Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


John Pijanowski

Committee Member

Kara Lasater

Second Committee Member

Christy Smith


Barriers, Definition, Equity, Gifted, Identification


The purpose of this study was to examine the existing barriers to equity in the identification and servicing of gifted students in a small mid-western suburban school district. A mixed method approach guided by constructivist philosophy was used to conduct this research. An inductive Grounded Theory was the methodological approach. This study sought to gather the perception of school district stakeholders to identify potential barriers that exist for specific subgroups of students to being identified for gifted and talented services. The research questions for this Problem of Practice were as follows: (1) How do teachers and parents in School District A define the concept of giftedness? (2) How do teachers’ and parents’ definition of giftedness impact which students are identified for gifted and talented programming in School District A? (3) What additional elements of School District A’s gifted and talented identification process may create barriers to racial, linguistic and socioeconomic equity? (4) How might School District A effectively eliminate barriers to racial, linguistic and socioeconomic equity in their gifted and talented programming? Analysis of data collected from surveys and in-depth interviews revealed teachers’ and parents’ conception of giftedness as well as perceived barriers to achieving equity.