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Center for Gifted Ed hosts National Curriculum Network Conference

  • NCN Conference
    NCN Conference  The Center for Gifted Education (CFGE) at The College of William and Mary's School of Education recently held the 15th annual National Curriculum Network Conference.  Courtesy photo
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The Center for Gifted Education (CFGE) at the College of William and Mary's School of Education recently hosted the 15th annual National Curriculum Network Conference.

The conference, held March 10-12, was a collaborative effort of many faculty and staff members of the School of Education and was organized by Dawn Benson and Megan Davison of the CFGE. Over 40 speakers participated in the 2010 Conference, which attracted over 240 attendees from as far away as New Mexico, Bermuda, and Calgary.

At the conference, Tracy L. Cross, the Jody and Layton Smith Professor of Psychology and Gifted Education and executive director of the CFGE, presented sessions entitled "The Social and Emotional Development of Students with Gifts and Talent" and "To Be or Not To Be: The Social and Emotional Dilemmas Facing Students with Gifts and Talents." Other highlights of the conference included a keynote address entitled "Through the Looking Glass: Differentiation in a New Light" by Carol L. Tieso, Class of 1964 Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Education. A keynote address entitled "Using the National Teacher Education Standards in Gifted Education for Curriculum Development" was presented by Susan K. Johnsen, professor of educational psychology and director of the PhD program in educational psychology at Baylor University.

Sessions were also offered by Kyung Hee Kim, who presented "How Do You Assess Creativity?" and "Do you ‘Kill' Your Students' Creativity?"  Bruce Bracken delivered a presentation entitled "Assessing Gifted Students." Both Kim and Bracken are faculty at the School of Education at the College of William and Mary. Also, CFGE staff members Lori Bland and Kimberley Chandler each presented three sessions at the conference. Bland's sessions included the following: "Using Problem-Based Learning and Higher Level Questioning Strategies with Gifted Learners," "Strategies for Assessing Science: The William and Mary Models" and "Assessing Gifted Learners Along the Way." Finally, Chandler's sessions were as follows, "Research Skills and Strategies for Elementary and Middle School Students," " Literary Analysis for Gifted Children: Using Novel Study guides To Promote Critical Thinking," and "The William and Mary Language Arts Units."

The event was described by one attendee as an "exciting and rejuvenating experience." When asked to comment on the success of the event, Cross noted, "This conference has increasingly become an international event drawing participants from many states throughout the U.S. and a number of foreign countries."

Faculty and staff at the Center for Gifted Education are thrilled to have successfully hosted the conference and to have added to its focus an emphasis on the social and emotional needs of gifted and talented children. In the future, the conference will feature counseling and psychology, curriculum and instruction, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), assessment, program development and evaluation, and enrichment.

 Information about other CFGE conferences, events and programs information may be found at