Wallace Research Symposium on Talent Development

Poster Presentations

Poster Presentation 33 — The Effect of Professional Learning on Teachers’ Beliefs About Students’ High PotentialMei Zheng, Shana Lusk, Talbot S. Hook, & Catherine Little

Monday, May 20, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Student Union Ballroom, Rooms 330/331

Creativity is one of the high-potential skills that garners significant attention from educators and scholars in the 21st century. Teachers, being central figures in the realm of education, play a pivotal role in understanding children’s development aspects and guiding students in working toward their potential. Thus, it is useful to explore how teachers think about potential and observe the students they teach. In this study, we gathered data on teachers’ perceptions of students’ potential using the Gifted Rating Scales (GRS; Pfeiffer & Jarosewich, 2003), which include several subscales addressing different aspects of student ability. Teachers were participants in a larger study examining effects of professional learning, including a combination of workshops and in-classroom implementation of project materials. We explored relationships among these subscales in teacher ratings and how teacher perceptions may have evolved over time during the project. The preliminary comparisons of the GRS subscales of Creativity, Intellectual Ability, Academic Ability, and Motivation revealed statistically significant correlations among these factors. Further analysis will be discussed in the final presentation. Our study informs understanding of how teachers conceptualize aspects of high potential and underscores the importance of professional learning in shaping teachers’ perceptions of high-potential behaviors.