Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education

First Advisor

Thea H. Williams-Black

Second Advisor

Whitney Webb

Third Advisor

Larry G. Hanshaw

Abstract

School districts have been struggling with the challenges of educating English learners for decades, long before the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Yet, considering the abundance of research on English learners, relatively few studies have examined specific methods or efforts of districts and schools to identify English learners for participation in an intellectually gifted education program. The purpose of this study was to determine if particular gifted education programming, or programming criteria, impacts this student population's identification for participation in Mississippi's intellectually gifted education program. Specifically, this study aimed to investigate the district- and school-level policies and practices, as well as the use of multi-step and multi-source procedures and processes used by educators to identify the "gifts" and abilities of English learners. Based on the study's findings, the researcher hopes that this study will serve as a framework for change that tasks Mississippi and its school districts with reconsidering the identification process used to determine student eligibility for participation in an intellectually gifted education program by providing high-quality professional development and technical assistance and by implementing sound and reliable multi-assessment methods and measures that prove beneficial to identifying English learners' potential and ability.

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