Conference Papers

2017 AERA Sessions from the National Center for Research on Gifted Education:


Thu, April 27, 4:05 to 6:05 pm, Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Second Floor, Bowie A

Trends in Reading Growth Between Gifted and Nongifted Students: An Individual Growth Model Analysis

Michael Shane Tutwiler, D. Betsy McCoach, Rashea Hamilton, & Del Siegle

In this study, we use large-scale, longitudinal data to model the growth in student reading across 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade in three states using multi-level models for change (Singer & Willett, 2003) to fit individual growth models for students nested in schools and districts. Students who were identified as gifted had 3rd grade reading scores that were nearly a full standard deviation higher than their non-gifted peers. However, students identified as gifted showed reading growth that was either similar to, or slightly lower than, their non-gifted peers.


Fri, April 28, 8:15 to 9:45am, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Meeting Room Level, Room 221 D

Challenging All Advanced Learners: Research Insights From Projects Funded by the Jacob K. Javits Program

Del Siegle, Discussant for Structured Poster Session

Renewed federal funding for the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program in 2014 has since supported the launch of 22 projects housed at both institutions of higher education and state education agencies, focused on scaling up effective models for serving gifted students from historically underrepresented populations. Posters will present emerging findings related to strategies and instruments for identification and access for diverse populations; effectiveness of specific interventions with students and teachers; and issues of research management, as well as critical discussion about how programs influence persistent disparities in gifted education. Discussion facilitated by Dr. Del Siegle, Director of the National Center for Research on Gifted Education, will be followed by direct interaction between attendees and presenters.


Fri, April 28, 12:25 to 1:55 pm, Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Third Floor, Bonham D

Gifted Education Structures in Elementary Schools and Their Connections to Program Focus

Del Siegle, Jeb. S. Puryear, William Estepar-Garcia, Carolyn M. Callahan, E. Jean Gubbins, D. Betsy McCoach, Rachel U. Mun, and Christina M. Amspaugh

Gifted education programs are diverse with respect to their structure and foci. This diversity is reflective of the field itself. With this large, multi-state study, we surveyed practices employed in elementary schools (N = 1,548). Differences were observed in the implementation mechanics of English and mathematics curriculum. Interrelationships between program structures emerged (e.g., existence of separate gifted curriculum and pull-out instruction, (F = .16). Schools reported a focus on 21st century skills and enrichment techniques while neglecting acceleration strategies and cultural responsiveness. Lastly, we observed a number of statistically significant relationships between program structures and the foci used in gifted programs. These relationships may reflect underlying beliefs in the field. Their implications are examined and future directions are discussed.


Sat, April 29, 10:35 am to 12:05 pm, Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Second Floor, Bowie A

Symposium Organized by NCRGE: Talent Ignored: Investigating the Underidentification of English Learners for Gifted Programs

Identifying and Serving English Learners for Gifted and Talented Education: A Systematic Literature Review

Rachel U. Mun and Susan Dulong Langley

While the number of English Learners (ELs) continues to grow rapidly in the United States, corresponding proportions of ELs are not identified for gifted and talented (GT) services. This neglect results in what Plucker, Burroughs, and Song (2010) described as a growing “excellence gap” in K-12 education. Thus, we undertook a systematic review of the literature to investigate the most effective practices used to identify and serve ELs for GT services.


Identification of Gifted English Learners: An Empirical Examination of Two States

Rashea Hamilton, D. Betsy McCoach, Michael Shane Tutwiler, and Willaim Estepar-Garcia

The goal of the current study was to examine the extent to which EL students are under-identified as gifted using state data, and explore the role of district level practices in EL identification.


Identification of English Learner Gifted From Parents’ Perspective: Challenges and Recommendations

Rashea Hamilton and Rachel U. Mun

School-family partnerships, while shown to be beneficial for all students, might be particularly beneficial for gifted English language learners since schools have struggled to identify these students due to language and cultural barriers (Nichol, 2013). Therefore, the goal of the current study is to explore how parents of gifted English Learners (ELs) understand the identification process.



Sun, April 30, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Third Floor, Bonham C

Identifying and Serving Gifted and Talented Students: Are Identification and Services Connected?

Jean Gubbins, Del Siegle, Patricia O’Rourke, Susan Dulong Langley, Karen Cross, Carolyn M. Callahan, Annalissa V. Brodersen, Melanie Caughey, and Joseph S. Renzulli

Designing and implementing programs for gifted and talented students requires careful planning. We analyzed 293 district program plans from two states to determine the match between identification practices and interventions. Of these districts, 69.6% (n=204) identified students in mathematics and 68.9% (n=202) identified students in reading/English language arts. At least 60% of the districts used faster pace, depth, or breadth of coverage in mathematics or reading, or regular education reading/English language arts standards for gifted students. Learning environment options included differentiated instruction (86%), cluster grouping (55%), and pull-out classes (55%). It is interesting to note that national attention to reading and mathematics has not had a corresponding effect on selected emphases in gifted education programs.


Mon, May 1, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 2

Exploring Alignment in Gifted Education Program Policies and Practices

Annalissa V. Brodersen

Previous studies demonstrate a possible disconnect between gifted education policies at the state and district level (e.g., Callahan, Moon, & Oh, 2013), and the extent to which local practices are aligned with state/district policies is unknown. Researchers (e.g., Baker, 2001; Kettler, Russel, & Puryear, 2015) indicate gifted programs may vary according to district/school size and/or district/school resources. In this study I use qualitative document analysis to examine gifted education policies and practices about identification and service delivery models/programming within two states. I examine state/district-level policies as well as district/school-level reported practices. Results indicate state and district policies and practices are toward alignment with recommended practices in identification, while in services they are less aligned with each other and recommended practices.


2016 Institute of Education Sciences 2016 Principal Investigator Meeting

The Identification Gap: When Just as Good Isn’t Enough

McCoach, D. B., Siegle, D, Callahan, C., Gubbins, E. J., & Hamilton, R. (December, 2016). The identification gap: When just as good isn’t enough. Poster presented at the Institute of Education Sciences 2016 Principal Investigator Meeting, Washington, DC.