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Upcoming Gifted Education Institutes

Experience on-campus institutes that will help you grow as a professional and learn to address contemporary issues in gifted education. 

Click here to register online. If you have questions about the registration process, please contact the Center for Gifted Education at 509.777.3226 or gifted@whitworth.edu

Next Institute - Breaking Barriers: Understanding and Responding to Diversity in Student Potential (see details below) 

  • Date: Feb. 8, 2020
  • Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Location: Whitworth University, 300 W. Hawthorne Road, Spokane, WA 99251

Summer Institute - Mind the Gap: Strategies for Adapting Curriculum to Deepen Student Learning

After attending Whitworth's Institute on Differentiation last summer, I decided almost immediately that Whitworth was the best place to continue my education. The depth of knowledge, professionalism, and caring communication I saw from everyone I met there made Whitworth my clear decision.

Nick Castilleja, M.A.T., Gifted & Talented

Breaking Barriers: Understanding and Responding to Diversity in Student Potential

Students do not express their potential in the same way. Oftentimes students’ talents and potentials go unnoticed by parents, teachers, and counselors because how students express this potential is non-traditional. With help from experts, we can begin to identify and support the growth of the diverse spectrum of student potential. This one-day institute will prepare educators and parents to identify, understand, and support diverse expressions of potential, including underachievement, perfectionism, twice-exceptionality, and social-emotional intensity.

REGISTER NOW

  • Dates: Feb. 8, 2020
  • Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Location: Whitworth University, 300 W. Hawthorne Road, Spokane, WA 99251
  • Cost: $180 per person (includes lunch)

Schedule

TimeActivity
9-10 a.m. Morning Keynote Presentation

The Unique Needs of Twice-Exceptional Students: Balancing Home and School – Susan Baum, Ph.D. and Robin Schader, Ph.D.
10 -10:15 a.m.  Break
10:15 a.m.-12 p.m.   Morning Breakout Sessions
  • Dual Differentiation and the 2e Learner – Susan Baum, Ph.D.
  • Keeping the Light in Their Eyes –  Robin Schader, Ph.D.
  • The Social and Emotional Development of Giftedness: What Do We Know?  – Jann Leppien, Ph.D.
  • Motivating Gifted Students Who are Not Achieving – Del Siegle, Ph.D.
  • A Moving Target: Diverse Expressions of Potential and Talent – Rebecca O’Brien, Ph.D.
12 -1 p.m.  Lunch
1-2 p.m. Afternoon Keynote Presentation

Getting to the Heart of the Matter: What I’ve Learned from Gifted Education – Del Siegle, Ph.D.
2-2:15 p.m. Break
2:15-4 p.m. Afternoon Breakout Sessions 
  • Promising Practices in Gifted Education for Identifying and Supporting Underserved Populations – Del Siegle, Ph.D.
  • Climbing the Ladder: Strategies for Ascending Intellectual Demand – Jann Leppien, Ph.D.
  • Supporting Critical and Creative Thinking the Simple Way – Rebecca O’Brien, Ph.D.
  • Curiouser and Curiouser: Down the Rabbit Hole of Equitable Identification and Services for Diverse Populations – LeAnne Nunamaker, Sarah Pack, and Nicholas Castilleja
  • I Think My Student is Twice Exceptional (2e). Now what? – Austina De Bonte

Additional Information

  • Check-in for the institute will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. All registered participants will receive an email at least one week before the event with detailed check-in and event information.
  • We recommend you bring a laptop computer or tablet. Free wireless will be provided.
  • There is no dress code for this institute; however, we recommend that you dress in layers to maintain your comfort.

Payment Information and Cancellation/Refund Policy

Payments with credit cards can be made via the online registration form. We also accept checks and purchase orders. Please email purchase orders to gifted@whitworth.edu or mail them to:

Whitworth University
Center for Gifted Education
300 W. Hawthorne Road
Spokane, WA 99251

All monies will be refunded if paid registrations are canceled by 5 p.m. PST on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. Requests for refunds received after this date will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Contact the Center for Gifted Education at gifted@whitworth.edu or 509.777.3226 to cancel your registration and request a refund.

