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Tracy L. Cross, the new executive director of the center, met with Petro and Mariya Tadeyev from the Institute of the Gifted Child in Ukraine to begin a multi-year collaborative effort that will provide the foundation for educating gifted children in Ukraine. Cross has been cultivating a relationship with Ukraine for over two years.
Ukraine, which has a population of more than 60 million, does not yet provide services for gifted, highly able, or advanced learners. The National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences formed the institute to serve gifted children and has chosen to collaborate with William & Mary.
Mariya Tadeyev, translating for Petro, noted, "We came here to William & Mary because the center's curriculum is famous all through the world."
The collaborative effort will have three key goals: engage in collaborative research; provide professional development for educators, counselors, administrators, and researchers; and provide practical support for program development and implementation. CFGE is committed to supporting gifted children and their supporters at home, across the state, nationally, and internationally.
The first professional development symposium will occur in the spring of 2010 in Kiev, Ukraine. Amidst 1,500-year-old churches, center staff will work with representatives from all 25 regions of the Ukraine on the theoretical underpinnings of the intellectual and social and emotional characteristics, needs, and development of gifted children; conduct workshops on the implementation of the William & Mary curriculum and related teaching models; and sharing advice from many years of center work on developing gifted programs in other countries.
"One of the most exciting aspects of our collaboration is the vast number of students with gifts and talents from Ukraine whose lives will be improved because of the curriculum materials developed by my wonderful colleagues at the Center," stated Cross.
The project is being led by Cross, who is the Jody and Layton Smith Professor of Psychology and Gifted Education. He joined the School of Education faculty in August 2009. Other center staff collaborating on this project include: Jennifer Cross, postdoctoral researcher, Lori Bland, director of professional development and practice in gifted education, and Kimberley Chandler, director of curriculum for the center and for Project Civis.
"We are looking forward to working with the very competent and nice Center staff and sharing Kyiv culture and food," Mariya remarked.