Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Jonathan Becker


This case study examined ways elementary school students from diverse populations (minorities and children from low socioeconomic status environments) were included in a talent development program, and determined if that inclusion proved to be beneficial for gifted identification. With intentional regard for the idea of talent development, this study sought to uncover the nuts and bolts of one district’s effort to create a program for young elementary school students (K-3). This investigation used interviews, a focus group, document reviews, and standardized achievement measures to study how the talent development program for underrepresented students was created and implemented. A synthesis of data showed that the program resulted in the gifted identification of fourteen out of twenty-eight students by third grade from the program. The results of the study have important implications for educators desiring researched based strategies for increasing student diversity in their elementary gifted programming. This study suggests that an action decision has to be made by policy makers about those underrepresented in the gifted process or the inequities that have beleaguered the gifted field since the beginning will ensue. Lessons learned from the program are shared to inform practice. A commitment to developing talent in early elementary school students from diverse low socioeconomic backgrounds is a viable option and should be pursued and encouraged.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2009

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