Thu 18.09.2014 - 15:20-17:30 - Plečnik 2-3

The Role of the School Principal in Gifted Education   Paper  Presentation 


This paper will illustrate the important role of the principal in shaping the agenda in schools in relation to meeting the needs of gifted students. This international study will look at the experiences of principals in the Scotland, Ireland and the United States, through a series of interviews where they share their insights and understanding of the field of gifted education.

The role of the principal has rarely been considered in the literature relative to meeting gifted students’ needs. Most references concern general program development issues. In many cases, principals may have little or no training in gifted education, or even any interest in gifted education, particularly given all of the requirements of their roles.

Principals have a tremendous influence on how time is scheduled and utilised to support highly able pupils. To develop comprehensive support for gifted children, the school management should have at least a working knowledge of gifted education.

In this presentation, we will share the results of a study that examined the role of school leadership in addressing the academic and social-emotional needs of gifted pupils.

This case study research had two purposes:

  1. to examine the responsibilities of principals relative to gifted education in their schools and
  2. to determine principals’ knowledge of gifted education principles and the district policies regarding gifted education programming.

This research is particularly valuable since it provides an insight into how gifted education is conceptualised and placed within these systems and the similarities and differences experienced across the contexts. The themes emerging from this study include issues related to limited resources, the provision of additional support and how this support could be implemented.

Author(s): Colm O'Reilly, (Dublin City University, Ireland), Margaret Sutherland, (University of Glasgow, UK), Niamh Stack, (University of Glasgow, UK), Kimberley Chandler, (College of William and Mary, USA) Presenters: Colm O'Reilly, (Dublin City University), Margaret Sutherland, (University of Glasgow), Niamh Stack, (University of Glasgow)