Teacher perceptions of gifted cultural minorities: An Australian study

Author

Genevieve Thraves

 

This paper presents findings from a qualitative case study set within an Australian boarding school, which explored the perceptions of teachers in relation to gifted cultural minorities. The study aimed to shed light on the persistent underrepresentation of some cultural minority groups in the extension and enrichment programs offered at the study site. Ten teacher participants at Boarding College [Pseudonym] were recruited and interviewed in relation to their views on the topic. Thematic analysis revealed that the teachers held diverse views of cultural minorities, and lacked the cultural competence to respond to the gifted needs of these learners. The teachers also viewed giftedness and gifted programs as performance based, and this may act to preclude some cultural minorities from being identified. Furthermore, it was found that the teachers often viewed the underrepresentation of Indigenous students in gifted education as stemming from issues relating to the students and their culture, and from systemic school-based factors. Despite these somewhat negative findings, teachers at the study site viewed it to be an educator’s responsibility to cater for the gifted cultural minority student, suggesting the participants would be willing to address the problems identified.

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Keywords: gifted cultural minority students, cultural competence, underrepresentation