Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Deborah Focarile


The problem is children from low socioeconomic status households are often underrepresented in gifted and talented programs. Only a small percentage of these students is selected to participate in the district's gifted program. The purpose of the study was to help appropriately identify and include low SES children in the district's gifted program. The social constructivist foundation was applied for a better understanding of how the environment affects a child's learning and how social factors contribute to cognitive development, which could possibly alter the perceptions of how successful children can be. The guiding questions revolved around the teachers' perceptions of elementary (K-6) gifted and talented program's identification process in finding all children in need of advanced curriculum and instruction regardless of socioeconomic status level. A qualitative case study is designed to collect data from 6 elementary gifted and talented teachers from 1 district. Information was gathered through interviews, then transcribed and through the lens of the social constructivist framework, axial coding followed as well as use of open coding. Through the field notes some strengths, weaknesses, and recommendations were gathered about the gifted program. The identified the codes used supported answering the research question and subquestions. This project study has the potential to create social change by guiding teachers to understanding all children, regardless of their background, can learn through developing a stronger identification process and more locations to grow awareness of the opportunity.