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  • 2018 Gifted Education Policy Symposium and Conference

    Talented Voices: Diversity & Equity in Gifted Education

  • Keynote Address

  • Keynote Speakers (Dr. Dina Brulles, Dr. Judy Kiyama, & Dr. Stephen H. Chou)

    Dina Brulles, Ph.D. is the Director of Gifted Education in the Paradise Valley Unified School District in Arizona where she has developed a continuum of gifted education programs. She currently serves on SENG’s Editorial Board and on their Diversity Committee (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted), and also serves on the NAGC’s Equity and Diversity Committee (National Association for Gifted Children). Dina assists school districts in evaluating and developing their gifted programs. She has created and supervised cluster-grouping programs and has become a recognized expert in that practice.

    Judy Kiyama, PhD is an associate professor at the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver. Her research examines the structures that shape educational opportunities for underserved groups through an asset-based lens to better understand the collective knowledge and resources drawn upon to confront, negotiate, and (re)shape such structures. Her research is organized in three interconnected areas: the role of parents and families; equity and power in educational research; and underserved groups as collective networks of change.

    Stephen H. Chou, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and Director of Training and Research at the Summit Center. He is also a licensed clinical psychologist within his private practice in Burlingame, CA and Boulder, CO. Dr. Chou is a current adjunct professor at the University of Denver. He has specialties in Family/Child and Multicultural/Community counseling and neuropsychological assessment, especially within the field of giftedness/2e/multi-e.

  • Morning Sessions

  • "Socioemotional Development of Gifted Children" - Stephen Chou, PsyD

    The socioemotional development of gifted children is beautifully complex. Numerous well-accepted concepts within the gifted field have been acknowledged, including, but not limited to, those of intellectual precocity, asynchronous development, socioemotional needs, twice-exceptionality (2e), and overexcitabilities (OE’s) within Dabrowski’s TPD. This presentation posits an understanding of the socioemotional development of gifted children that will incorporate the myriad concepts in the field of giftedness/2e to help guide parents, teachers, and clinicians with gifted children’s optimal growth and development.

  • "The Quicksand of Oppression: The Case for Gifted Critical Race Theory" - Robin M. Greene, PhD

    In a nation that is increasingly multicultural and multilingual, “our nation’s success depends on our ability to develop the talents of high-ability students in every community” (Olszewski-Kubilius & Clarenbach, 2012, p. 8), and the country cannot thrive in its current state. As gifted educators and researchers, we seek to create equitable opportunities for gifted culturally linguistically diverse learners; yet, our excellence gaps continue to grow and scholars continue to ask why. Before we can answer that question and influence change, however, we must step back as a group and reevaluate how we view the very educational structures and systems that are in place for students of color. The question then remains: How do we solve a persistent problem of practice which other scholars have been trying for years to resolve? The answer: Flip the traditional paradigm and begin using a Critical Race Theory framework to pull our students out of the quicksand of oppression.

    In this session, participants will dive into the theoretical framework of Critical Race Theory as it applies to gifted education. Participants will walk away with not only theory, but with concrete action steps that will help facilitate conversations in their schools/ districts using a Critical Race Theory lens.

  • "Exploring Diversity Through Books" - Robert Seney, PhD

    “There are many ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is best of all.” - Jacqueline Kennedy

    How do we build empathy and understanding in a world in which diversity is now the norm? How do we help our learners walk in someone else’s shoes? How do we help our learners learn the cultures of their classmates who are not like them? These are only three of the questions that we must address if we are to seriously consider the diversity in our schools, in our cities, in our nation, and in our world. Addressing diversity becomes even more important because of the sensitivities of gifted learners. They genuinely feel the inequities and injustices that often exist because of a lack of understanding of diversity. Literature provides a safe and highly appropriate vehicle for exploring diversity in all of its forms. By using a strength of most gifted learners - reading - we can bring the world with all its diversity into the classroom through literature. Through books we can address the issues of diversity. In this session, we will explore books that address different types of diversity and build a book list that can be used in the classroom to deal positively with diversity. As time permits, classroom strategies will be shared.

