gifted Education
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This narrative inquiry provides a contextualized understanding of teacher experiences complementing the extensive quantitative literature available regarding the underrepresentation of diverse students in gifted education programs. This research explores the experiential stories of gifted education professionals who work in urban classrooms with culturally diverse students in two neighboring Midwestern states. The complex experiences of urban gifted education professionals are examined in order to discover the "secret stories" of these classrooms, and to understand how social justice and equity factors may be accounted for in statewide policy or in the enacted curriculum for gifted learners. Informed by theories of curriculum as experience, culturally responsive pedagogy, and the process of storying in education, this research uncovers the lived experiences of teachers in the unique contexts of diverse and urban gifted education. It examines the impact of statewide gifted education policy at the classroom level, describing innovative identification and curriculum strategies that promote the academic and emotional well-being of gifted students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. Four teachers in two neighboring states relate their experiences by acting as “co-researchers” and their stories are analyzed according to the process of narrative inquiry. Cover stories from multiple in-depth interviews and secret classroom stories from observations revealed four major narrative themes including (a) “Identifying Culturally Diverse Students;” (b) “Relationships and Motivating Students;” (c) “Negotiating Space and Time – Shifting Classroom Landscapes;” and (d) “Creative and Challenging Curriculum.” The stories and strategies described in this dissertation offer perspective for educators seeking to understand how to develop curriculum for culturally diverse gifted students. These narratives describe specific and practical ways that skilled gifted professionals have been able to make a difference for students who are often viewed from a deficit perspective, offering counter-narratives that celebrate and build upon strengths.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Theoretical framework -- Literature review -- Methodology -- Data analysis: uncovering sacred stories of context and policy -- Data analysis: shredding light on gifted education experiences with diverse and urban students -- Storied meanings and implications -- Conclusion -- Appendix A. Consent for Participation in a Research Study -- Appendix B. Interview 1: Biographical Experiences in Education -- Appendix C. Interview 2: Teaching Experiences and Curriculum -- Appendix D. Interview 3:Member-check and Follow-up -- Appendix E. Calendar of Interviews and Observations Fall 2018 -- Appendix F. Armstrong Gifted Matrix -- Appendix G. Armstrong Elementary Gifted Problem Solving Rubric
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)