Term of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


College of Education

Committee Chair

Robert Lake

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Pamela Wells

Committee Member 3

Laura Rychly

Committee Member 3 Email



This dissertation is a collection of letters from me as I explored the significance of the current standardized curriculum milieu on gifted learners’ educative opportunities in a public elementary school. The inquiry drew information of gifted learners’ characteristics and educative, affective, and social needs from the works of Gagné (Gagné, 1985, 2000, 2005), Renzulli and Renzulli & Reis (Reis & Renzulli, 1997, 2010; Renzulli, 1986, 2012; Renzulli & Reis, 1997). I also drew from Gallagher (2000, 2003, 2004, 205, 2015) and Sapon-Shevin (1996, 2003) for information on the political implications of gifted education. The study employed currere(Pinar & Grumet, 1976) to reflect upon my educational experiences as a gifted education teacher, hermeneutic imagination (Davis, 1991) to aid in the interpretation of the data, and Schwab’s four commonplaces of curriculum (1969, 1971, 1973, 1978) for a balanced view. I reviewed multiple samples of personal memories and journal entries, class observation notes, notes and letters received from previous students, previously written essays, and memories of my own children’s experiences to develop themes on which to focus. These were interpreted and expressed through the epistolary genre from a variety of imagined stakeholders. This dissertation expresses an inside perspective that is wanting in the current literature. By “handing off the baton” to younger classroom teachers and imparting ways to develop personal agency in gifted learners, future possibilities are envisioned for improving gifted learners’ educational opportunities in spite of the stifling milieu they often experience.

Research Data and Supplementary Material