Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Louise L. MacKay

Committee Members

Terrence A. Tollefson, Pamela Evanshen, Eric S. Glover


The purpose of this study was to examine gifted education programs in public schools in Northeast Tennessee. There is a wide disparity among established gifted programs regarding the identification of the students, the eligibility of the students, and the services they receive. This disparity has led to varying levels of support and service for gifted children in Northeast Tennessee. A survey was developed and distributed to individuals who oversee the gifted department in their school system. Data were collected regarding gifted student identification processes, individual program requirements, funding of gifted programs, professional development, and advanced teacher training.

National research has been directed towards the identification of gifted students and the types of programs that might be optimal for students with high intellectual abilities. This study was a descriptive analysis of the identification process of gifted children and the programs and policies in place in a purposeful sample of the school systems of Northeast Tennessee. This researcher examined various aspects of funding allocation for this special population. There are significant differences in the allocation and use of resources by Tennessee school systems. The researcher also sought to identify the programs that are offered for gifted students.

This study revealed that some school systems in Northeast Tennessee do not have established gifted programs. The school systems that do have established gifted programs vary. Some of these schools provided a modified gifted program that included two types of pullout programs. In the first type, students left the regular classroom or were pulled out to go to a separate classroom to receive gifted instruction once a week. In the second type, students were pulled out once every two weeks. Many of the respondents reported they provided differentiated instruction for all students. Of the school systems that had established programs, respondents reported that their schools had written objectives or philosophies for their gifted programs.

The reported need for financial support was great. According to the respondents, more funds were needed to support teacher training, hire more personnel (teachers and administrators), purchase materials, and extend programs.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.