Poster Presentation 32 — Where in the Paradigm Are We? Exploring Researcher and Practitioner Beliefs About Gifted Education — Talbot S. Hook
Monday, May 20, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Student Union Ballroom, Rooms 330/331
Gifted education has gone through several paradigm shifts in its more than a century of history. What started as an investigation of human genius and the nature of intelligence slowly broadened into a curiosity about multiple conceptions of giftedness and their corresponding educational implications. So where do our current beliefs put us on the paradigm landscape? Is gifted education still focused on finding and serving children with innate gifts and talents, or should it best be viewed as a set of educational practices that can benefit all students? Is giftedness innate, developmental, contextual? Does our field even require the gifted label? This study sought to look at practitioner and researcher beliefs to investigate if two major groups in our field are working within different paradigms. If teachers and researchers believe starkly different things about giftedness and talent development, there is the possibility that research and practice grow apart. Practitioners may come to see less utility in keeping up with research, while researchers may lose a connection to the very people and practices they hope to learn about. Without a common language and worldview, how can our field address concerns of equity, evaluation, or best practice?