Twice-Exceptional Learners: Effects of Teacher Preparation and Disability Labels on Gifted Referrals

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The goal of this mixed methods study was to explore differences among teachers (n = 52 special education teachers, n = 195 general education teachers, and n = 30 gifted education teachers) on their perceptions of students with disabilities and their willingness to refer them to a gifted and talented program. In this follow-up to an earlier work, data reveal that teachers’ decisions for referral are significantly influenced by their teaching credentials and by the presence or absence of a disability label. When compared to teachers of gifted students and general education teachers, special education teachers are least likely to refer students to a gifted program, with disabilities and without. Results further indicate that all teachers are much less willing to refer students with disability labels to gifted programs than identically described students with no disability labels.