Date of Award

Spring 3-23-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Christopher Jenkins, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Wanda F. Fernandopulle, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Brandy Kamm, Ph.D.


Current trends in gifted education research suggest the importance of identifying, developing, and nurturing the talent and potential of gifted learners in addition to recognizing high ability through intelligence testing. However, despite decades of work to decrease the achievement gaps, increasing excellence gaps, the disparity between the highest levels of student achievement from White, affluent backgrounds and the top-performing students from minority or low income backgrounds, remains a problem (Plucker & Callahan, 2014). This quantitative research study examines how a component of the identification process, the gifted behavior rating scale, can be used to assess student potential and increase representation of minority populations in gifted education. In this study, ex post facto gifted behavior rating scale data gathered from the gifted screening process in a large, diverse suburban school district was correlated to determine if any relationship existed between gifted behavior rating scales scores and student academic performance. Findings from this research study indicated a weak to moderate positive correlation between students’ gifted rating scale scores and student academic performance. Because results were statistically insignificant, gifted rating scale scores were not determined to be predictors of student academic performance. However, results support the talent development approach in gifted education and demonstrate that teachers are able to recognize and identify gifted behavior characteristics for high ability students effectively using a gifted behavior rating scale. In addition, the study demonstrated the academic performance success achieved by both underrepresented and non-minority high ability students in gifted programming. Further empirical research needs to be conducted to demonstrate the predictive value of using teacher rating scales as a component of the gifted identification screening process.