School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Chris Bellamy


Gifted and Talented, International Baccalaureate, Gifted Graduates, Student Engagement, Gifted Education




The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the perseverance of gifted and talented graduates of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programmes. At this stage of the research, persevering factors are generally defined as characteristics such as academic rigor, family support, and community service, which lead to successful completion of the IBDP upon high school graduation (Atkas & Guven, 2015; Fitzgerald, 2015; Monreal, 2016; Ryan et al., 2014; Saavedra, 2016; Wright & Lee, 2014). Guiding this study was the social cognitive theory, by Albert Bandura, and the social development theory by Lev Vygotsky, as they relate the learning atmosphere to the knowledge acquisition of students (Bandura, 1971, 1986; Vygotsky, 1978). This study focused on four research questions: RQ1: How do participants, both educators and gifted and talented graduates, describe their experiences in International Baccalaureate Diploma Programmes?; RQ2: What characteristics of classroom practices do the participants identify as influential to their academic persistence in IBDP; RQ3: What challenges did participants face during their experience in the IBDP; RQ4: What factors do the participants, both educators and gifted and talented graduates, attribute to the perseverance to high school graduation? Data collection methods included participant interviews, writing prompts, and focus groups. Participants included five graduates of the IBDP and 5 teachers in an IBDP. Data analysis methods included open coding, establishing patterns, structural description and textural descriptions. Bracketing was conducted through journaling.

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