Publication Date

Spring 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Julia Roberts (Director), Antonia Szymanski, and Tracy Inman

Degree Program

School of Teacher Education

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of teachers in rural locales towards giftedness and gifted education. Gagné and Nadeau’s (1991) Opinions About the Gifted and Their Education was used as the survey instrument. A total of 78 teachers from four public school districts in Kentucky classified as rural participated in the study. The respondents indicated slightly positive attitudes toward the need for specialized instruction for gifted students and the social value of giftedness but slightly negative mindsets towards acceleration. These results as a whole mirrored the findings of several previous studies utilizing the same survey instrument. However, individual teacher’s attitudes varied widely, with some very negative responses and some more positive, rendering the results determined using averaged scores from the full sample a somewhat inaccurate indicator of broad-scope, overall teacher mindset towards gifted education. When comparing the attitudes towards acceleration of teachers who had graduated from the district in which they teach to those who graduated from a district outside of where they teach, a significantly more negative attitude was indicated in teachers who remained within their home districts. Further study is recommended to determine if this could be an influence of more traditional and anti-intellectual mindsets often found in rural communities and if it has any effect on the quality of services and programming opportunities available to gifted students in rural locales.


Gifted Education | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education