The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT)Since 1990, The National Research Center on Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT) successfully competed for a series of federally funded grants under the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Education Act. Recently, Congress eliminated the Javits Act and the NRC/GT continued working on planned research tasks under a no-cost extension for 2011-2012. We are just entering our second no-cost extension year for 2012-2013, which will allow us to finalize our studies focusing on What Works in Gifted Education with the mathematics study at the University of Connecticut and the reading/language arts study at the University of Virginia. The respective research teams developed model-based curricula in mathematics for grade 3 students in general education classrooms and reading/language arts curricula for grade 3 students in gifted and talented programs reflecting the following curricular/instructional models: (1) Differentiation of Instruction Model (Carol Ann Tomlinson); (2) Depth and Complexity Model (Sandra N. Kaplan), and (3) Schoolwide Enrichment Model (Joseph S. Renzulli and Sally M. Reis). Multiple cohorts of students and their teachers participated in the two curricular studies and initial quantitative and qualitative results were shared with study participants and conference participants. Data are currently being finalized for interested persons. The final research monographs on the mathematics and reading/language arts studies will be posted on our website. Recently, The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented was asked to complete three new projects: (a) explore the theory of the malleability of intelligence related to research by Dr. Carol Dweck, Stanford University, and others; (b) summarize the unique curricular and instructional practices in STEM high schools; and (c) analyze the status of gifted education programming and services across the nation. An overview of these projects follows. Malleable Minds Project
Dr. Carolyn M. Callahan worked with Dr. Rena Subotnik (Director of the Center for Psychology in the Schools and Education at the American Psychological Association), Dr. Ann Robinson (Past President of the National Association for Gifted Children), and Patricia Johnson (former Javits Program Director) to launch an initiative involving social and cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists. The goal of the project was to share emerging theories about student learning and talent development with researchers in gifted and talented education. The resulting book published by The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, entitled Malleable Minds: Translating Insights From Psychology and Neuroscience to Gifted Education, presents the latest research, followed by how the research can inform theory and practices in gifted and talented education, and ending with illustrative cases that demonstrate the application of the research to teaching/learning environments. STEM Schools of Excellence
The University of Connecticut and University of Virginia are implementing a study of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Schools of Excellence. The University of Connecticut created an extensive interactive database of STEM high schools around the country. From this database, 12 schools representing different service delivery models (e.g., school-within-a-school, residential school, magnet school, charter school, comprehensive high school) were selected for onsite observations, administrator interviews, teacher focus groups, and student focus groups. The purpose of the onsite visits was to obtain first-hand knowledge of effective curricular and instructional practices that may be unique to STEM schools. The information gleaned from a review of existing documents, websites, observations, interviews, and focus groups yielded multiple potential survey items that were organized and classified categorically to reflect the practices. Items became the basis for surveys for administrators and their teachers. An initial round of survey data will be analyzed to provide guidance for future and current developers of STEM high schools. Status of Gifted Education Programming
The United States Department of Education commissioned the University of Virginia to conduct a national survey focusing on the status of K-12 gifted programming opportunities across our nation. Data from elementary, middle, and high schools will be used to develop portraits of the programming and services; to identify policy inputs (e.g., mandates, funding practices, teacher qualifications, program evaluation); and to provide accurate and comprehensive data to federal, state, and local policy makers as well as researchers and practitioners. The research that we have conducted for over 2 decades required the cooperation and collaboration of administrators, teachers, and students from all over the country. We gratefully acknowledge the role that each person played in providing us with opportunities to collect extensive data on critical topics and report the findings to multiple audiences. Research teams associated with The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented continue to share their scholarly work at conferences as well as through books, book chapters, and articles. We hope you share our research with other interested educators involved with gifted and talented education by visiting our website for the latest information on meeting the needs of gifted and talented students.
The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented is funded under the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act, Institute of Education Sciences, United States Department of Education.
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