Peer referral as a process for locating Hispanic students who may be gifted
AuthorUdall, Anne Jeannette
KeywordsGifted children -- United States -- Identification.
Hispanic American children -- Education -- United States.
Minorities -- Education -- United States.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe underrepresentation of minority students in gifted programs is well documented, and is due, in large part, to limited definitions of giftedness and inadequate identification techniques. New methods of locating and identifying gifted minority students must be developed. The peer referral procedure has been cited as one method for locating students who may be gifted but are overlooked by the most common referral source--classroom teachers, but researchers have not investigated directly the use of peer referral for locating minority students in any ethnic group. The subjects were the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students (N = 1564) and their teachers in nine selected schools, divided into three groups: (a) schools with a Hispanic population of over 75%, (b) schools with an equal proportion of Hispanics and Anglos, and (c) schools with less than 25% Hispanic students. Students completed a peer referral form designed to reflect traits of gifted Hispanic students. Also, the number of teacher referrals using the traditional school district procedures was collected. Primary areas of investigation included the (a) relationship between the ethnicity of the nominator and nominee, (b) relationship between the gender of the nominator and nominee, (c) usefulness of peer referral to locate Hispanic students who may be gifted and (d) sensitivity of the peer referral instrument to Hispanic students. Qualitative and quantitative statistical techniques were used, including stepwise logistic regression, cluster analyses, odds ratios, and content analysis. Findings indicated that peer referral was a useful technique for locating Hispanic and Anglo students that teachers did not refer. Few differences were discovered between the Hispanics and Anglos on the instrument. Students referred peers who matched a stereotypical profile of the academically gifted student. In the balanced schools, Anglos tended to nominate other Anglos and Hispanics tended to nominate other Hispanics. Gender nomination patterns varied, depending on the question focus. Peer referral is a promising practice for locating some Hispanic students who may be gifted; however, if minority students who are different from the majority gifted student are going to be found, other methods of referral, besides teachers and peers, are needed. Researchers must continue to explore the differences and similarities between majority and minority children who are gifted.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Special Education and Rehabilitation