Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Robert Sandieson


The present study asked the question: Why does the psycho-educational concept of the ‘gifted female’ exist? In an effort to determine why the gifted female came to be a separate category within the field of educational psychology, the pearl harvesting information retrieval method (Sandieson, Kirkpatrick, Sandieson, & Zimmerman, 2010) was employed to gather extensive literature about gifted females. Academic literature and research about gifted females from the past 100 years was collected and analyzed in a chronological format. . :

It was found that literature about the gifted female fell into five chronological phases. Phase I of gifted female literature focused on the absence of eminent women and the revelation of gifted females and gifted males possessing equal intellectual abilities. Based on the previous research of Phase I, Phase If discussed and acknowledged that gifted females were a type of ‘problem’ due to their masculine behaviours. Following Phase II, Phase III transitioned from viewing the gifted female as a problem to, instead, viewing her external surroundings as preventing her from excelling. In response to the identification of these numerous barriers, Phase IV then presented a variety of curricular and educational modifications that could be used to help gifted females become successful. Finally, Phase V, the most current phase, critiques the approaches and goals that educational psychologists have developed for gifted females.



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