  • "Voices Heard Within and Beyond Tests – Identification in Colorado" - Jacquelin Medina and Colleen Urlik, PhD

    The pathways to identification in Colorado seek students from every region and school. Access to identification will be described in terms of Colorado’s four pathways toward identification and value-added practices of observation, performance, and systems support. Looking at evidence beyond a traditional test score will be demonstrated. Traits of the whole child and the voice of individual talent are also seen as important elements to consider when building and interpreting a body of evidence. The session supports both quantitative and qualitative approaches to identification. The session will also provide insight from a practitioner’s experience in schools with high rates of poverty and English Language Learners with exceptional potential.

  • "The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model: Introduction and Implementation" - Dina Brulles, PhD

    The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (SCGM) represents an inclusive model that allows gifted-identified students to learn together all day, every day, with teachers that receive specialized training. Implementing the SCGM enfranchises underrepresented populations and yields desirable achievement outcomes for all students with little impact to the school budget. Dr. Brulles will provide an overview, discuss implementation, examine achievement data for both gifted and general education students, and demonstrate methods for supporting the cluster-grouping model. Attendees will learn how to implement and teach in the model, identify gifted students, group students for maximum achievement potential, and build staff and parental support.

  • "Talented Voices for Diversity and Equity: Developing Leadership Giftedness to Fulfill One’s Purpose" - Theresa Y. Newsom, PhD

    Gifted and talented voices are children and youth born with the innate ability to lead, learn, and live successfully in their community (Newsom, 2016). Many of these students come from cultural diverse populations and represent untapped gifted talents and potential. Children and youth desire the opportunity to leave their comfort zone of routine and structure to create and inspire others. Students with leadership potential or leadership giftedness influence environments that can enhance and enrich positive school environments. Some lead to address a need, transform a situation, or tackle an issue. In this session a variety of strategies will be shared to teach, support and foster talented voices in their classrooms to identify their purpose and fulfill their academic potential while building socio-emotional skills too i.e. G.R.I.T., a growth mindset and purpose. Strategies include techniques to develop student’s leadership attributes through experiential and project - based learning activities that help students reach their potential and become who they want to be when access and opportunity are available.

  • "Knowing Your State Regulations + Bringing the Donuts = Advocacy for Gifted Education" - Molly Isaacs-McLeod, JD, LLM

    What is the status of gifted education under the law? While services for gifted education are neither governed by, nor funded under, the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), state regulations can be used to advocate for gifted students. In addition to briefly reviewing the history and current status of the law, we will discuss the role of federal statutes and state regulations in advocating for gifted students and twice exceptional students in the school setting. We will discuss tangible strategies for collaboration between schools and parents to support students and share instances in which “thinking outside the box” has provided challenging and engaging learning opportunities. Participants will be asked to share (via provided index card) their top two advocacy challenges, and strategies will be discussed to the extent time allows.

  • "Twice Exceptional: Successful transition from High School to College with AD/HD, Depression, or Anxiety" - Pamela Harris, PhD and Martha Cocchiaraella

    This session focuses on the educational and social/emotional needs of 2e students. Experiences will be compared to research about identification, treatment, and educational match for students with emotional/behavioral disabilities and giftedness.Daniels and Piechowski (2009), argued gifted individuals are misunderstood and dispositions cause them to experience life with intensity, creating misunderstood behaviors. Consequently, hyperactivity, distractibility, non-compliance, oppositional behaviors and disruptive behaviors are byproducts of giftedness rather than disorders. However, a failure to screen or address mental health challenges leaves 2e adolescent students undiagnosed and at risk for poor school and life outcomes. Completed survey results done by high school and college stakeholders about resources/needs for 2e students in transition from high school to college will be presented.

  • "La Loteria: Embracing Working Class Occupational Knowledge in Our Classrooms" - Luis-Genaro Garcia, PhD

    In this arts-based workshop the Latin American game of La Lotería is used to develop an art project focused on the working class occupation of our parents. Through the concepts of co-learning and co-teaching (Freire, 1970), and the funds of knowledge (Moll & Gonzales 2005), this workshop embraces the home culture, knowledge and social spaces of our students and reveals the importance of using the historical context of students’ knowledge and develop their social consciousness to begin challenging the socio-economic limitations that exist for underrepresented populations.

