Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Exceptional Student Education

First Advisor's Name

Marisal Reyes Gavilan

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Luretha F. Lucky

Third Advisor's Name

Lorraine R. Gay

Fourth Advisor's Name

Blanca H. Garcia

Fifth Advisor's Name

Rosa Castro Feinberg

Date of Defense



The purpose of the study was to determine whether teachers' perceptions of characteristics of gifted students in general differed from perceptions of gifted students classified as Hispanic and limited English proficient. The study also sought to determine whether the teachers' perceptions differed based on their ethnic backgrounds. Three-hundred seventy-three teachers from nine elementary schools in Dade County, Florida completed a 34-item Likerttype survey on gifted characteristics. The survey contained an open-ended question at the end to elicit comments beyond those covered by the items. Randomly, one-half of the teachers in each school received the survey labeled "Gifted Hispanic LEP" and the other half received the survey labeled "Gifted." Subjects were not made aware that they were given surveys with different labels. Results of a two-way MANOVA indicated that there were significant differences in responses by survey group and by ethnicity, and there was no significant interaction between group and ethnicity. Results of a Spearman Rho test on the rank ordering of responses for the groups found a significant positive correlation, suggesting that both groups perceived a similar order of importance for the characteristics. However, relative importance differed significantly in languagerelated items. There were also significant differences between the groups in the degree to which they rated the characteristics as important. Generally, means of the highest ranked items were significantly higher for the group responding to the survey labeled Gifted than for the other group. Similarly, subjects who completed the survey labeled Gifted rated the lower ranked characteristics significantly lower than the other group. Neither group viewed artistic, musical, and kinesthetic abilities as important characteristics of giftedness. However, teachers in the Gifted Hispanic LEP group rated these characteristics significantly more favorably (although still low). Hispanics tended to rate the items higher than the other two ethnicities, although significant differences existed among all three.





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