Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

School of Education

Abstract

This dissertation employs a series of literary genres to navigate the reader through the importance of complicating normalized notions of giftedness and Latina identity as well as the interrogating the complexity of subjectivities. Using post qualitative inquiry (St. Pierre, 2014), I blend writing practices typically used in fiction and in theoretical inquiry. Fiction writing such as narratives, scriptwriting, poetry, visual-art, journaling, and poetry are implemented to analyze and represent the individuals in this inquiry. This dissertation consists of three Acts and an Intermission to carry the reader through the various stages of my inquiry. Through writing the dissertation in this manner, I highlight the discursive, cultural, and political structures that construct subjectivity and dismantle the modes of representation utilized in research. I employ Judith Butler (1990) to undo giftedness and reimagine the field of gifted and talented education. This inquiry highlights the means through which Latina identity is discursively constructed through sociocultural and political norms within gifted and talented classrooms and exposes how these learners disrupt ready-made constructions of Latina identity through subversive acts. Constructing a collective identity for these learners is problematic as the complexity of individual subjectivity makes it impossible to envision the Latina population as a homogenous group. Additionally, although the norms for giftedness that are embedded in the US school system possess a shaping impact on student subjectivity, giftedness ought to be viewed as a discursive construction. As these students reveal and have constructed through their experiences both inside and outside of the classroom, giftedness stretches beyond our normative perceptions within the United States. Through cultural translation (Butler, 2004), educators and curriculum theorists can begin to rethink static notions of giftedness by creating a new lexicon to dismantle the dominant discourses and hegemony of gifted education.

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