Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Norma Hafenstein

Second Advisor

Paul Michalec

Third Advisor

Garrett Roberts


Advocacy, Empathy, Gifted, Gifted adult, Gifted programming


This study examines the perceptions of gifted adults, who are educators, in order to understand the empathy and advocacy that comes with a shared childhood experience. This is a qualitative study that used narratives to voice the experience of the gifted child through the memory of eight gifted adult educators. These memories, and reflections on identification, were told through interviews. Themes emerged related to empathy, advocacy, and cognitive dissonance, as well as imposter syndrome, career readiness, gifted minorities and the positives of gifted programming. Ultimately, it was found that gifted programming is overwhelmingly a positive experience and mirrors the statement that “research consistently demonstrates that gifted students who receive any level of services achieve at higher levels than their gifted peers who receive none” (Callahan & Hertberg-Davis, 2018, p. 226), and at the same time, gifted programming or lack thereof influenced each gifted educator’s teaching practice as well as empathy towards the gifted student.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Laura N. Boroughf


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

266 p.


Gifted education