Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Janet Tassell (Director), Julia Roberts, Natasha Gerstenschlager

Degree Program

School of Teacher Education

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


Mathematical talent development in middle school is significantly impacted by students’ access to academic learning opportunities that include collaborative learning with similar ability peers and match student’s interests and level of ability instead of age and grade-level. Access to and participation in domain-specific gifted programs for mathematically talented students has a significant impact on the level of their future talent development, their social-emotional wellbeing, and opportunities later in life. The purpose of this mixed-methods non-experimental action research study was to explore the impact an internally designed mathematics differentiation system (provided in a multiple days per week pull-out format by school’s gifted and talented educator) had on gifted and talented 5th and 6th grade students in a public school in Nashville, Tennessee. The study explored how participation in this program affected 25 gifted and talented 5th and 6th grade public school students feeling of joy (social-emotional aspect) in class; feeling challenged (productive struggle); perseverance (ability to complete complex tasks), and achievement (grades, achievement ratings). The data was collected through student questionnaires, teacher observations, and de-identified student data from student records and classwork.


Education | Educational Methods | Gifted Education | Science and Mathematics Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development

Available for download on Sunday, May 11, 2025