Date of Conferral
Kindergarten - Grade 12 (K-12) students identified as gifted in mathematics in the United States are not being appropriately challenged. Teachers are the most important school-related factor that contributes to student success; however, researchers have not explored the experiences of teachers who work with gifted students in inclusive mathematics classrooms. The purpose of this qualitative, transcendental phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of K-12 teachers who provide instruction for gifted students in inclusive mathematics classrooms. Bandura's social cognitive theory framed the study. Interview data were collected from 12 teachers who provide mathematics instruction for gifted students in inclusive classrooms and analyzed using a modification of the Van Kaam method of analysis for phenomenological data. Several themes emerged from the interview data that may positively or negatively impact teacher self-efficacy. Based on those themes, recommendations were made that include utilizing a common gifted identification process, providing gifted-specific training opportunities for educators, promoting collaboration among educators of gifted students, providing opportunities for teachers to reflect on the impact of their instructional practices on gifted students, and creating libraries of math-specific gifted resources at each school site. This study has the potential to contribute to positive social change by advancing knowledge in the field of gifted instruction, improving teacher preparation programs, improving teacher job satisfaction, and improving the mathematics learning of gifted students in inclusive mathematics classrooms.