Empowering gifted Hispanic multilingual learners through a social justice curriculum in becoming agents of change : a single case study.


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The purpose of this single case study was to understand the teachers’ perceptions of one specific social justice curriculum’s impact on fifth-grade Hispanic Multilingual (HML) gifted students at Bright Future Dual Language Academy through the lens of Equity Pedagogy. With the number of gifted HML students on the rise in the United States, scholars have studied and addressed the barriers to identification that these students face for admission to gifted programs across the country (Ford, 2010, 2013; Grissom & Redding, 2016; Lohman & Gambrell, 2012; Mun et al., 2020, 2021). Progress has been made in breaking down identification barriers for HMLs, as research has served to address these obstacles and helped to create more equitable spaces in gifted education (Bernal, 2001; Card & Giuliano, 2015; Ecker-Lyster & Niileksela, 2017; Hurt, 2018; Lakin, 2016). However, fewer studies have looked at the curriculum that gifted HMLs experience in gifted programs (Callahan et al., 2015; Rubenstein & Ridgely, 2017). The current literature does not focus on the curricular needs of HML students and how to ensure that this population of learners is both supported and challenged; therefore, this study fills a gap as to what curriculum can best address the needs of gifted HML students.

The data collection method of this single case study consisted of collecting data from five teachers (four fifth grade classroom teachers and one gifted and talented specialist) through semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and curriculum documents. The findings of this study add to the scholarship about best practices in gifted education and curriculum for HML students and provide recommendations for further research in this area. An understanding of the instructional strategies used during this unit, along with the teachers’ perceptions of the curriculum, provided insight into the curriculum’s impact on students. Based on the results of this study, I include recommendations for three primary stakeholders: gifted coordinators and educators, school and district administrators, and parents.