Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Shin, Eui-kyung

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Curriculum and Instruction (CI)


Gifted students have unique social-emotional needs that are amplified through their heightened sensitivities or overexcitabilities. Common traits that gifted students exhibit in addition to their social-emotional needs are similar to those needed for the optimal level of citizenship, the justice-oriented citizen. This qualitative study asked a convenience sample of gifted students to reflect on their social-emotional development and overexcitabilities and how their gifted traits have begun to prepare them for justice-oriented citizenship.To gather data to be coded, nine incoming 7th grade students in a gifted program were recruited from a self-contained gifted program. These students participated in this study by engaging in virtual interviews, focus groups, and by writing journal entries. They were consulted on their personal social-emotional growth as well as their understanding of the world around them. They shared their reflections, and those reflections led to the emergence of themes that ultimately guided this researcher to an assessment of the data. It was found that these middle-school students had a strong understanding of their own overexcitabilities, strengths and areas that were in need of further growth. As they shared stories and reflections their self-awareness became more apparent. A disconnect appeared in the area of leadership. It was also discovered that relationship skills, particularly with non-gifted peers was a challenge. Finally, their remarkable ability to make decisions about events in their lives and then reflect on those events coupled with their vast knowledge of the world around them provided a research foundation that this population overall demonstrated a high potential for justice-oriented citizenship.


199 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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