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Distinguished Scholar 2016: From Science Teacher to Talent Development Researcher: A Four-Decade Learning Curve

Friday, November 10
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
Location: 207 D

Scholarship in the gifted education arena has evolved over the past four decades, reaching a pinnacle relative to research contributions in three areas that reflect my professional expertise: twice-exceptionality, academic acceleration, and talent development in math and science. However, barriers remain relative to applying the research to the classroom setting or establishing research-based policy. In this presentation, I address the research advances in each of these areas and offer insights into how best to bridge the gaps between university research and classroom application.

Starting with twice-exceptionality, I will share the Belin-Blank Center’s twice-exceptional research agenda, which includes pioneering findings relative to assessment and intervention, and present ways in which educators can apply our findings in classrooms. With respect to the general topic of academic acceleration, the research is robust, yet implementation remains relatively inconsistent. We will review the research findings and connect these findings with the need for policy. Finally, the discussion related to talent development in math and science brings the entire presentation back to lessons learned as a former science teacher and the value added from research.

Susan Assouline

Professor and Director
University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center

Susan G. Assouline is the director of the Belin-Blank Center, she has a faculty appointment as professor of school psychology, and holds the Myron and Jacqueline Blank Endowed Chair in Gifted Education. She was awarded a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) at Johns Hopkins University and upon completion joined the Belin-Blank Center staff in 1990. She is especially interested in identification of academic talent in elementary students and is co-author of both editions of Developing Math Talent: A Comprehensive Guide to Math Education for Gifted Students in Elementary and Middle School. As well, she is co-developer of the Iowa Acceleration Scale, a tool designed to guide educators and parents through decisions about grade-skipping students. She is a leading expert on the decision-making process for acceleration and has consulted on several hundred acceleration cases. She has conducted numerous workshops for parents and teachers on acceleration, development of mathematical talent, and twice-exceptional students. Most recently, she led the editorial and writing teams for A Natoin Empowered: Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America's Brightest Students, the update to the watershed puboication, A Nation Deceived. She is the 2016 recipient of the NAGC Distinguished Scholar Award.

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