Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Charles S. Hausman

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Second Advisor

Mary W. Spor

Department Affiliation


Third Advisor

Tara Shepperson

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Decades worth of studies have documented the role of teacher training in identifying children with exceptional needs. Yet, none have investigated the differences between teacher training, teacher knowledge, and teacher roles in relation to the identification of twice-exceptional (2E) children. There is a need to understand the factors that affect teachers’ knowledge and abilities to identify 2E students, specifically during the early formative years [primary and middle grades] when identification commonly occurs. Supported by the Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory, Autonomous Learner Model (ALM), and Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM), the purpose of this quantitative study was to determine if teacher education and training programs in Kentucky adequately prepare educators about twice-exceptionality. An electronic survey method was used to collect data from 478 K-8 educators across Kentucky. Questions were based on three diagnostic labels – gifted (G/T), special education (SED), and 2E – to enable comparisons between teachers’: (1) understanding of eligibility definitions; (2) familiarity with state guidelines and level of experience working with each group of students; and (3) confidence levels when identifying 2E students. Data analysis utilized independent one-way ANOVAs to determine the equality of means and variance; and frequency, means, and correlation tests provided descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings indicated that teachers who received advanced training had greater knowledge and understanding of 2E students, reported higher levels of confidence, and a greater willingness to allow for more factors to be considered when identifying and referring 2E students for dual services. The study exposed a lack of knowledge about 2E in Kentucky; however, the results show that it may be possible to correctly identify and refer more 2E students if more specific training were provided. A recommendation included stakeholders, policy makers, and educational leaders pushing for teachers to receive more in-depth training in order to properly identify [2e] students. The benefits may not only be felt within schools, but also by the 2E and society-at-large.