Special Schools & Programs


Facilitation of the Whole Gifted Child through the Autonomous Learner Model

Friday, November 10
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Location: 217 A

The Autonomous Learner Model was developed by learners for learners, which supplants the traditional teacher-delivered method. The ALM is embedded in the approach of the Whole Gifted Child, which includes emphasis on the diversified cognitive, emotional, social, and physical domains, looking at giftedness and potential. This model moves beyond the label of “gifted and talented” to “giftedness” as an integral feature of who the learner is. Our emphasis is on activities that demonstrate what the learner can “become” rather than focusing on an identifying label. Attendees will leave with specific hands-on activities that can be implemented immediately, as well suggestions for specific learner-developed activities.

George Betts

Professor Emeritus, Gifted Education
University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO

George Betts
Professor Emeritus
School of Special Education
University of Northern Colorado

Dr. George Betts is Professor Emeritus, and founder and director of the Center for the Education and Study of the Gifted, Talented, and Creative, as well as the founder and director of the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) at the University of Northern Colorado for 35 years. He is an internationally acclaimed speaker and consultant who specializes in assisting schools, districts, states, and national organizations to implement and refine programs for gifted and talented learners. Dr. Betts developed the Autonomous Learner Model (ALM) for the facilitation of lifelong learners. The ALM is implemented throughout the world.

He served on the board of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) for 21 years and received the 1990-1991 Distinguished Service Award from NAGC. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented (CAGT) in 1996.
In 2003, NAGC selected Dr. Betts as one of the 50 Most Influential Leaders in the history of Gifted Education (Profiles of Influence in Gifted Education). In 2006 he received the prestigious M. Lucile Harrison Award for Professional Excellence at the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Betts considers this to be the capstone award of his career, since it was conferred by his professional peers. He is currently serving as President of NAGC.


Send Email for George Betts

Amy K. Graefe

Assistant Professor of Special Education-Gifted Education
University of Northern Colorado

Amy Graefe is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the School of Special Education at the University of Northern Colorado. Her primary research interests include secondary gifted education, creativity, and underrepresented gifted learners. Prior to joining UNC as an Assistant Professor of Gifted Education, Amy was a teacher and gifted education specialist for 22 years in the public schools.


Send Email for Amy Graefe

Blanche Kapushion

Director of Gifted and Talented Programming
Jefferson County Public Schools

I am Blanche Kapushion, PhD, from Denver, Colorado. I am a Colorado native, who loves to travel, read, garden, cook and learn from others who are as passionate about education as I. I earned my BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Elementary Education, my MA from the University of Colorado at Denver in Curriculum and Instruction and my PhD from the University of Denver in Educational Policy and Administration.

Professionally, the past thirty-two years has been dedicated to the Jefferson County Public School system. I have been an elementary level teacher for fifteen years, teaching every grade level except kindergarten. I have also been an instructional coach, program coordinator for the outdoor education program, assistant principal, principal and currently, Director of Gifted and Talented Education.

As Director of Gifted and Talented Education, I am responsible for our district identification and programming of gifted learners. I have a team of dedicated people that I collaborate with and we work directly with classroom teachers and administrators to provide quality education experiences for the 12,000 gifted learners in our district.

The past six years I have been on the Board of the Colorado Association of Gifted and Talented as the President-Elect, President and current past- President. I am thrilled at the work CAGT does throughout the state of Colorado to support gifted learners and their families. CAGT also has a solid and collaborative partnership with othe Colorado Department of Education. Together, with local affiliates, we are strengthening the possibilities for gifted learners in our state.


Send Email for Blanche Kapushion


Facilitation of the Whole Gifted Child through the Autonomous Learner Model

Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Facilitation of the Whole Gifted Child through the Autonomous Learner Model