In 1998, Elizabeth D. Jones, former Associate Director of The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and Director of the Western Region; and Jim Davis, former Superintendent of La Cañada Unified School District in California; founded IEA to address the pressing needs of gifted children.
Almost 20 years later, IEA continues this legacy, creating a community for gifted students who seek to understand their intellectual and creative gifts. Our approach is based on the knowledge that an optimal match is the ideal learning method for the gifted student. IEA believes that, in order to fully actualize their abilities, highly able students require strong academic and personal development programs provided by skilled educators, administrators, and professionals. IEA is not limited to one approach to learning, but seeks the best strategy for each individual student, school, or school district. As one of the nation’s leading organizations for gifted and talented youth, we value the person above the test score. IEA is committed to the whole child, inspiring students to grow and find balance among all five aspects of self: intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical.
The Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) is dedicated to the intellectual, creative and personal growth of our nation’s gifted and advanced youth. Central to the mission of IEA is a commitment to the development of the whole child through engaging educational experiences that promote optimal challenge, mentorship, exploration of ideas and recognition of personal potential. IEA seeks to connect like-minded individuals and supports a diverse community that creates a sense of belonging and affirmation.
IEA’s philosophy is based on the belief that highly able students require strong academic programs provided by skilled educators, administrators, and business professionals to fully actualize their talents. IEA follows the Optimal Match Philosophy, the basic tenet of which is to match a student’s assessed needs with the optimal educational resources. IEA advances this philosophy as it works with each individual student, school, or school district to seek the best learning strategy for each unique child. IEA crosses traditional educational boundaries by working in public, independent, parochial, and alternative schools. IEA initiatives foster intellectual curiosity, the acquisition of knowledge, confidence, creativity, responsibility, and moral decisiveness.
To achieve our mission, IEA will:
IEA is an advocate for all gifted students. Giftedness occurs in every culture and every ethnic and social group, and our participants are diverse. IEA is committed to ensuring that all gifted youth, regardless of cultural background, ethnicity, national origin, race, faith, ideology, income, educational background, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation have the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity.
As an organization, IEA celebrates differences. We teach tolerance, respect and acceptance for all, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or background. We hope to inspire change in our nation by modeling integrity, respect and understanding. IEA strives to offer a welcoming space for conversation and healing, a space where uniqueness is honored, and discrimination and violence are never tolerated. Click here to learn more.
At IEA we work to create the perfect educational balance for gifted youth nationwide. The Golden Ratio, a mathematical constant used to create such perfect buildings as the Parthenon, is an apt mark for IEA. Finding the right ratio, that perfect balance for your child, reflects our commitment to ensure gifted young people grow into adults living meaningful, purposeful lives in whatever way they choose.
“UNLESS WE MAKE A COMMITMENT TO SAVING THESE CHILDREN, WE WILL CONTINUE TO LOSE THEM AND WHATEVER UNIQUE BENEFITS THEIR EXISTENCE MIGHT PROVIDE FOR THE HUMAN SPECIES OF WHICH THEY ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART.”
– Stephanie Tolan, IEA Senior Fellow
While gifted children make up 5-7 percent of the total student population, 75 percent of these young people receive little to no services.
The gifted student knows up to 50 percent of the year’s curriculum before the school year even begins.
“OUR GOAL, THE HEART AND MISSION OF IEA, IS TO HELP THE GIFTED CHILD GROW AND LIVE A PURPOSEFUL, MEANINGFUL LIFE IN WHATEVER WAY THEY CHOOSE.”
– Elizabeth D. Jones, IEA President