Date of Award
Master of Education (MEd)
Dr. Mary Jean Goertz
Dr. Ana Maria Rodriguez
Dr. Ernesto Bernal
This study was completed to identify various factors that affect the level of involvement of parents who have children in gifted programs. Specifically this thesis attempts to identify the reasons parents do or do not attend parent meetings for the gifted, and the types of agendas at the meeting that these parents find to be the most beneficial.
The population studied consisted of parents of 117 gifted students, kindergarten through twelfth grade, located in a school district on the Western Slope in Colorado, who completed the Parental Involvement Strategies Survey. Data were complied by axial coding and analyzed for development of qualitative theory, frequency of answers, strategies, or suggestions given towards the end result of bettering parental involvement in gifted education.
The findings and literature support the view that parents of the gifted strive to support their gifted child's education, but often lack the necessary knowledge, time, and information to demonstrate this desire. Communication between the gifted student, teachers of the gifted student, and parents of the gifted child needs to be frequent and three-way in order for parental involvement in gifted education to be successful. Several parents stated that their children need to be the primary focus of meetings, and that a reminder from the children themselves would keep their involvement at a high level. Responses as to why parents' levels of involvement in gifted education were not greater overwhelmingly pointed to time conflicts and frustrations as to how to be better involved in key issues and concerns.
Several suggestions and strategies involving technology and increased communication among students, teachers and ultimately parents may assist parents of the gifted in their quest for increased levels of parental involvement. Only by working together, inclusive of all facets in gifted students' lives, can gifted children hope to achieve great success in their future endeavors - both inside the classroom and beyond.
University of Texas-Pan American