Academic Credit/Clock Hours

You may elect to receive one graduate-level credit from Whitworth University for an additional fee of $150. There will be additional course assignments for those receiving graduate-level credit. This credit can be used to meet the elective requirement for the Washington State Gifted Education Specialty Endorsement offered at Whitworth. One graduate-level semester credit equals 15 Washington State Approved Clock Hours. Registration for credit will occur during the institute. 

Washington State Approved Clock Hours will be available for an additional fee. Contact gifted@whitworth.edu if you have questions.

Meals

Lunch is included in the registration fee. On the registration form, you will have the opportunity to inform us of any dietary needs.

Travel

The institute will be held on campus at Whitworth University. See here for a campus map and driving directions. 

For a list of local accommodations, see here. We have not reserved a block of rooms at a hotel. However, several hotels on our accommodations list offer special Whitworth University rates. To receive the special rate, use the provided online code or inform the hotel you are attending an event at Whitworth when making your reservation.

Session Descriptions

Keynote Presentations

(Morning) The Unique Needs of Twice-Exceptional Students: Balancing Home and School – Susan Baum, Ph.D. and Robin Schader, Ph.D.

Twice-exceptional learners have brains that are wired differently. How can we recognize them? And what helps them become successful learners? Keeping their exceptional abilities and perplexing challenges in mind, we will discuss the benefits of collaborative strength-based and talent-focused approaches at home and at school.

(Afternoon) Getting to the Heart of the Matter: What I’ve Learned from Gifted Education – Del Siegle, Ph.D.

One size does not fit all in the gifted and talented world. It doesn’t work with students and it doesn’t work with teachers. During this presentation, we will discuss the different roles teachers play in developing students’ talents, the importance of having a growth mindset, and the importance of recognizing student strengths and interests and the implications that doing so has on talent development.

Morning Breakout Sessions

Dual Differentiation and the 2e Learner – Susan Baum, Ph.D.

Twice-exceptional students require teaching that engages their advanced cognitive abilities while also helping them develop in lagging skill areas. Participants in this session will better understand the 2e learner and be able to implement strategies to differentiate curriculum and instruction to meet their needs. Practitioner evidence is from years of research-based strategies for use with 2e students.

Keeping the Light in Their Eyes –  Robin Schader, Ph.D.

As subjective as it may seem, you can spot engaged and happy learners by their “Eye-Q,” especially with twice-exceptional learners. Recognize, respect, and retain (or re-engage) excitement for learning.  It is essential to shift the focus away from only “fixing” or remediating problems toward the recognition and encouragement of strengths, interests, and abilities. This session will address parent and teacher roles that support a child’s cognitive, social, and emotional growth.

The Social and Emotional Development of Giftedness: What Do We Know?  – Jann Leppien, Ph.D.

Because of characteristics associated with giftedness (e.g., sensitivity, intensity, perceptiveness, overexcitabilities, advancement in certain talent areas, advanced moral development) some students experience their social and emotional development quite differently. These characteristics may contribute to challenges they face with age peers, siblings, and in the home and school environments. It is important that parents, educators, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists be informed about the affective development of these students and aware of strategies to provide for their positive growth. Come join us for an interactive conversation!

Motivating Gifted Students Who are Not Achieving – Del Siegle, Ph.D.

Lack of motivation is among the most frustrating issues facing parents and educators. Low motivation limits student opportunities and fulfillment. We will share research over the past 20 years that explored why some talented students are willing to tackle new challenges, while others seen insecure or uninterested. We will also share suggestions for increasing student motivation based on that work.

A Moving Target: Diverse Expressions of Potential and Talent – Rebecca O’Brien, Ph.D.

Gifted and Highly Capable students live in all different neighborhoods, communities, and social and cultural groups. These varied environments and contexts have their own social norms, beliefs, values, and expectations, making expressions of potential and talent appear very different across each group, especially when compared to more “traditional” gifted behaviors. In this interactive discussion, we will uncover how students from underserved and diverse populations express potential differently.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Promising Practices in Gifted Education for Identifying and Supporting Underserved Populations – Del Siegle, Ph.D.

Every child has a right to learn something new every day. Unfortunately, for many students from underserved populations this ideal is seldom realized. Traditionally, many gifted and talented programs have overlooked large numbers of highly talented students from underserved populations. The National Center for Research in Gifted Education has been studying schools that have proportional representation of underserved students in their gifted programs. We will share findings from NCRGE's work on the importance of better identifying high talent underserved students.

