Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Thomas N. Turner

Committee Members

Dorothy Hendricks, Lester Knight, Michael Fitzgerald


The purpose of this study was to determine the defining qualities of teachers of the gifted. Five teachers of gifted students in the Knox County System were identified as being successful and effective based on supervisor and administrator evaluation. A series of structured interviews and observations were conducted. A rubric was also completed by the TAG supervisor. The researcher completed a thick description of each TAG teacher’s classroom. Based on the analysis of interviews, observations, and rubric data, the researcher attempted to identify and describe the characteristics, which contributed to the effectiveness of those teachers. The researcher concluded from the data that successful teachers of the gifted seemed to be more flexible or adaptable than their less successful counterparts, had a rich variety of experience, had broad and varying interests, were open and approachable, demonstrated a variety of teaching styles, and considered themselves knowledgeable or interested in research pertaining to gifted education. Neither age nor gender appeared to be a factor.

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