Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Sharon Hayes

Committee Member

Carla Brigandi

Committee Member

Audra Slocum

Committee Member

Melissa Sherfinski


Using narrative inquiry, this case study explored how one teacher, who had deep connections to place, learned and utilized the place-based Enrichment Triad in her rural Appalachian elementary gifted program. Data collected included teacher, student, and parent interviews and classroom observations. Data were analyzed using a socio-cultural narrative analysis and narrative thematic analysis. Results from analysis created thick descriptions of the teacher’s journey to teaching, her existing practices, her experiences learning and implementing the framework, and her future curricular intentions. Developments in the teacher’s practice included establishment of scope and sequence, a sharing of power, and embracing students’ identities through internal motivation supports. Other curricular factors such as becoming a facilitator and limited intentions of continuing place inclusions were noted. Results also indicated an impact on students’ affective developments, autonomous practices, and positionings within the curriculum and their place.

Collectively, these findings indicate merit for place-based education and the Enrichment Triad in a small rural gifted program. Findings also suggest that written and unwritten policies of place impact a gifted teacher’s positioning, structural conceptions and programmatic enactments. Lastly, a teacher’s strong sense of place does not assure purposeful inclusion of a place sensitive curriculum. Implications for future curricular learning and support for rural gifted teachers to meet their rural talented students’ needs are discussed.