Climbing the Ladder: Strategies for Ascending Intellectual Demand – Jann Leppien, Ph.D.

At the forefront of gifted education is the narrow ridge of maintaining a standard of academic excellence while simultaneously increasing equity in access. As we expand the access of gifted programming to be more equitable, we must provide our diverse students with opportunities to learn that better prepare them for the increasing intellectual demand. In this session we will discuss practical methods and strategies for supporting students as they tackle challenges and curriculum of increasing intellectual demand.

Supporting Critical and Creative Thinking the Simple Way – Rebecca O’Brien, Ph.D.

Affirmation of and attention to high potential is critical for helping students to access opportunities for advanced learning. A learning context that allows high potential to emerge requires teachers to provide opportunities for children to engage in critical and creative thinking. But with all of the other demands on teachers’ time and resources, providing these opportunities can be challenging. We will discuss and share methods for incorporating critical and creative thinking into curriculum and providing opportunities for students to express their potential through these interactions.

Curiouser and Curiouser: Down the Rabbit Hole of Equitable Identification and Services for Diverse Populations – LeAnne Nunamaker, Sarah Pack, and Nicholas Castilleja

What does it mean to be inclusive? What does it mean to see potential in data? What does it mean to support the delivery of new and different services? How do you ignite a paradigm shift to serve your underserved students? Join us as we take you down the rabbit hole and share Pasco School District’s adventure of improving our identification and services for our diverse populations. 

I Think My Student is Twice Exceptional (2e). Now what? – Austina De Bonte

Do you suspect one of your students is Twice Exceptional (2e), but aren't sure what the disability is or what to do about it? Hear about ten common possibilities in detail (such as stealth dyslexia, auditory processing disorder and dysgraphia), what clues you might notice in the classroom, and what accommodations might be helpful to support student needs. Along the way, we'll discuss the difference between IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) and 504 Plans, why early intervention is so important, the many lookalikes of ADHD, and the national Misdiagnosis Initiative sponsored by SENGifted.org. This talk provides lots of actionable tips & techniques – bring your notebook!

Presenters
 

Del Siegle, Ph.D., is a professor in the Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development program at the University of Connecticut where he serves as director of the National Center for Research on Gifted Education.  He is a past-president of the National Association for Gifted Children. He was a recipient of the 2018 NAGC Distinguished Scholar Award and the 2011 NAGC Distinguished Service Award. He is a former co-editor of Gifted Child Quarterly, co-author with Gary Davis and Sylvia Rimm of the 6th and 7th editions of Education of the Gifted and Talented, and author of The Underachieving Gifted Child: Recognizing, Understanding, & Reversing Underachievement. Prior to becoming a professor, Del worked with gifted and talented students in Montana.

 

Susan Baum, Ph.D. is the Director of the Bridges 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy, a school for twice exceptional and Provost of Bridges Graduate School for Cognitive Diversity. She served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and is the past president and founder of the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS). Professor Emeritus from The College of New Rochelle, Susan is widely published in the areas of differentiated instruction, twice exceptional students, primary-aged gifted students, and social and emotional factors affecting gifted students.

 

Robin Schader holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a focus on talent development and the role of parental influence. She has worked as a research professor at the University of Connecticut and, for ten years, was the Parent Resource Advisor for the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). She is currently on the board of Bridges Academy, a school for twice-exceptional students, as well as the Bridges 2e Center for Research and Professional Development.

Susan and Robin are co-authors of the award-winning 3rd edition of To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled: Strength-Based Strategies for Helping Twice-Exceptional Students with LD, ADHD, and More (2017, Prufrock Press). They also co-authored the Viewer’s Guides for the documentaries 2e: Twice Exceptional and 2e2: Teaching the Twice-Exceptional, as well as a chapter titled Using a Positive Lens: Engaging Twice-Exceptional Learners (in Twice Exceptional: Supporting and Educating Bright and Creative Students with Learning Difficulties edited by Scott Barry Kaufmann, 2018, Oxford Press).

