Principals' Perceptions of GATE Teachers

Principals' Perceptions of GATE Teachers

Judith Richards McDonald (Belmont Abbey College, USA), Warren DiBiase (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA) and Nick Triplett (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5879-8.ch015

Abstract

Much has been written on the education of gifted and talented students, including the professional education of teachers for gifted and talented students. However, not much research exists on the education of gifted and talented faculty members. This chapter attempts to address this void. This chapter describes a research study undertaken to assess principals' perceptions of gifted and talented faculty members in their respective schools. Feedback from the principals addresses such topics as the education, professional development, characteristics, and retention of these teachers.
Chapter Preview
Top

Literature Review

Determining what it means to be an effective or exemplary teacher is a complex endeavor. The meaning of “effective, exemplary, quality” (all used interchangeably here) are contested (Warner, 2016), as are the various bases upon which to determine effectiveness. Furthermore, the measurements we use to make determinations about teacher quality, such as student academic outcomes, cognitive development, or teacher traits, actions, and practices, are similarly complex and contain simultaneous and overlapping influences nested in the teacher, their students and the school and community context (to name a few). As researchers have endeavored to determine effectiveness based on various outcomes (i.e. cognitive, motivational-affective, and learning processes), different sets of practices and indicators of effectiveness have emerged as the strongest predictors of exemplary teaching (Seidel & Shaverson, 2007).

Even if one could account for student, school and community factors as some studies have (Seebruck, 2015; Stronge, Ward, Tucker, & Hindman, 2007; Munoz, Scoskie, & French, 2013), there are contested meanings around effective teachers and effective teaching practice. Should one emphasize teacher traits (background, education, qualifications, gender, ethnicity) and cognitive characteristics (beliefs, dispositions, content knowledge, pedagogical approach), or should we simply observe what they do in their teaching practice (Kyriakides, Christoforou, & Charalambous, 2013)? Moreover, those who have spent time observing teachers and judging their effectiveness often note certain intangible qualities, some manner of “it” factor that escapes adequate operationalization in the extant research. Despite the complexity of the issue, teacher quality is of substantial scholarly and practical interest because of strong evidence that teacher effectiveness (however defined) seems to have a substantial effect on many of the core goals of education including student cognitive development, academic learning, and social/emotional development (Munoz et al., 2013; Stonge, Ward, & Grant, 2011; Palardy & Rumberger, 2008; Warner, 2016).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Gifted Teachers: In this context, it is teachers who are gifted themselves, those who are described as having “it.”

Teacher Characteristics: Depictions used to describe a teacher through the process of teaching.

Interpersonal Relationships: The dynamic that exists among teachers and students in a classroom.

Classroom Environment: The climate both physical and psychological that a teacher creates in their classroom.

Teacher Effectiveness: A measure of the degree to which a teacher increases student learning.

Student Learning: Students making meaning of content or concepts they experience in a learning episode.

Principal’s Perceptions: This is the principal's beliefs, based on observation and interaction, on gifted teachers.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset