This case study research was designed to examine the referral process for Washington Gifted Middle School in Peoria Public School District 150 in Peoria, Illinois. The purpose was to determine if perceptions of fourth wade classroom teachers who recommended students to the school were a contributing factor in the disproportionate number of African American students attending the gifted school.
The participants were 50 fourth grade teachers in the district who completed the Teachers' Perception of Giftedness Survey (Houghton, 1994) adapted for this study. The survey instrument consisted of three sections. Section 1 included 30 items on a six-point Likert scale that were commonly accepted characteristics of giftedness, characteristics of African American giftedness, and distracters. Numbers were assigned to the ratings to compute the mean, median, and standard deviations. Section II consisted of 10 characteristics associated with giftedness and characteristics of giftedness inherent in African American students. Teachers ranked their highest two choices and lowest two choices. These extreme scores were used to analyze the teachers' perceptions regarding these characteristics. Data collected from the surveys was formatted through the use of a database, and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Interviews were conducted with 10 teachers to gain a deeper understanding of their responses to Section I of the survey.
During the period of this study, 120 African American students were referred compared to 327 Anglo American students. The results indicate that African American gifted characteristics were viewed as less important than general characteristics of giftedness. Teachers appeared to have varied perceptions regarding gifted characteristics, and those interviewed used very specific definitions of gifted characteristics. Teachers need training to distinguish among the characteristics of giftedness, African American gifted characteristics, and distracters in order to identify and refer more African American students to the gifted school.
|Advisor:||Hatch, Douglas D.|
|School:||Illinois State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/03, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Black studies, Gifted Education, Special education, Curriculum development|
|Keywords:||African-American, Anglo, Fourth-grade, Gifted education, Giftedness, Teachers' perceptions of giftedness|
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