Date of Award

Spring 3-10-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Martin Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jan Furman, Ed.D.

Committee Member

David Reid, Ph.D.


High-abiltiy, gifted, middle school, girls


Research shows that middle school is a critical time for gifted girls. There is much research as to why and the ways in which girls’ intellectual ambitions significantly wane during the middle school years, but not much on how to combat the issue. Whatever studies have been conducted in the area of gifted and talented female learners has been largely done in the public sector. Given the unique culture and practice of independent schools existing research on this topic in public schools does not provide a clear view of how independent schools are catering to their most highly able female learners.

This qualitative study explores how independent school teachers characterize their high-ability girls; the practices/procedures that independent schools employ to identify their high-ability middle school girls; the resources, structures, and supports in place to meet high-ability girls’ academic needs; and training in instructional practices and professional development provided to teachers to educate about high-ability girls’ academic needs.