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Wednesday, Nov. 14 - Thursday, Nov. 15
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NAGC 2012 Convention Content

The Strands

--Computers & Technology
--Conceptual Foundations          
--Counseling & Guidance
--Curriculum Studies
--Early Childhood           
--Global Awareness
--Math & Science
--Middle Grades
--Parent & Community   
--Professional Development
--Research and Evaluation          
--Special Populations
--Special Schools & Programs
--STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

More than 500 content-rich sessions in 15 strands 

The NAGC Networks identify and select the most timely and relevant proposal submissions for the convention strands. Together these 15 strands comprise the focal point for the year. In tandem with general sessions, mini-keynotes, the Signature Series, poster sessions, and exhibitor workshops, the strands provide you an opportunity to brush up on a little-known subject area, or reinforce your skills and knowledge in another. Each session in each strand is open to all attendees, and no session pre-registration is necessary.

Within each strand you will find practical “take-away” tools and classroom resources, along with research and bibliographies.

Thinking about the Common Core State Standards? Among the 500+ educational sessions offered at Convention, here are a few titles of sessions that may be of particular interest to you: 

  • Back to the Future: Literature for the Common Core Standards
  • The Common Core, Technology and Five Minds for the Future
  • Common Core and More: The 10 Best Lessons Ever for Gifted Middle School Students
  • Exploring Informational Texts using the Common Core Standards: A Challenge for Gifted Middle Schoolers
  • Common Core State Standards: Implications for Programs, Services and Instruction for Diverse, Special Populations of Gifted Learners
  • Teach Common Core with Style
  • The Common Core: Getting to the Heart, the Action and the Outcome
  • Gifted Education and the Common Core State Standards: A Focus on Mathematics

Find yourself at the NAGC Convention!

Administrator  Counselor  Curriculum Coordinator  Elementary Educator 
Gifted Coordinator/Director  Science/Technology/Engineering/Math Educator  Middle Grade Educator  Parent 
Secondary Educator  Serving the Underserved Populations  College or University Faculty/Researcher  General Education


2012 Signature Sessions         Incisive. In-depth. Invited Presentations.

Friday, November 16

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Examining the Relationship between Executive Function and Intelligence in Twice-Exceptional Children with Aspergers Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism: Empirical Evidence and Practical Application
Layne Kalbfleisch, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Twice-exceptionality is not a diagnosis widely supported in mainstream education. Yet, these gifted children who have disabilities such as attention disorders, autism, Asperger's syndrome, and dyslexia, to name a few, are poised to contribute to the world in extraordinary ways with their unique skills and talents in the visual and performing arts, design, and STEM fields. This presentation presents the first neuropsychological model to characterize twice-exceptional children with high-functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome, making it possible to identify specific aspects of executive function that are preserved by intelligence and that can be remediated in the classroom and social environments.

Second Language Learning and Gifted Education
Ariel Baska, Fairfax County Public Schools, Centreville, VA; Bronwyn MacFarlane, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR; Joyce VanTassel-Baska, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA; Aaron Nitzkin, New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, New Orleans, LA

This special panel, organized around the importance of teaching a second language to gifted learners, examines the issue from multiple perspectives. The session features several components that build the case for including second language-learning as a part of all gifted education programs: emphasizing the rationale for such inclusion, providing linkages to the gifted population as well as to 21st century learning; providing examples of differentiation in language coursework and products to illustrate applications to the field of gifted education; emphasizing the ways that language learning promotes cultural understanding and relevance through interdisciplinary applications of themes; and offering model scope and sequences that allow for gifted students to master at least two languages. Presenters discuss the optional and optimal ways such learning might occur in today's schools.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

What Administrators Can Teach Us about Making the Case for Gifted Students
Virginia Burney, Ball State University , McCordsville, IN; Ann Robinson, University of Arkansas at Little Rock , Little Rock, AR; Jacquelin Medina, Colorado Department of Education, Denver, CO; Debbie Blow, Cambrian School District, San Jose, CA; Buck Greene, Fulton County Schools, Atlanta, GA; Bryan Bowles, Davis School District, Farmington, UT

Members of the NAGC Administrator Task Force discuss what it is that superintendents and principals want to know about gifted education. The Task Force identified what information about gifted education had been disseminated through administrator publications, identified missing information, honed in on what the administrators thought was most valuable and most needed, and identified the formats and channels through which they prefer to receive information. The Task Force then crafted the messages and ways to direct administrators to clear, concise information they can use to advocate for and implement services for gifted learners.

