Snapshots: A Phenomenological Look at Adult Specialists in the Field of Gifted Education

Copyright 2013 Kimberly M. Berman


The phenomenon of living as a specialist in the field of gifted education has inherent problems and advantages. It is my intent with this phenomenological study to describe the essence of this lived phenomenon. Specialists in gifted education have provided pictures of various populations connected to giftedness and commentary on social and educational issues involved. Through individual interviews, I have turned the lens around and generated snapshots of the personal and professional lives of five specialists, discovering common bonds which illustrate their experiences. Studying their lived experiences has uncovered ethical, social, economic, and political dimensions of their lives that provide insight into shared experiences and commonalities. George Betts, Jim Delisle, Ellen Fiedler, Rick Olenchak, and Phil Perrone all contributed greatly to scholarship and practice in the field of gifted education and proved fascinating subjects.

Driving research questions included: How do specialists in the field of gifted education describe their lives looking back over their experiences associated with giftedness and being a specialist in the field? What personal lived experiences do they hold? What contexts or situations have influenced or affected their experiences? Semi-structured and multi-step interviews were used to collect lived experiences. Participants received interview questions to consider prior to the interviews. The transcendental phenomenological approach allowed me to gather stories which reflect the essence of being a specialist in the field of gifted education.


Adult Specialists, Transcendental Phenomenology, Gifted Education Dissertation

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