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Is giftedness being identified among students in poverty?



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Limitations may exist in the current practices to assess and identify giftedness, particularly among children of poverty (Davis & Rimm, 2004; Slocumb & Payne, 2000). The purpose of this study was to examine educators’ perceptions about the concept of giftedness, specifically if children of poverty are being adequately identified in the recruitment process for enrichment programs. An adapted version of the survey entitled, Assumptions Underlying the Identification of Gifted and Talented Students (Renzulli, Brown, & Gubbins, 2005) was distributed to approximately 500 administrators, classroom teachers, and resource room/learning assistance teachers of elementary schools in a large urban school division. There were 101 respondents. The survey consisted of twenty-five statements, utilizing a five point Likert scale, exploring teachers’ perceptions of assessment practices used to identify gifted and/or talented students. Respondents were also invited to convey their personal professional opinions regarding giftedness by answering a series of open-ended questions. Descriptive analyses (e.g., mean, standard deviation) of continuous variables (e.g., years of experience), and frequency distributions of categorical variables (e.g., school setting, current position) were conducted. Analyses of variance (ANOVA’s) were conducted for comparisons among the average responses (i.e., teacher responses, administrator responses) for each factor. In addition, Pearson correlations were also conducted to investigate relationships between dependent variables (e.g., the factors) and independent variables (e.g., age, years of experience). Open-ended questions were categorized with consideration to common themes based upon the responses of the participants and analyzed using descriptive analyses. The culminating examinations and interpretations indicated that educators believe the processes of defining and identifying giftedness among students in poverty are flawed and restrictive. Furthermore, the responses were indicative of educators’ desires to embrace giftedness in a variety of contexts and domains.



giftedness, poverty, intelligence



Master of Education (M.Ed.)


Educational Psychology and Special Education


Educational Psychology and Special Education



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