Mandy SearsFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


James L Zabloski


Elementary, Gifted Inclusion, Learning, Self-Efficacy, Transformative


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Gifted Education | Other Education


Gifted education has undergone recent changes because of the decrease in funding set aside for gifted students in the public school system. The use of inclusion to provide gifted education within the general education classroom is one option that is more cost-effective than the traditional resource, or pullout, programs that have been used in the state of Georgia. This phenomenological study investigated the perceived experiences of general elementary educators who were new to teaching gifted students and were required to use an inclusion model in the general education classroom. Participants included 13 teachers from 4 school districts in Northern Georgia. The number of teachers interviewed was determined once data saturation had been reached. Through interviews, focus groups and journaling the researcher explored the perceived experiences and analyzed data on the use of inclusion with gifted students. The central research question was: What are the perceived experiences of general education classroom teachers during the first three years of using inclusion to instruct gifted students? Sub-questions included (a) How do the perceived experiences of general education classroom teachers using an inclusion model with gifted students affect teacher self-efficacy? (b) What training and support have been received by general education teachers who are new to teaching gifted students? (c) What do general education classroom teachers perceive to be strengths and challenges of using inclusion models of instruction with gifted students? The Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis process was used in analyzing the data and finding themes (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2012). The themes that emerged were (a) recognizing gifted students, (b) growing as an educator , (c) planning with gifted students in mind, (d) and needing time and resources.