Category: Poster

74 - Shining a Light on Gifted Students: Student Reflections on Influential Teachers

Saturday, Nov 11
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Galbraith wrote about Eight Great Gripes of Gifted Kids: Responding to Special Needs, a list of concerns as expressed by over 400 students. As one participant noted, “Finally someone is asking us what we think about all this gifted stuff.” Students’ reflections spotlight their beliefs, in this case, about influential teachers. Middle school students, recognized by their schools as outstanding in different content areas or achieving top scores on above-level exams, provided comments about teachers who made a difference in their lives. An analysis of hundreds of comments provides insights into the ways teachers help students succeed in the face of adolescent angst.

Laurie Croft

Associate Director, Professional Development; Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa

Laurie Croft is a clinical professor of gifted and talented education in the Department of Teaching and Learning, University of Iowa College of Education; she serves as the Associate Director for Professional Development at The Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center in Gifted Education and Talent Development. She received her Bachelor of Arts (Honors) and Master of Arts degrees, both in History, from Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma, respectively. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at the University of Tulsa, emphasizing gifted education. Research interests include the conceptual foundations of gifted education, professional development for teachers of the gifted, and teacher excellence. Croft has made presentations at various state, national, and international conferences, and to parent groups, teachers, and school boards. As well, she has experience facilitating professional development in gifted education for educators from around the world. At the Belin Blank Center, Croft is responsible for planning and coordinating the comprehensive program of classes and workshops in gifted education that enable educators to earn an endorsement in gifted education; as well, she supervises practicum experiences for teachers of the gifted. She develops new professional educational opportunities for teachers, has designed new courses in curriculum concepts and in program models in gifted education, and is developing a graduate certificate in talent development. Croft serves as the Honors Advisor for the College of Education Honors Opportunity Program, and she encourages undergraduates in the Teacher Education Program to complete coursework in gifted education, a shortage area in Iowa, as well as other states.