    This workshop draws on the historical knowledge of students in order to present culturally relevant pedagogy that embraces the working class occupations of student homes

  • "Anxiety in the Creatively Gifted" - Dana Doherty Clay and Adriana Clay

    The inspiration and perspective of a creatively gifted student trapped in a traditional classroom setting sets the stage for this presentation; creative energy is anxious energy. Although the well-known symptoms of anxiety are presented, the lesser known or acknowledged behaviors take center stage as this mother/ daughter team explores their own experiences as creatively gifted students and people. High achievers express their anxiety in very different ways than under achievers but no two students will ever be identical, so strategies for recognizing anxiety are discussed as well as outlets and coping mechanisms which educators and parents can encourage. Some dearly held research-based teaching strategies are not often successful with these students; the never-ending quest to teach excellent “executive functioning skills” as one-size-fits-all organizational skills to all students shows great disrespect for the creatively gifted and is an arguable contributor to under achievement and anxiety. Taking the time to understand the creatively gifted student’s viewpoint and thought process can help lead the educator and parent to solutions that foster success. A teaching perspective provides the second lead in this presentation.

  • "Identification of Gifted Characteristics Using the BASC-3 Rating" - Kristine Zytka

    This study will examine the value of the Behavior Assessment Scale for Children Third Edition in identifying gifted characteristics. Using a behavioral assessment tool to help identify gifted characteristics may help school psychologists make accurate decisions in regards to eligibility determination, which will ensure that students are receiving appropriate educational services that fit their needs.

  • "Looking at Diversity Through Individual Differences: Temperament" - Barbara Washington

    In measuring the well-being of gifted students, how does temperament and character play a role in their individual personalities? The TCI (Temperament and Character Inventory) measures the four temperament and three character dimensions of the psychobiological model of personality. This instrument can provide insight into self understanding and the effects of the whole being, the gifted individual and their well being.

  • "Cultural Competency: A Critical Component to Ensure Appropriate Gifted Identification of Every Student" - Hafenstein, Hesbol, Amiri, Lopez, Taylor

    Through the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program federal grant, we set out to understand the current local gifted identification process, as well as to develop and facilitate a process that would help increase the percentage of historically marginalized students in gifted programs around Colorado. This session is designed to share the results of our data analysis to date from our research project, Right4Rural. Central to our findings is the need for culturally proficient leaders to create a culturally competent school culture that celebrates difference and designs culturally appropriate curriculum in order that every student feels warmly welcome, thus supporting every student to demonstrate high levels of student learning outcomes.

  • Palmarium Award Winner

  • 2018 Palmarium Award Recipient - Marcia Gentry, PhD

    Marcia Gentry, PhD is a Professor of Educational Studies and directs the Gifted Education Resource Institute at Purdue University. She has received multiple grants worth several million dollars in support of her work with programming practices and underrepresented populations in gifted education. Dr. Gentry’s research interests include student attitudes toward school and the connection of these attitudes toward learning and motivation; the use of cluster-grouping and differentiation to meet the needs of students with gifts and talents while helping all students achieve at high levels; the use of nontraditional settings for talent development; the development and recognition of talent among underserved populations including students with diverse cultural backgrounds including Native American youth, and children who live in poverty.

  • Afternoon Sessions

  • "Gifted Education, Equity, and Diversity: So Little Progress" - Marcia Gentry, PhD

    In the keynote, the status of equity and representation as gifted by race and income has been discussed, and bold suggestions for mitigating this embarrassing and longstanding and unacceptable problem within the field have been offered. The workshop will examine the issues raised in greater detail.

  • "Early Access: Creating Success for the Youngest Gifted Learners" - Lindsey Reinert, PhD and Ruthi Manning-Freeman

    Coleman & Cross (2001) state: “Gifted students need opportunities to be together with their intellectual peers, no matter what their age differences.” With a combined 36 years working with gifted students, Doctors Manning and Reinert will present researched based findings that can help your school district manage Early Access efficiently and economically. The limitations found in recent Colorado research include district awareness to the process, favorability for engaging in the Early Access process and district readiness to do so. Come learn about the practical approach to making Early Access processes a timely affordable reality in your school district.

