Open Access Dissertation
Date of Award
Education Evaluation and Research
Karen L. Tonso
WHERE ARE ALL THE GIFTED BLACK GIRLS?
GIVING HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS VOICE VIA QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH AND BLACK FEMINIST THEORY
MARY L. MONTIE
Advisor: Dr. Karen L. Tonso
Major: Educational Evaluation and Research
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Gifted programs in the United States under-represent African American (Black) children (Phi Delta Kappan, 1992). In 1993, African-American students were under-represented by 50% in gifted education, and 60% in 1998 (Grantham & Ford, 2003). Further, some speculate that gifted education programs are the most segregated educational programs in the nation (Ford, 1995). This proves especially true for Black gifted girl in urban educational arenas, where gifted Black girls are rarely recognized. The purpose of this research was to examine the circumstances surrounding how urban black girls--identified as showing academic promise--come either to be overlooked as qualified for gifted education or seem not to take up a sense of themselves as gifted, that is they see themselves as not fitting among those who are in gifted education. Three scholarly arenas frame this study: Feminist thought and theory, with an emphasis on Black feminist thought, notions of "giftedness" and gifted education, and policies and processes for identification of gifted Black girls. Eight gifted Black girls were individually interviewed twice, three teachers were individually interviewed, and three parents were interviewed in a focus group session. Four interview guides were constructed to focus on students' perspectives of GS1 (pseudonym) and gifted education, parent strategies, and teachers' roles in the identification of these gifted Black girls. Qualitative analysis strategies (Spradley1980) were utilized for data analysis. The curriculum of the gifted programming at GS1 (pseudonym) ultimately contributed greatly not only to how girls saw themselves as gifted, but also how they understood stereotypes about young Black women. The feminist curriculum and the "feminist lens" provided in the gifted programming at GS1 provided outlets for girls' voices. Teachers interviewed not only understood the gifted Black girls' culture, but also strengthened their relationships with the girls and with their parents by presenting and enforcing clear expectations for the gifted programming. Parents interviewed not only understood their gifted daughters' uniqueness, but also the importance of their independence and security as young Black women.
Montie, Mary L., "Where Are All The Gifted Black Girls? Giving High School Girls Voice Via Qualitative Research Approach And Black Feminist Theory" (2013). Wayne State University Dissertations. 676.