Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.
Educational Administration and Higher Education
School of Education
Dr. John Eller
Dr. Elizabeth Fogarty
Dr. David Lund
Dr. Plamen Miltenoff
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
bullying gifted counselors gifted prevention intervention
Despite 40 years of significant national research on various aspects of bullying (Espelage, & Swearer, 2004), and although past research has intentionally spent time examining bullying in specific populations, one population ignored in the research is the gifted student population (Peterson & Ray, 2006a, 2006b). The limited research available indicates gifted students may be vulnerable or are at risk of being targets of bullies, may become the bullies, or may even be bully-victims (Cross, 2001a, 2001b; Peters & Bain, 2011; Parliament of Victoria, 2012; Roddick, 2011; Schroeder-Davis, 2012). While educators and administrators play an integral role in the development and safety of the gifted child, the research is clear; school counselors are best suited to serve the unique developmental needs of gifted students (Bauman, 2008; Philips & Cornell, 2012).
The study was conducted to understand how versed and skilled counselors perceive their abilities to be in addressing gifted and bullying at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. Data was collected through interviews of 9 Minnesota counselors who serve gifted students, 3 at elementary, 3 at middle school and 3 at high school. Data showed bullying is a concern at the elementary and middle school level. Gifted students were identified as a targeted group at the elementary and middle school level. Most elementary and middle school counselors did not feel confident in serving the unique social and emotional needs of gifted students. The study found counselors did utilize numerous strategies to address bullying, more at the elementary level with fewer utilized at the high school level. Most counselors in the study reported an anti-bullying program is being utilized, with four counselors reporting no program being used. Counselors overall perceive the strategies utilized by administrators were effective for reducing bullying.
The themes of the dissertation include: the concept of giftedness, the unique social and emotional needs of gifted students, the evolving role of the counselor in serving gifted students, and the information about bullying and prevention and intervention.
The study contributes to the body of research on bullying by providing more information for those who work toward understanding the healthy development of gifted youngsters. Also, the study sheds light on preparedness of counseling programs at colleges and universities preparing counselors to meet the unique needs of gifted students.
Halley, Rick, "The Perceptions of School Counselors on Preparedness for Serving Gifted Students Using Bullying Prevention and Intervention Strategies" (2020). Culminating Projects in Education Administration and Leadership. 71.