  • "Immersing Socio-Affective Instruction Within the Academic Gifted and Talented Curriculum" - Rebekah Granger Ellis

    The spotlight on violence by bright individuals questions why some gifted and talented adolescents fail to fulfill their potential despite advanced IQ scores and creative abilities. In performance-driven school culture, the focus has shifted away from nonintellectual development. However, if schools are to be emotionally, socially and physically safe places, we must reevaluate the overemphasis on the intellectual aspect at the expense of the socio-affective components, which inevitability leads to uneven psychological development.

    Typically, aspects of the affective domain have been studied separately: cognitive theories focus on judgment, social learning theories on behavior, and biological and psychoanalytic theories on emotions. Today, a growing body of research in neuroscience, neuropsychology, psychology, psychiatry, and education reveals that all three components are interrelated, interconnected, and interdependent.

  • "Secondary Pathway Opportunities for GT Students" - Colleen Owens and Jo Tiwari

    GT secondary students are ready and eager to engage in rigorous academic coursework as well as career-oriented courses, participation in career-based learning activities, and researchoriented projects. The Academy Program at Green Mountain High School expands and connects students to passion based learning through four academies: Arts, Humanities & Performing Arts; Business & Global Studies; Health & Human Services; and STEM. Fourteen Pathways associated with the Academies provide multiple opportunities to engage at a high level. Mock interviews, Academy Internships, Career Shadows and Senior Capstone Project are staples of the program.

  • "What Questions Do You Have About Gifted Children or Adults?" - James T. Webb, PhD

    In most sessions, speakers prepare what they want to say, and the audience simply follows along, perhaps asking a few questions at the end. This session is different. You can ask the questions that are on your mind, and it is the speaker’s job to make the answers relevant to the audience in general. You can submit written questions ahead of time, or at the beginning, or you can ask them during the session. Because the presenter has been influential in the field for almost 40 years, this is an opportunity to acquire information, perspectives, and practical suggestions in an informal manner that is both fruitful and dynamic.

  • "Finding Giftedness: Recognizing Potential in Underserved Populations" - Dennis N. Corash, PhD and Melissa Corash Woodward

    Knowing that gifted students are indeed found in all populations and that there is no one correct manner in which to identify them, one must reexamine how to approach the identification of underrepresented gifted students. These populations include students in poverty, minority subgroups, second language learners, students in rural areas and twice-exceptional learners, all of which present challenges to the status-quo of most identification systems. Traditional identification systems often overlook students from different economic, cultural, academic and linguistic backgrounds. Our purpose is to examine overlooked abilities and traits among populations as they relate to the critical components in identification of the potential giftedness in underrepresented populations. As a group examining case studies, one will see how these students interact within their worlds and look for the clues that might point to an individual student’s giftedness. These populations do not always demonstrate giftedness in the same manner as the majority of students currently identified in programs today. Through a different lens, such as Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities, factors contributing to underrepresentation and the identification of bias, one may see aspects of giftedness overlooked or misunderstood. It takes the skill of a tracker to seek out these students, identifying their gifts and the supports they need to be successful in our schools.

  • "Listening and Authenticity: Passion, Depth, Complexity, and Interpersonal Competence; A Student Panel" - Brian Michael Weaver

    Listening and authenticity are to gifted adolescents and young adults more than just ideas, they’re essential commodities – and in very high demand. When we consider the emotional health of gifted people in this digital age, we must recalibrate our understanding of both listening and authenticity as demonstrable acts requiring effort, skill, and courage.

    In this talk with highly gifted Denver students, we’ll rethink how passion and creativity help us discover the world around us, and bring enjoyment and power to the learning process. We’ll model the best way for parents, teachers and mentors to support the creative, passionate expression of our students with skillful, effortful listening. And we’ll talk about the added richness of supporting students in cultivating a “how to think” approach to their areas of interest.

  • "Finding Talent Candidates from All Demographics" - Vera Turner

    Students with talents often go unrecognized. This can be especially true for students from underserved populations. So how do we easily find talented students such as those who raise championship livestock, those who build robots in their garages out of spare parts, and those who translate fluently for their families and neighbors? Please join me as we look at an efficient - and free - process to find talented students from all demographics using resources that you already have.

This portfolio last updated: 31-Aug-2023 11:43 AM