Instructional supervision and gifted education
Bentley, Patricia Ann
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This qualitative study examined the perspectives of elementary school teachers assigned to the gifted program in one school system in Georgia. The researcher sought to understand how elementary school teachers of gifted students characterized their past supervisory experiences and if these teachers believed they should be supervised to better support the teaching of gifted students. Convenience sampling was used to select teachers from one school system in Georgia. Data from three semi-structured interviews with each participant were analyzed using the constant comparative method. During cross-case analysis, eight categories emerged demonstrating how the participants characterized their past supervisory experiences as positive (freedom to do the job, moral support, problem solving, material support), or negative (lack of curriculum guidance, lack of voice, lack of appreciation for the gifted program, supervision as evaluation). Findings indicated that teachers in the gifted program received positive supervision in the form of freedom in curriculum development, moral support in the form of encouragement, and assistance in solving problems with parents. Findings also revealed negative supervision in the form of limited curriculum guidance, little coordination of curriculum materials between schools, lack of teacher input into program development, lack of appreciation for the abilities of gifted students and the gifted program, and the use of evaluation observations as supervision. Findings also revealed teachers of gifted students wanted quality supervision and to be curriculum guidance, collegial program development, supervisors knowledgeable about gifted appreciated for the work they do.