Words are wind: Using du bois and bourdieu to ‘unveil’ the capricious nature of gifted and talented programs

Roberto Montoya, Cheryl E. Matias, Naomi W.M. Nishi, Geneva L. Sarcedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Concerns over students of color gaining access to gifted education programs have persisted for decades; and while numerous educators, policymakers, and researchers have deliberated about the underrepresentation of minority students in gifted education, few articles utilize a theoretical approach explicating this dilemma. This article seeks to fill this void, utilizing Critical Race Theory and Latino Critical Race Theory’s counterstory/testimonies to understand and illuminate the capricious nature of gifted and talented programs in Denver Public Schools. Using Bourdieu’s notion of cultural capital and Du Bois’ analogy of the veil, the article demonstrates the role parents play in accessing gifted and talented programs and details how accessibility perpetuates racial disparities in schools that are lauded as being diverse and inclusive. Also discussed are issues of cultural capital, namely factors that enable and empower white parents and their respective students to remain in primarily white gifted education programs while excluding students of color. Finally, recommendations for changes to gifted and talented programs are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-143
Number of pages17
JournalJournal for Critical Education Policy Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Institute for Education Policy Studies. All rights reserved.


  • Bourdieu
  • Critical race theory
  • Du Bois
  • Gifted and talented
  • Latino critical race theory
  • Whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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