Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name



Educational Administration and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Kristina Hesbol

Second Advisor

Erin Anderson

Third Advisor

Lolita Tabron


Culturally and linguistically diverse, English Language Learners (ELL), Equity, Gifted, Gifted and talented (GT)


This study used improvement science methods to investigate a problem of practice surrounding the underrepresentation of ELL students in GT programming. This research addressed how teachers define giftedness using their underlying knowledge frameworks. The researcher conducted empathy interviews with parents of ELL students and a team of teachers to determine what the underlying issues are regarding the underrepresentation of ELL students in GT. The parent empathy interviews were coded using the combined conceptual framework of community cultural wealth (Yosso, 2005) and funds of knowledge (Moll et al, 1992). Through this process the types of capital and funds of knowledge were revealed. During the improvement science process, the teachers chose an aim statement to address teachers’ lack of awareness surrounding giftedness. The researcher identified three change ideas and created PDSA cycles to address each idea. At the close of the PDSA cycles, teachers were asked to redefine giftedness after they had added to their knowledge base. The results from this study showed that teachers were able to widen their beliefs regarding the definition of giftedness to include the types of community cultural wealth and funds of knowledge that were gathered from parent interviews. Through this work, the teachers involved in the process were able to become more aware, adding to their initial definitions of giftedness and making them more inclusive of ELL students. Policy and practice implications were identified in this study.

Publication Statement

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


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Molly I. Pargas

File size

193 pgs

File format





Educational leadership