NAGC Compass Points
Oct. 10, 2014

From Where I Sit
Looking Over the Balcony

Tracy L. Cross, NAGC President
Last week I enjoyed the opportunity to co-present on a webinar with past president Paula Olszewski-Kublius. Our topic was NAGC Leadership Directions and Priorities for 2015, and we set it up in a "talk show" format with Executive Director Nancy Green as host. Topics ranged from education shifts and trends affecting our work to the big changes most national membership organizations like NAGC face going forward. The conversation was recorded, so if you have a 60-minute window in your busy schedule, you can access the conversation via the online bookstore (log in before purchase). More

Teachers' Corner
Tricks, Treats, and Lessons

Jeff Danielian, NAGC Teacher Resource Specialist and editor, Teaching for High Potential
I imagine the October topic of conversation at your school revolves around the question "What will you be for Halloween?" The fall climate, in combination with the highly anticipated annual Giant Pumpkin weigh-off this weekend, has led me to reflect upon the season from multiple perspectives in search of some interdisciplinary connections to share. I believe you will find some great content to use with your curious and/or advanced students, who will certainly benefit from looking at Halloween as more than just a night to go out and trick (hopefully not too tricky) or treat. More

The Learning Curve
Navigating the NAGC Convention

NAGC staff and volunteers are just about ready for countdown mode as we approach the NAGC 61st Annual Convention & Exhibition, Nov. 13-16 in Baltimore.


Free for All... NAGC Members, That Is!
"It pays to belong" rings true for NAGC members this fall. NAGC is pleased to present "free-to-member" Webinars on Wednesday. When you register you will receive confirmation on access to the live event at the date and time indicated. Following the event, you will find the webinars stored in the "My NAGC" section of the website when you log in. Just click on "My Webinars."

The remaining live Webinars on Wednesday in October:

Oct. 15
Noon to 1 p.m. Eastern
Guiding Gifted Programming from a District Leadership Perspective
Dina Brulles, Paradise Valley Unified School District, Peoria, AZ; Lauri Kirsch, Hillsborough County Public Schools, Tampa, FL

Oct. 22
Noon to 1 p.m. Eastern
The Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Students
George Betts, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO; Tracy C. Missett, Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA

Oct. 29
Noon to 1 p.m. Eastern
The Handbook of Secondary Gifted Education: New Curricular Strategies for Educators
Felicia A. Dixon, Ball State University, Muncie IN; Branson D. Lawrence, Jr., Carl Heine, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora, IL ; Ken Stuart, Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities, Muncie, IN

Available as an archive in the NAGC store:

NAGC: Leadership Directions and Priorities for 2015
Tracy L. Cross, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA; Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Making Inroads for Gifted Learners: A Convention Preview
Karen Yoho, NAGC, Washington, D.C.

Find full descriptions on the NAGC website. Nonmembers may register for WOWs for $29 each. Did you notice that the web page is called "Online Learning?" Wait until you see how NAGC is enhancing online learning for education professionals in the coming months beyond these information-packed webinars!More

Community News
World of 7 Billion Video Contest

Population Education brings back the popular "World of 7 Billion Student Video Contest" that can help you bring technology and creativity into your high school science classes. The contest challenges students to create a short (60 seconds or less) video illustrating the connection between world population growth and one of three global challenges dealing with either the sixth extinction, available farmland or global education. Students can win up to $1,000 and their teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The contest deadline is Feb. 19, 2015. Full contest guidelines, resources for research, past winners and more can be found at More

Why the Kids Who Most Need Arts Education Aren't Getting It
The Washington Post
Though the benefits of art education are very real, it is one of the big, unfortunate casualties of the high-stakes testing era, with its laser focus on math and English language Arts — especially in schools with big populations of students who live in poverty.More

Sorely Missed, but Fondly Remembered
Abe's careful scholarship, his vision for the emergence and development of talents, and his genuine gifts of sharing, modeling, and mentoring SHAPED me. I first met Abe Tannenbaum when I was a doctoral student at Purdue University. He was the principle investigator or director of a U.S. Department of Education grant, the Graduate Leadership in Education Project (GLEP).More

10 Grants Funded by the Javits Program
The U.S. Department of Education awarded 10 demonstration grants that will support research on a range of strategies to identify and serve high-potential children who have been underrepresented in gifted education programs and services. In some cases, the grants will expand programs that had previously shown success.More

Call for Papers for Annual Mensa Honor
Awards for Excellence in Research are presented jointly by the Mensa Education and Research Foundation and Mensa International for outstanding research on intelligence, intellectual giftedness and related fields. You may be considered if you have published an appropriate paper in a peer-reviewed journal or presented it at a peer-reviewed conference within the past three years. Papers must be submitted by Dec. 31. For further information, contact the awards chair. More

How Do We Know If Gifted Education Works?
Psychology Today
Economists interested in education have recently started to evaluate gifted education programs. Research is a communal multidisciplinary exercise and to have economists contribute their perspectives to gifted education is a welcome addition. However, when researchers turn their attention to fields outside their primary expertise they are sometimes unable to assimilate the large body of previous knowledge of their new field. More

Advocacy and the Gifted Teenager
Institute for Educational Advancement
Amelia is a 10th grader who attends a small private school in Northern California. She enjoys singing and dancing, as well as reading about the universe and diving into the intricacies of supernovae. Amelia is self-motivated but often finds that her school and the courses offered do not satisfy her curiosity in the arts, math and sciences. The content to learn within her school is often shallow, and completing assignments of knowledge-gathering is baffling to her, as she can find the answer with taps on a keyboard and Wikipedia. She despises memorization. More

Why the Kids Who Most Need Arts Education Aren't Getting It
The Washington Post
Though the benefits of art education are very real, it is one of the big, unfortunate casualties of the high-stakes testing era, with its laser focus on math and English language Arts — especially in schools with big populations of students who live in poverty. Just how effective a good arts program can be was shown by Michael Sokolove, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, in his book about an elite high school theater program in a blue-collar Pennsylvania town. More

Can Project-Based Learning Close Gaps in Science Education?
Putting kids to work on meaningful projects can transform classrooms into beehives of inquiry and discovery, but relatively few rigorous studies have examined how well this teaching method actually works. An encouraging new report describes preliminary, first-year outcomes from a study of 3,000 middle school students that shows kids can, in fact, learn more in science classrooms that adopt a well-designed, project-focused curriculum. More

Student Performance Stalls on SAT, Improves on AP Tests
Education Week
For the first time, the College Board has combined its release of Advanced Placement, SAT and Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test scores in a report that generally reflects expanded participation but stagnant performance. In the "missed opportunities" category, the combined data revealed that 5 percent of students who were on target to meet the SAT's college-ready benchmarks as juniors — about 29,000 of the 609,000 who took the PSAT — fell off target by their senior year when they took the SAT.More

Why Separate Classes for Gifted Students Boost All Kids
The Indianapolis Star
Separate classes for gifted students help elementary students across the board grow academically, Purdue University research has found. "When the high-achieving students are clustered together in one class, students in the other classes grow academically — gaining confidence, receiving more teacher attention and participating more frequently in class," said Marcia Gentry, professor of educational studies and director of Purdue's Gifted Education Resource Institute.More