Diverse Gifted Learners, Professional Learning, and Professional Standards
Dr. Connie Phelps; Dr. Joyce Miller; Dr. Sonja Ezell; Jessica LaFollette
Current trends in professional development transform experiences as professional learning with emphases on continuous and sustained, collaborative, job-embedded, standards-specific, and active learning components. The Gifted Education Professional Preparation Standards (CEC-TAG/NAGC) for both initial and advanced roles in gifted education set benchmarks for essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
When addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion practices for gifted learners in PK-12 schools, educators and psychologists need a close examination of standards for best practices. For example, specialists in gifted education implement assessment measures that minimize bias when identifying underserved gifted learners.
They apply understanding of diversity and cultural, social, and economic individual differences to inform comprehensive curriculum for gifted learners. Educators and psychologists possess skills to evaluate theory and research to guide practice and improve gifted programming.
Professionals create supportive environments that demonstrate respect for all individuals and increase diversity at all levels. They use culturally responsive best practices to collaborate and communicate with diverse stakeholders to build consensus and resolve conflicts (CEC-TAG/NAGC Advanced Standards 1-7).
If professional standards provide the framework, professional learning supplies the means to disseminate knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion practices in PK-12 gifted education.
The presenters collectively possess decades of experience in teacher education preparation programs for gifted specialists, expertise in diverse, equity, and inclusion practices, and extensive work with professional standards and accreditation reviews. The presenters suggests strategies and resources to incorporate professional learning, professional standards, and diversity, equity, and inclusion practices for emergent, experienced, and seasoned practitioners in Gifted Education.
Director of Gifted Education, Emporia State University
Connie Phelps directs the Gifted Education program and Great Plains Center for Gifted Studies at Emporia State University. She taught diverse gifted learners in the Wichita Public Schools, chaired the Kansas State Department of Education Gifted Standards Revision Committee, and served as an alternate delegate from the United States to the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. She volunteers in accreditation reviews for the Council of the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Her research interests include creativity, diverse gifted learners, and globalization.
Cultural Diversity & Gifted Education, Texas A&M—Commerce
Joyce E. Kyle is a faculty member at Texas A&M University-Commerce, and holds a Ph.D. in Supervision, Curriculum, and Instruction from the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas. She completed post-doctoral studies at UNT and the University of Connecticut-Storrs. She served as a delegate from the United States to the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. Dr. Miller’s research agenda includes curriculum and instruction, cultural diversity, and gifted education.
Literacy Development & Cultural Diversity, Emporia State University
Sonja Ezell is an Associate Professor at Emporia State University. She earned her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University-Commerce. She worked as an elementary classroom teacher and Reading Coach in the Dallas Independent School District. She provides professional development in literacy education and teaches literacy education courses. Dr. Ezell is an active member of the International Literacy Association. Her research interests include early literacy development, cultural diversity, and children’s literature.
Culturally Responsive Gifted Education, University of Missouri—Kansas City
Jessica LaFollette has taught diverse gifted students in Wyandotte County since 2004. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City with the dissertation, “Narrative of culturally response gifted education.” Jessica also teaches courses in curriculum design at UMKC. She serves as secretary on the Kansas Association for Gifted, Talented and Creative executive board. Her research interests include culturally responsive gifted education and culturally responsive, concept-based curriculum.