Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Sydney Brown


Data on gifted education show a clear problem: lack of diversity in gifted education programs. This fact is compounded by additional data showing a disparaging difference in achievement of Caucasian versus minority students. Together, these concepts are referred to as the excellence gap in gifted education. Talent development, or the location and nurturing of potential talent in underrepresented populations, has been recommended in the gifted community as a possible step in resolving these inequities (Ellis & Martin, 2017; Ford, 2010; National Association of Gifted Children [NAGC], 2015; Reinhard, 2016; Thornbury, 2010).

Through an explanatory mixed methods study, this research analyzed the impact implementation of talent development strategies had on underrepresented populations regarding achievement, motivation, and location of potential in a diverse, mid-sized, urban district. The study focused on implementation of six talent development components (alternative identification methods, training teachers, increased collaboration, adjusted curriculum, cultivation of support networks, and increased communication between home and school) with high-ability fourth- and fifth-grade students at two of six elementary schools in the district over a 12-week period.

Findings of the study showed talent development reified “the Achilles Heel of gifted education is its inability to adequately include children who don’t fall into the nice, neat stereotype of good student” (Renzulli, 2005, p. 80); and talent development can serve as the vehicle of promise for typically underrepresented students as it encourages educators to locate, support, and serve students who do not fit the predetermined mold but show potential for high achievement and success (Burney & Beilke, 2008).

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.