Pre-Service Teachers’ Familiarity and Experience With Twice-Exceptionality — Eric Field, Susan G. Assouline, Megan Foley-Nicpon, & Brandon LeBeau
Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm, Lawrence D. McHugh Hall, Room MCHU 201
While current education professionals show limited knowledge of serving twice-exceptional students (Foley-Nicpon et al., 2013; Wormald & Bannister-Tyrell, 2021), questions arise as to whether pre-service teachers are getting sufficient preparation to serve gifted and high-ability students with coexisting disabilities. Research on pre-service teachers has been scarce about how future teachers can be prepared to work with twice-exceptionality. The Twice-Exceptional Needs Assessment Survey (Foley-Nicpon et al., 2013) was conducted with graduate and undergraduate pre-service teachers (n=211) enrolled in university programs across the United States to understand what they know and understand about twice-exceptionality.
At least half of the sample reported passing familiarity or no familiarity with gifted students with each of four high-incidence disability categories, and over two-thirds of the sample also reported some or no experience working with twice-exceptional students. Open-coding with an auditor was done to analyze responses qualitatively on the free-response questions. The respondents elaborated on several themes regarding their knowledge: negotiating the approach to both giftedness and disability, reporting deficiencies in pre-service coursework, accessing prior knowledge to answer unfamiliar questions, and describing consequences of implementing incorrect services. Survey findings reveal a need to address best practices for working with twice-exceptional students.