School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Andrea Bruce


twice-exceptional, teacher preparation, higher education, training, lived experiences, self-efficacy, professional development




This qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of educators supporting and instructing twice-exceptional (2e) students. This study was guided by the central research question: What are the lived experiences of teachers working with 2e students? The sub-questions explore the participants' experience regarding twice-exceptional students and how this knowledge affects student performance, the role a lack of teacher preparation has on an educator’s self-efficacy, and their attitudes about the abilities of twice- exceptional students. Using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach, this topic was explored via snowball sampling within three school districts in the state of Georgia. The data collection methods included a survey, individual interviews, and a focus group. Data gathered was analyzed to find relevant themes that align with the phenomenon in conjunction with Heidegger’s hermeneutic circle. Data from each collection method was triangulated and analyzed as one to gather a synthesis of descriptions to detail the essence of the participants’ lived experience. The research was conducted via Microsoft Forms and Microsoft Teams to aid in capturing the rich thick descriptions of the participants lived experiences. The findings unveiled that the participants lived experiences of working with 2e students showed an overall lack of knowledge stemming from their education attained and university and their school districts, both of which provided little to no preparation for this population. These findings added to the literature of teachers and 2e students and the importance of knowledge with future research, including a broader geographic scope of educators and more balance between males and females.

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