Conceptual Foundations


How Many American Students are Above Grade Level?

Friday, November 10
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
Location: 208 B

Few topics have garnered more attention in education than student diversity and its influence on learning. However, the actual degree of variability of student needs that exists within a classroom has yet to be considered with regard to its implications for advanced learners. This study utilized four datasets to evaluate how many students perform above grade level in reading and mathematics. Results ranged from 20% - 49% and 14% - 37% in reading and mathematics respectively. We address what this means for K-12 schools, grouping decisions, and educational policy, including for those who hope to foster advanced abilities.

Scott J. Peters

Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

Scott J. Peters is an Associate Professor of Educational Foundations at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater where he teaches courses on gifted education, educational assessment, and research methods. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University specializing in gifted and talented education with secondary areas in Applied Research Methodology and English Education. He has presented at the state, national, and international levels on topics dealing with gifted education, educational policy, and research methodology and currently serves on committees and as an officer of the Wisconsin Association for Talented and Gifted, the National Association for Gifted Children and the American Education Research Association. He is the past recipient of the Fedlhusen Doctoral Fellowship in Gifted Education, the NAGC Research an Evaluation Network Dissertation Award, the NAGC Doctoral Student of the Year Award, and the UW – Whitewater Innovation and Outstanding Research Award. His scholarly work has appeared in Teaching for High Potential, Gifted Child Quarterly, the Journal of Advanced Academics, the Journal of Career and Technical Education Research, Ed Leadership, Ed Week, and Pedagogies. He is the first author of Beyond gifted education: Designing and implementing advanced academic programs – published by Prufrock Press.


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Matthew C. Makel

Director of Research
Duke University TIP

Matthew C. Makel is the Director of Research for Duke University’s Talent Identification Program. His research focuses on research methods and academic talent development. Matt earned his PhD in Educational Psychology from Indiana University, an MA in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University, and his BA in Psychology from Duke University, where he first started working with academically talented students while an undergraduate.


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Jonathan Plucker

Julian C. Stanley Professor of Talent Development
Johns Hopkins University

Jonathan Plucker is teh Julian C. Stanley Professor of Talent Development at Johns Hopkins University, where he works at the Center for Talented Youth and School of Education. Prof. Plucker studies high achieving students from an education policy and psychological perspective, with a focus on creativity, 21st century skills, and excellence gaps.


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Michael S. Matthews

Professor and AIG Graduate Program Director
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Dr. Michael S. Matthews is associate professor and Director of the Academically & Intellectually Gifted graduate programs at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is co-editor of Gifted Child Quarterly, and also has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children. Dr. Matthews also is Chair of the Special Interest Group—Research on Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent of the American Educational Research Association. His professional interests in advanced academics and gifted education include research methods; policy; science learning; motivation and underachievement; parenting; and issues in the education of gifted and academically advanced learners from diverse backgrounds, specifically those who are English language learners. Dr. Matthews is the author or editor of five books, over 40 peer reviewed journal articles, and numerous book chapters in gifted education. His work has been recognized with the Early Scholar Award (2010) from the National Association for Gifted Children, and the Michael Pyryt Collaboration Award from the AERA SIG—Research on Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent (2012).


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How Many American Students are Above Grade Level?

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