Educators' Perceptions of Barriers to the Identification of Gifted Children from Economically Disadvantaged and Limited English Proficient Backgrounds

Document Type



University of Connecticut, National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented

Publication Date



A brief narrative description of the journal article, document, or resource. This report presents results from a 10-item survey of 750 educators from 14 school sites, designed to gain insights into the perceptions educators hold regarding the problems of identifying gifted children from economically disadvantaged and limited English proficient backgrounds. Results indicated that major barriers to identification were test bias and teachers' inability to recognize indicators of potential in certain groups. Five other issues were identified as moderate barriers: students' use of nonstandard English and/or limited proficiency in the English language; differences in language experiences; parents not providing a stimulating home environment; use of narrow screening/selection processes; and teachers' prejudicial attitudes. Three issues were identified as minor barriers: beliefs that intellectual giftedness is not valued by certain groups; teachers' fears about program quality diminishing when minority and economically disadvantaged students participated; and beliefs about the limited number of gifted children who come from economically disadvantaged and limited English proficient backgrounds. The implications of these results for designing staff development programs are discussed. Appendices include the evaluation instrument used to measure educators' attitudes, descriptions of the pilot sites, and descriptions of the national field test study sites. (Contains 57 references.) (Author/CR)