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Edufest 2014 Morning Institutes

Participants will select one Edufest Morning Institutes to attend on Tuesday, July 29th - Friday, August 1st, 2014 from 8:30-12:00 p.m


Edufest Institute #1:

Understanding the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Students (Gr. K-12)


Dr. Tom Hébert - Professor, University of South Carolina


In seeking to understand the intricacies of gifted students’ development we must come to appreciate and respect their life experiences as gifted young individuals. Reaching that understanding involves examining their social and emotional development. Through interactive experiences we will explore the social and emotional characteristics and traits of today’s gifted students.  We will also explore the environmental influences that shape their lives and examine the identity development process. We will examine the role of family and peer relationships on their development. Special attention will be paid to the psychosocial issues influencing the lives of twice exceptional students, underachievers, and gifted culturally diverse students. Throughout the institute participants will engage in a variety of classroom strategies and methods designed to enhance the social and emotional development of their students.


Dr. Thomas P. Hébert is a professor of gifted and talented education in the College of Education at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Hébert has more than a decade of K-12 classroom experience working with gifted students and 20 years in higher education training graduate students and educators in gifted education. He has also conducted research for the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT). He served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and the Association for the Gifted of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). He has provided consultancy internationally in Italy, Taiwan, Paraguay, Peru, Mexico, Ghana and Hong Kong.


Hébert’s research interests include social and emotional development of gifted students, gifted culturally diverse students, and problems faced by gifted young men. He has published widely, including over 100 refereed journal articles, book chapters, and scholarly reports. He is the author of the award-winning text Understanding the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Students.  Dr. Hébert has received numerous research and teaching awards including the 2000 Early Scholar Award from the National Association for Gifted Children, and the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut.



Edufest Institute #2:

Talent Development in the Age of the Common Core  (Gr. K-12)


Dr. Susan Baum- Professor Emeritus from The College of New Rochelle

Co-Director of the International Center for Talent Development


With so much attention being given to rigorous standards, prescribed curriculum, and student outcomes and competencies, it is easy to retreat from the front lines of talent development focusing instead on basic skills.  This is unfortunate because it is precisely through talent development that the Common Core standards will come alive. Enriched learning, strength-based approaches, and student-chosen investigations will bring those standards to the forefront of learning.  In this institute, we will explore different kinds of talent development opportunities and align them to the Common Core Standards.  We will develop talent plans for our students both identified as gifted and twice exceptional and show how these experiences will enhance all aspects of student development.


Dr. Susan Baum is co-director of the International Center for Talent Development and Director of the National Institute for 2E Research and Development at Bridges Educational Center for twice exceptional education.  As a Professor Emeritus from The College of New Rochelle, Susan is an expert in twice exceptional education. As an international consultant, Susan has published in the areas of twice exceptional students, primary-aged gifted students, and social and emotional factors affecting gifted students. She served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Students and is past president and co-founder of the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS).  Susan has published widely in the areas of creativity, twice-exceptionality, and talent development. Her books include Creativity 1,2,3; Chi Square, Pie Charts and Me; and To be Gifted and Learning Disabled: Strategies for Helping Gifted Students with LD, ADHD and more.  She is co-editor and author of several chapters in Nurturing the Gifts and Talents of Primary Grade Students and is co-author of a book entitled Toolkit for Teens: A Guide for Helping Adolescents Manage Stress. Dr. Baum is also one of three authors of the popular book, Multiple Intelligences in the Elementary Classroom: A Teacher’s Toolkit, written in collaboration with Howard Gardner.




Edufest Institute #3:

Lifetime Literacy for Talented Readers and Writers  (Gr. K-12)


Dr. Susannah Richards

Associate Professor, Eastern Connecticut State University


This session will address the literacy needs of talented readers and writers and focus on strategies to create challenge in language arts and content area courses where highly able students cultivate their interest and abilities as readers, writers and thinkers. The focus will be on using Web 2.0 and print resources to escalate meaningful literacy experiences across genres. Suggestions for developing reading engagement with high level, critical thinking reader response activities will be highlighted.


Dr. Susannah Richards is an associate professor of education at Eastern Connecticut State University where she teaches courses in English Language Arts and Children's and Young Adult Literature.  Her areas of expertise include the Schoolwide Enrichment Model-Reading and a focus on literacy and literature, through which she serves as a reviewer of books for youth and a consultant to publishers. Beginning later this year, Susannah Richards will be writing a column on all things bookish for Teaching for High Potential.  She has been a presenter at NAGC for over 15 years and has served as the a co-chair for the Middle Grades Network, chair of the Teaching for High Potential Advisory Board and worked on publications and event planning for the association. She lives in a house of books, was a member of the 2013 John Newbery Award Committee and regularly reviews and presents on books and English Language Arts strategies for highly able readers and writers.



Edufest Institute #4:

Language Arts and Social Studies for High-Ability Learners: The William and Mary Curriculum and Teaching Models (Gr. K-12)


Dr. Catherine A. Little- Associate Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut


Curriculum materials developed at the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary combine study of advanced content with several key teaching models that promote higher-level thinking and discussion. This workshop will explore the specific teaching models that are the foundation of the William and Mary language arts and social studies materials, including focus on concept development, literary analysis and interpretation, vocabulary study, primary source analysis, critical thinking, and research. We will examine how these models may be used within the specific contexts of the units and in other teaching situations, including through interdisciplinary connections to other content areas.


Dr. Catherine Little is an Associate Professor in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. She teaches courses in gifted and talented education and in the undergraduate honors program in education and was recognized as a Teaching Fellow in 2012. She previously served as Visiting Assistant Professor in Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary, and as Curriculum Coordinator at the Center for Gifted Education there. Catherine received her Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership from William and Mary in 2001. Her research interests include professional development, differentiation of curriculum and instruction, and classroom questioning practices. She co-edited the text Content-Based Curriculum for High-Ability Learners with Joyce VanTassel-Baska. Catherine is currently serving as a Member-at-Large of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children.