A Multi-Case Study of Fifth-and-Sixth Grade Intermediate School Teachers’ Perceptions of the Identification and Referral Process of Hispanic/Latina English Learners to the Gifted and Talented Program in a Large Suburban District in a Texas Public School

Date

2022-11-23

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Abstract

Background: In Texas, the population of students identified as Hispanic/Latina English learners in public schools has increased drastically, however, they are often under-referred to gifted programs due to the lack of identification and referral procedures being at the center of the problem. The K-12 enrollment data of Hispanic/Latina English learners that are labeled as gifted and talented indicates the disparity of English learner girls in the gifted and talented program. This study examines teachers’ perceptions of the identification and referral process for fifth-and-sixth grade Hispanic/Latina English learner girls for the gifted and talented programs. Purpose: Latino Critical Race Theory and Multiple Intelligence Theory are the theoretical frameworks used in examining fifth and sixth grade teachers’ perceptions of the identification and referral process of gifted and talented students. Latino Critical Race Theory reveals the biases and injustices faced by Latino students regarding immigration, language acquired in the classrooms, and educational placements in addition to Multiple Intelligence Theory examined the beliefs around the various intelligences, especially language. The three research questions guiding this study are: 1. What are teachers’ perceptions across three intermediate schools of the identification process for 5th and 6th grade English learners to participate in the gifted and talented program? 2. What are teachers' perceptions across three intermediate schools of the referral process for referring 5th and 6th grade Hispanic/Latina English learner students into the gifted and talented program? 3. What are the teachers’ perceptions across three intermediate schools of training opportunities for the identification and referral process of 5th and 6th grade Hispanic/Latina English learner students for the gifted and talented program? Methods: Using a qualitative methodology, this study utilized a multi-case study selecting three different intermediate campuses in a large suburban school vi district. The interview format included a semi-structured interview protocol. Data collected from participants interviewed were digitally audio/video recorded and transcribed. The data analysis consisted of individual case analysis and cross-case analysis through constant comparative. The content analysis process involved dividing the data in units, then categorizing them based on the participants’ responses. Findings: Following the data analysis from the interviews three themes emerged from the findings: biases, language barriers, and limited resources. The findings indicate that the biases regarding the language and ethnicity of students has impacted educational experience of Latina students from the 11 participants in this study, only two of them referred students to the gifted and talented program. Conclusion: The teachers’ perceptions regarding intelligence and language create a barrier in the referral and identification practices. The misconceptions regarding the criteria and qualifications for referring an English learner still persists. Teachers do not view language as a talent nor gift. Many of the characteristics from Hispanic/Latina English learners such as language, culture, and different background knowledge displays a form of giftedness that is often overlooked. This research contributes to the lack of literature lack of literature addressing identification of Hispanic/Latinas in gifted programs.

Description

Keywords

Hispanic/Latina English learner, Gifted and talented, Teacher perceptions, Latino Critical Race Theory, Multiple Intelligence Theory

Citation