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Curb Your Complacency: Advocate for Gifted-Related Professional Development!

We need more professional development in gifted education in schools. Find out WHY this PD matters, WHO is responsible, as well as WHAT is required, and HOW to proceed.

Advance planning leads to meaningful PD, and now is an opportune time to look to the months ahead, and to “up the ante” for more—and also more accessible—quality gifted-related service provision for front line educators!

WHY does this matter? Because ALL teachers can benefit from acquiring understandings and practical strategies that will inspire them to develop the best possible learning environments, encourage high-level ability, and provide top-notch instruction. Every child is entitled to an education commensurate with his or her abilities. And, there are countless children who have gifted or advanced learning needs.

Parents, teachers, and students can, and should, advocate together for professional development programs in their own districts—imbued with content that will ignite, validate, and sustain teacher engagement in learning how to better support and encourage children’s intellectual advancement, creativity, and overall development, including meeting their diverse emotional, social, and academic needs. Fortifying programs and enhancing educational opportunities involves refining materials, instruction, assessments, goals, and ways of addressing children’s individual learning requirements.

To begin with, however, advocacy is vital!

About Advocacy in the Context of Giftedness

The most effective program is a result of teamwork, respectful discourse, and mutually developed expectations.

Advocacy can facilitate, nurture, and support children’s optimal growth. It provides impetus to forge new, creative, and flexibly responsive methods for teaching and learning.

WHO can take responsibility?

Teachers can advocate vigorously, and collectively. They can make a viable case for comprehensive PD sessions focused on giftedness and related issues, and request increased opportunities for productive networking and constructive liaisons.

Parents are also well positioned to speak up and ensure that their children’s high-level or exceptional learning needs are met. For example, parents might request greater resource access for teachers in schools, and more specialized professional development workshops on topics such as differentiated programming, assessment, creative and critical thinking skills, and project-based learning.

Children and teens can learn about self-advocacy. This helps them understand their rights and responsibilities; communicate their own learning needs; develop their learner profiles; and investigate available options …

Dr. Joanne Foster

Dr. Joanne Foster, an acclaimed author and educator, has dedicated over 35 years to gifted education and child development. With expertise in psychology and special education, her work empowers parents and educators, fostering creativity and high-level learning in children and teens. Dr. Foster has written countless articles, and several books—the most recent being Ignite Your Ideas: Creativity for Kids.

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Summer Learning Lapses? Relax!

Summer Learning Lapses? Relax!

During the summer, parents are often concerned whether their kids will retain the knowledge they’ve acquired over the past school year, or whether they’ll experience a learning lapse. Here are some considerations and suggestions for parents.