Dr. Lisa M. Ridgley, 2020 Early Career Researcher Mini-Grant winner

Dr. Lisa M. Ridgley

Dr. Lisa M. Ridgley will be studying how inequity in gifted education is a ubiquitous concern for gifted educators, practitioners, and researchers.

Black, Hispanic, low-income, and twice-exceptional students might be underrepresented in gifted programs because they are missed during gifted identification procedures.

One prevalent but controversial gifted identification process is the use of teacher nomination. Although some studies suggest that teacher nominations are biased for black, Hispanic, low-income, and twice-exceptional students, the small sample sizes of teachers asked to make nominations and the lack of diversity in those teacher samples make it challenging to draw conclusions about the ways in which specific student and teacher characteristics impact nomination decisions.

Dr. Ridgley’s study will engage in a large-scale collaborative effort to explore teacher nominations and involve not only a larger sample of teachers but greater representation of students from diverse backgrounds. Within this collaboration, teachers will be recruited to read four randomly assigned teacher vignettes with student characteristics manipulated and make nomination decisions for gifted identification, grade skipping, grade retention, and behavioral intervention.

Teachers will also provide demographic information (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity) and information on their teaching background in general (e.g., years of experience) and in gifted education (e.g., professional development, certificate/endorsement).

Dr. Ridgley’s study will use multilevel path analysis to explore how student and teacher characteristics affect each of the four nomination options.

The Mensa Foundation’s Early Career Researcher Mini-Grant was created to fund research related to intelligence, creativity, or gifted education and in support of a research agenda focused on issues that promote the understanding of intelligence.