Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Julia Roberts (Director), Judy Davison, Nielsen Pereira

Degree Program

School of Teacher Education

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


This study focused on how teachers' planning and teaching methods changed after they acquired more confidence in applying differentiated strategies in their instructional units. Teachers were given a questionnaire about their skills, qualifications and teaching beliefs comparing teaching general education students and gifted education students within the typical classroom setting. Then teachers received several professional development opportunities within the school year exposing them to different forms of differentiation. Time was given between trainings so that teachers would have ample time to integrate what they learned into their planning and instructional design. At the end of the study, teachers were given another questionnaire, similar to the first one, where they had to rank themselves on skills, education, and teaching methods for general education students and gifted students after the professional development. Comparisons between the two questionnaires showed that teachers were more confident in how to meet individual students' needs through differentiation after the trainings than before the study. In fact, before the study, 50% of teachers reported that the needs of gifted students are not being met in the general classroom setting; but, after the study, that number dropped to only 6%. Because teachers felt more confident in their abilities to teach gifted students in the traditional classrooms, the students' needs were addressed.


Education | Educational Methods | Gifted Education | Special Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development