Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

John Billings

Committee Member

Hardwick Smith Johnson, Jr.

Abstract

Due to the shortage of ongoing professional learning it has created a gap for educators of gifted learners wanting to increase self-efficacy and desire to improve their pedagogical strategies. The instructional needs of a local public school’s gifted and talented population not being met due to limited professional learning opportunities offered to secondary educators of gifted learners within the school district. There were a limited number of gifted endorsed educators to service the gifted and talented population. Cortina (2011) suggested limited opportunities for professional development in gifted education topics for general education teachers is a persistent and pervasive problem. Gifted endorsed secondary educators in the researcher’s local school district have experienced limited professional learning opportunities. This study was designed to investigate secondary teachers of gifted students about their desire to receive further training and preparation to teach gifted students. In addition the study identified the differences in the level of teacher interest as it pertains to a variety of independent variables gender, life stage, teacher concerns, primary teaching assignment, year of experience teaching, professional learning in gifted education, and in-service workshop or conference hours in gifted education. The mixed methods research study consisted of the researcher employing both theoretical frameworks, Adult Learning Theory (Knowles, 1980; 1984), and the Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1997). The theoretical framework of this review of literature is tied to the concepts of secondary teacher’s desire for professional development in competencies needed to teach G/T learners, inadequate training of gifted educators, and the current state of gifted education in the United States. A multiple linear regression (MLR) analysis was conducted to measure the relationships between the seven predictive variables gender, age, life stage, teaching concerns, teaching area, credits in gifted education, hours of workshops and the dependent variable DPDGES. In order to determine which predictive variables had a statistically significant relationship with desire, the researcher used MLR models for the study. The MLR analysis was conducted to determine the significance of the seven sub-questions of the study. The results of the survey revealed that teaching area emerged as the strongest predictor, with teaching area C (Other: guidance/special education) educators expressing a greater desire for G/T professional development than academic teachers. Core academic teachers in comparison to physical education teachers, younger age of teachers and fewer college credits earned were the other variables that contributed to the model significance. The significance of the data and the implications they have on the future of professional development for gifted educators is critical. These study findings may influence teachers, administrators, professional developers of school districts, and the gifted community in promoting further evaluation of G/T professional development practices.

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