By Alexis Hopper, IEA Program Coordinator
This past weekend, Bridges 2e Center for Research and Professional Development hosted the 2019 Vision & Leadership 2e Symposium. I had the honor and privilege of attending its Super Sunday program, which offered a diverse range of presentations by leading experts in the field of Gifted and Twice-Exceptional research, advocacy, talent development and education. While not the full picture of the many wonderful conversations I had with new and familiar faces, here are a few highlights of the people, places and presentations that I learned from at this special event.
Susan G. Assouline, Ph.D. is a research, scholar and director of the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa, as well as 2019 2e Hall of Fame inductee. Her presentation, The Paradox of Twice Exceptionality: Unlocking the Door to Talent Development, introduced psychoeducational implications of clinically-based research with twice-exceptional individuals, as well as interdisciplinary research aims of neuroscientists, educators, computational geneticists and clinicians to help unlock and celebrate talent development.
Rick Olenchak currently serves as Head of the Educational Studies Department, Professor of Educational Psychology & Research Methodology, and Professor in the Gifted Education Research & Resource Institute at Purdue University. His presentation, Twice-Exceptional Persons, the 21st Century, and Lifespan Development as Viewed through an Affective Lens, emphasized the importance of socio-emotional development on all other development, and as it relates to Affect Development areas of need on the Bull’s Eye Model, including Natural Affect, World Context, Meta-Affect and Personal Affect.
Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli established the University of Connecticut’s annual Confratute Program with Professor Sally Reis, with whom he is also a co-founder of the Joseph S. Renzulli Gifted and Talented Academy in Hartford, Connecticut. He received the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Award for Innovation in Education, considered by many to be “the Nobel” for educators and was a consultant to the White House Task Force on Education of the Gifted and Talented. His presentation, A Curriculum Enrichment Infusion Process for Jazzing Up The Standards Driven Curriculum, introduced guiding steps to incorporate higher-level thinking skills, creativity training activities and application of skills into curricular content.
Sally M. Reis, Ph.D. holds the Letitia Neag Morgan Chair in Educational Psychology at the Neag School of Education and is past-president of NAGC, co-director of Confratute, and former Vice Provost of Academic Affairs at University of Connecticut. Honored as a 2019 2e Hall of Fame inductee, her presentation, From Deficits to Strengths: Past and Present Turning Points on 2E Students and the Education They Deserve emphasized the need for presenting each individual with challenging learning that is strength-based, that enhances interests and task development, and that results in a positive reaction to challenges
Ann Smith is Executive Director of Gifted Support Center and serves as Past-President for the California Association for the Gifted, on the advisory board for the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, on the Editorial Board for the Gifted Education Communicator, on the Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee for the USC/US Department of Education Jacob Javits Grant, Project CHANGE, and on a Public Policy Committee for the Institute for Educational Advancement. Leave Your Sleep for Education is an interdisciplinary language arts curriculum created by Gifted Support Center that uses poetry and music to engage across disciplines for PreK through 8th-grade students. The Leave Your Sleep for Educational Project: How an interdisciplinary curriculum can help 2e learners be recognized for their gifts, introduced non-negotiable elements of an interdisciplinary language arts curriculum that is designed to provide opportunities for sustained engagement and talent development.
We look forward to incorporating many of the takeaways from these fantastic presentations into the programs at IEA.
For more resources for 2e students, click here to visit IEA’s Gifted Resource Center.