Bright Not Broken: Maximizing the Potential of All Kinds of 2e Minds
Diane M. Kennedy; Rebecca S. Banks, Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, KY; Temple Grandin, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Traits of giftedness and disability are often misunderstood in 2e children, heightening the importance of the whole-child approach. This presentation examines the current diagnostic system and how it impacts understanding of the 2e child. Unfortunately, gifted behaviors are often mistaken for those associated with ADHD, Asperger's/autism, and related conditions. This confusion stems from the DSM, which rarely accounts for higher IQs in its descriptions of disorders. Only when the many factors that underlie a child's behaviors are understood as possible expressions of giftedness, rather than as traits of disability can parents and professionals more deeply support the whole child.

Sport and Performance Psychology: What's in it for Academic Talent Development?
Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; Tracy Cross, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA; Rena Subotnik, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC; Frank Worrell, University of California, Berkeley, CA; Steve Portenga, iPerformance Psychology, Denver, CO

Sport and performance psychologists have been working for decades to enhance the physical and mental gifts of athletes in their care. This session focuses on the mental skills training that elite athletes undergo. The training is developmental, and has undergone extensive testing and experimentation toward the dual goals of optimal performance and protection of youth. What are the parallels between mental skills and optimal performance training in sport with talent development of academically gifted youth? What lessons can we learn from sport psychology that we might adapt to our endeavors? How would we begin? What aspects, if any, of elite sports development would we want to avoid at all costs?

12:15 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Publishing in Gifted Education Journals: Editors' Tips
D. Betsy McCoach, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; Tracy L. Cross, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA; Matthew McBee, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN; Susan Johnsen, Baylor University, Waco, TX; Don Ambrose, Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ

Publishing in peer-reviewed journals can be a daunting experience. Come learn from the editors how you can maximize your chances for publication success. Some of the fields' journal editors provide tips on how to best present your work when you are submitting it for review. Panelists will share tips and advice for publishing in peer review journals in gifted education and then take questions from participants.

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Supporting Low-Income, High-Ability Learners: Next Steps in the Research and Policy Agenda
Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Northwestern, Evanston, IL; Carol Horn, Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, VA; Jonathan Plucker, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN; Tamra Stambaugh, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN; Joyce VanTassel-Baska, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA; Frank Worrell, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Last May, NAGC hosted more than 60 experts and researchers at a “National Summit on Low-Income, High-Ability Learners,” to consider a research agenda for the field focused on the needs of promising learners from poverty.  Discussions and presentations culminated in a white paper outlining a research and policy agenda, first released here at the NAGC convention. Presenters share findings from the white paper including: what we already understand about the characteristics and development of low-income, high-ability learners, barriers to these students’ educational achievement, effective practices and programs that develop their talents, and the unique psychosocial issues that these students face and the skills needed to deal with them.  Come away with additional insight from these presenters about success factors and recommended best practices, and a direction for future research for the field.

High-Ability Secondary Students: How Do We Teach Them to Maximize Their Talents?
Penny Kolloff, Illinois State University, Eau Claire, WI; Felicia A. Dixon, Ball State University; Ken Stuart, Christine Ney, Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities, Muncie, IN; Shelagh Gallagher, Engaged Education, Charlotte, NC; Janice Krouse, Branson Lawrence, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora, IL

High-ability students are a national treasure. At the secondary level, teachers encourage talent development through rigorous curriculum, strategies that challenge critical thought, and products requiring creative insights. While these are not easy tasks, they are necessary in preparing high-ability students to reach their potential. This panel of experts each teaches secondary students in a high-powered school. They share their teaching philosophy, strategies that make sense in fostering growth in students, what they do to prepare their students for contribution to 21st century life, and how they modify their techniques to respond to students' unique needs.

