Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




College of Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Deborah Conner

Second Advisor

Kristal Curry

Third Advisor

Benjamin Parker


12 teachers, representing five schools in a district, shared via individual interviews their insights regarding giftedness and the needs of gifted students. These interviews explored the characteristics of giftedness and gifted education, the needs participants identified through their experiences with their students, the choices participants made regarding these needs, and the various ways participants reflected on these choices. This study used reflexive thematic analysis and transformative learning theory to make sense of the data, and a reparative approach shaped the study’s approach to the collection and analysis of the data. This study found that participants tended to think in terms of students-as-individuals, using their relationships with students to identify and meet their unique needs. Knowledge of students’ lives and varying constructions of giftedness informed participants’ choices regarding services provided in gifted serving classrooms. Participants reflected on their choices; however, reflection was sometimes limited by few opportunities to discuss with and learn from other peers in gifted education. This study identifies implications for gifted education, teachers in gifted education, school and district leadership, and researchers. Teachers with school and district leadership would benefit by exploring ways to encourage and support peer feedback and discussions that provide opportunities to share their experiences and learn from each other. Researchers would expand the understanding of gifted education by including the voices of more stakeholders, including teachers, and better understanding the ways teachers make choices in relation to students’ needs. Also, this dissertation calls for a reparative approach to research, one that focuses on potential rather than deficits.