Jann Leppien 

Jann Leppien, Ph.D., is the Margo Long Endowed Chair in Gifted Education and a professor in the Graduate School of Education at Whitworth University. Whitworth's Center for Gifted Education supports policies that encourage the diverse expressions of gifts and talents and offers a Gifted Education Specialty Endorsement and Master of Arts in Teaching: Emphasis in Gifted and Talented programs. She is the co-author of The Multiple Menu Model: A Practical Guide for Developing Differentiated Curriculum, and The Parallel Curriculum: A Design to Develop High Potential and Challenge High-Ability Students. She has served on the board of the National Association for Gifted Children and currently serves on the Gifted Advisory Board for Washington, the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development for 2e students. She is president of Edufest, a summer teaching and learning institute in gifted education (www.edufest.org). She also provides professional development in the areas of identification, program services and advanced curriculum design.

 

Rebecca L. O’Brien, Ph.D. is currently an Assistant Professor of Gifted Education in the Graduate Studies of Education department at Whitworth University. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development from the University of Connecticut. She Before receiving her doctorate, she taught science, math, and robotics at a middle school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her research primarily focuses on characteristics and behaviors that encourage and limit the identification of high potential behaviors, particularly in students from underserved populations. Additionally, she has experience and professional interest in assessment, instrument development, and teacher learning.

 

LeAnn Nunamaker has worked in the Pasco School District in a variety of capacities for the last 28 years.  She worked for several years as an elementary classroom teacher, literacy coach, and assessment facilitator in a low income school with a high English Learner population. She then moved into administration serving as an elementary assistant principal and principal.  Currently she is serving as the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development where she oversees the District’s Highly Capable Program.  She has a passion for improving the identification of underrepresented students and increasing service options to meet their needs.  LeAnn holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Washington University and earned her administrator credentials from Heritage College. 

 

Sarah Pack is a Nationally Board-Certified High School English Language Arts teacher who is currently serving as Pasco School District’s Highly Capable Teacher on Special Assignment. Sarah has worked for the Pasco School district for the last 14 years, most notably at Delta High School, a STEM high school where she was awarded three times for her innovative and collaborative instruction using long-term project-based learning practices to integrate English Language Arts curricula with STEM classes such as Advanced Organic Chemistry and Algebra. However, her greatest honors are being asked by Delta’s graduating class of 2014 and 2017 to deliver the keynote speech at their commencement ceremonies. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from Eastern Washington University and a Master’s degree in Strategic Communication from Washington State University.

Nicholas Castilleja 

Through his experience teaching multiple levels, subjects and populations, Nick Castilleja has become a strong advocate for elevating instructional best practices to give students the dynamic education they deserve. Now in his 10th year of teaching, Nick is challenged and inspired by the intellectual/social/emotional needs of 22 bilingual, highly capable 6th grade students in Pasco, Wash. His passion for teaching gifted students has fueled his educational growth, and Nick has come to specialize in project-based learning, tailoring engaging learning environments, differentiating instruction and curriculum writing for gifted students. Approaching the close of his master's in gifted education, Nick plans to continue sharing his passion for gifted education through professional development and consulting.

 

Austina De Bonte is a consultant at Smart is not Easy, LLC (www.smartisnoteasy.com). Since 2012, Austina has also served as the President of the Northwest Gifted Child Association (www.nwgca.org), the Washington State support and advocacy non-profit for families with gifted children. A dynamic and engaging presenter, Austina speaks regularly at conferences, as well as conducts parent education talks and professional development workshops for educators about the unique social and emotional development of highly capable (HiCap) or "gifted" children. She is also available to work with school district teams to develop and fine-tune their HiCap program models, especially concerning equitable identification strategies. Austina's signature style combines her experience as a parent and parent coach along with synthesized research, current district practices across Washington State and cutting-edge neuroscience. She has a Masters degree from MIT and did her graduate thesis in the MIT Media Lab's Epistemology and Learning Group, where Lego Mindstorms was invented. Austina is a certified SENG Model Parent Group facilitator.

Summer Institute

Mind the Gap: Strategies for Adapting Curriculum to Deepen Student Learning

  • Dates: June 24-26, 2020
  • Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Location: Whitworth University, 300 W. Hawthorne Road, Spokane, WA 99251

Curriculum is a critical factor in student success, particularly for students who have high potential or who have been identified as highly capable. Teachers, administrators and instructional specialists are required to meet the diverse needs of all students, but oftentimes the curriculum alone is unable to accomplish this task. This three-day institute will equip educators with curricular strategies and instructional practices to adapt curriculum in a way that effectively differentiates students with academic potential, including those from underrepresented populations, and deepens student learning.