Each November, when the National Association for Gifted Children conference rolls around, yields a sense of rejuvenation and a renewed belief in the advocacy for designing a special kind of education for high ability learners. The impact was felt ten-fold this year with the 60th Annual Convention taking place in Indianapolis. It was the perfect forum for national discussions regarding best practices for teachers, administrators, parents, advocates, and researchers, as we are one of few states possessing a funded mandate to identify and serve high ability students. And Indiana showed up in full force, comprising about ½ of the conference’s attendees.
The week was full of insight and research that served as compelling catalyst for thought. In a session on epistemology of learning, Shelagh Gallagher spoke of the importance of educators and students discussing their beliefs about what it means to know something. It is these kinds of conversations that help develop the sophisticated thinking required to solve problems and innovate. This level of teaching, as Indiana author John Green noted in his keynote, requires teachers to be curators and moderators of educational experiences, rather than the deliverers. It begs the question as to how we create spaces, in our schools and beyond, that will foster passion and inquiry.
Over the course of the next year, IAG will provide forums on-line and in person to discuss how we can continue to make education more meaningful and available for high ability students. We look forward to your voice and presence in those conversations.