Experiences in education: hermeneutics, gender and gifted education
This is a hermeneutic study on experiences being gifted, teaching gifted students and/or raising gifted children. This study focuses on how our horizon, which is a result of our past experiences, has an impact on how we make sense of our world and influences our attitudes and actions. As became clear during the conduct of the research, gender was the dominant characteristic of the horizon and unconscious hermeneutic processes these women used to make sense of their experiences. Gender, it became clear also impacted their self-understanding of who they were, what were their possibilities in life, and the decisions they now make as parents and teachers. For this study the researcher interviewed twelve teachers and parents from two different districts who are involved in gifted programs. Some of them had children involved in gifted classes, some were in gifted programs as a child, some worked in gifted programs as an adult and some were a combination of the three. Data consisted of twelve original interviews. Four of the original twelve were selected and each was interviewed a second time. Data from both interviews was analyzed hermeneutically. Included in the study are each participant's horizon and a topical analysis of the interviews. In addition, a thematic analysis is included which ties each interview to themes and cultural norms.