School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Rachel Hernandez


twice-exceptional, 2E, 2E minority students, special education, gifted education


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research


The purpose of this phenomenological study is to understand which common practices are perceived to be the greatest contributors to the disproportionate representation of 2E, minority students in gifted education programs in north Georgia. The theories guiding this study are the theory of cognitive dissonance and the theory of social cognitive development. The theory of cognitive dissonance asserts that some level of dissonance is unavoidable when individuals are deciding the best course of action for 2E minority students. The theory of social cognitive development describes the influence of peers, adults, and culture on the cognitive development of a child. The impact of culture-infused practices can either be beneficial or detrimental to the experiences of 2E minority students. The research design that will be utilized is a qualitative, transcendental phenomenology. Through the purposeful selection of 12-15 special education teachers in northern Georgia, an exploration of participants’ perceptions will be conducted through individual interviews, focus groups, and the review of educational documents. A phenomenological reduction will be utilized to identify emerging themes.