Art: Indispensable Component of Core Curriculum for Gifted Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

Saturday, November 11
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Location: 202 A

Powerful new research results using best practices show that art is not just add-on fluff, but a critically essential component of core curricular content and a vital instructional strategy to engage all gifted children, but especially those who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Brief classroom videos will be presented to show how art in reading, writing, math, science, and history is the key to opening the doorway to creativity, innovation, and inspiring these children. Some 48% of Black, Native American, and Hispanic GT kids are missing. Those who do manage to be identified find that often instructional methods rely too much on logical-sequential methods. Art-centered instruction corrects that deficit.

Steven C. Haas

Associate Director, Indigenous Students Leap Ahead Project: Director, Visual-Spatial Learners Project
Institute for the Study of Advanced Development

Steven C. Haas has worked in gifted education as a Gifted and Talented Resource Consultant, mentor, classroom teacher, Advanced Placement instructor, school administrator, researcher, and middle school principal. Mr. Haas works at the Indigenous Students Leap Ahead (ISLA) Project in Denver, Colorado. He also serves as Project Director for the Visual-Spatial Identifier Project under the auspices of the Gifted Development Center, coordinating the development and validation of the Visual-Spatial Identifier©.

Mr. Haas is a passionate advocate for culturally sensitive instructional techniques and strategies that are respectful of the traditional visual-spatial learning style of Native American children. The natural synergy of so many applications from digital technology with the Native American visual-spatial learning style opens the door to strength-based programming and instruction, replacing the frustration of endless auditory-sequential remediation and catch-up.

He is a frequent presenter at the CAG/T, the NAGC, the WCGTC, the National Indian Education Association, and the Native American Student Advocacy Institute on a wide range of topics including teaching gifted visual-spatial learners, creativity and the gifted child, perfectionism, acceleration, and characteristics and needs of gifted Native American children.


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Jerry Lassos

Associate, Indigenous Students Leap Ahead Project
Indigenous Students Leap Ahead Project

Jerry is a member of the Tongva (Gabrielino) tribe, the Indigenous people of Los Angeles. He had the opportunity to visit San Nicolas Island (Island of the Blue Dolphins) hosted by US Navy archaeologist Steve Schwartz. This life changing opportunity refueled his passion for tribal history and for his work as an advocate for educational equity. Dubbed a “troubled kid from LA turned veteran teacher” by the Rocky Mountain News, Jerry Lassos has presented nationally and at the state and local levels. Jerry has worked as a teacher in gifted and talented programs and served as a resource consultant in Jefferson County and Denver Public Schools. His experience as a Jefferson County Diversity Trainer led to his selection as one of thirty participants in the Teaching Tolerance Institute. At this institute, organized by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the University of Washington’s Center for Multicultural Education, Jerry had the opportunity to work with Dr. James Banks. A reunion of the institute in Montgomery, Alabama allowed participants to visit the Southern Poverty Law Center, founded by a personal hero of Jerry's, Morris Dees. He is the 2008 recipient of Jefferson County’s Wayne Carle Award given annually for recognition of diversity work. Jerry was a founding board member of West Denver Preparatory Charter School. The recently renamed STRIVE Prep network now has 6 middle schools and a high school serving mostly Latino students. Jerry most recently served as an American Indian Resource Specialist for Denver Public Schools. He is currently the Curriculum Consultant for the University of Colorado, Denver's Pathways2Teaching.


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Art: Indispensable Component of Core Curriculum for Gifted Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

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Send Email for Art: Indispensable Component of Core Curriculum for Gifted Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students