Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Derek A. Phelan


Compared to their peers, gifted and talented (GT) students have unique social and emotional needs. As schools mandated social and emotional learning goals for each GT student, support at the state level was limited. The purpose of the study was to answer the guiding question of how students could benefit from implementing key elements in a GT social and emotional curriculum. The study was guided by Corso's approach to promoting and developing positive social-emotional behavior. Data were collected from questionnaires administered to 32 statewide GT experts. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 of those GT experts. Thematic data analysis followed an open coding process to identify emergent themes. The findings revealed key elements that should be in place for a successful GT social and emotional curriculum: (a) a dedicated time in the school schedule for affective curriculum, (b) GT students seeking an understanding of identity and GT characteristics, (c) creating partnerships for social and emotional curriculum, (d) properly trained staff, including an understanding of the characteristics of GT students, (e) affective goal setting, (f) adequate resources for instruction, and (g) a process for intensive interventions when needed. This study included the creation of a professional development project to support integration of a social and emotional curriculum for GT programs. The study and project have implications for positive social change: By guiding schools seeking to implement a social and emotional curriculum into a current GT program, student behavior and learning outcomes are fostered.