4:10 – 5:10 pm

Gifted Education and the Common Core State Standards: A Focus on English Language Arts
Joyce VanTassel-Baska, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA: Todd Kettler, University of North Texas, Denton, TX; Jennifer Jolly, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA; Claire Hughes, College of Coastal Georgia, St. Simons Island, GA; Deb Troxclair, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX

While the new Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts are a positive movement for all of education, it is important to be mindful of the ongoing need to differentiate them appropriately for our top learners. It is essential that we see the CCSS not as an end in learning, but rather as a set of experiences – a learning trajectory - that will advance students to the next level of interest, motivation, and capacity to perform in domain areas that will enrich their lives and ours. Teaching ELA to gifted learners using the CCSS still requires acceleration and enriched opportunities to learn in more complex and creative ways. This session demonstrates the ways in which the CCSS need to be customized to meet the needs of our top learners.

Saturday, November 17

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Reflections on the Intersection of Rural Locale and Giftedness
Craig Howley, Aimee Howley, Ainsley Kuhn, Derek Sturgill, Christopher Wilson, Michael Smith, Ohio University, Athens, OH

This session provides three perspectives on the intersection between rural locale and giftedness. First, students from a highly selective undergraduate honors program provide summaries of essays describing and reflecting on their experiences in rural schools and communities. Second, graduate students and faculty members discuss findings from a research study using large-scale data sets from the National Center for Education Statistics to examine the distribution of mathematics talent in rural locales. Finally, with an eye toward the future of rural communities (and their schools), one of the panelists presents an apocalyptic vision tempered by a glimmer of hope in which gifted contributions to community well-being provide a source of sustenance.

Talent Development: A Framework for Our Work with Gifted Children
Laurence J. Coleman, Coleman Consort, Toledo, OH; Katie Augustyn, Gifted Education Consultants of Connecticut, Westport, CT; Elissa Brown, North Carolina Deptartment of Public Instruction, Raleigh, NC; Frank Worrell, University of California, Berkeley, CA; Sally Krisel, Hall County Schools, Gainesville, GA
Moderator: Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Talent development, as a framework to understand and develop giftedness, was proposed more than 25 years ago. This perspective differs from the traditional conception of giftedness in that talent development gives greater emphasis to domain-specific talent and achievement. What are the defining aspects of a talent development perspective? What are the implications of this approach for identification, programming, curriculum, and psychosocial services for gifted children and how do they differ from those that currently predominate in schools? Can various perspectives on giftedness and talent be combined? In this session, a lively combination of scholars and practitioners will present their views on the meaning, implications, and advantages and disadvantages of a focus on “talent development” as a framework for research, policy, and practice with gifted children.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Making the Case with Malleable Minds: Translating Research to Exemplary Professional Development
Ann Robinson, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR; Pamela Clinkenbeard, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI; Del Siegle, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; Joyce VanTassel-Baska, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

The case approach to professional development presents engaging vignettes that build professional knowledge about the real world of schools and classrooms. The Malleable Minds project developed lively cases you can use to explore key concepts from psychology and neuroscience applied to practices in gifted education. Cases focused on thinking programs for gifted preschoolers, motivation loss in talented adolescents, and teacher beliefs about instructional practice in elementary classrooms are presented in an interactive format. Join a panel of leaders in the field to discuss the importance of cases for translating research to professional development in a format teachers will enjoy.

Gifted Education and the Common Core State Standards: A Focus on Mathematics
Linda Jensen Sheffield, Northern Kentucky University, Fort Thomas, KY; Susan Johnsen, Baylor University, Waco, TX; Cheryll Adams, Ball State University, Muncie, IN; Alicia Cotabish, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR; Chrystyna Mursky, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Madison, WI;

The adoption of the Common Core State Standards in almost every state is cause for gifted education as a field to reflect on its role in supporting gifted and high-potential learners appropriately in the content areas, including mathematics. Whether students plan to enter a STEM field in a career anywhere from astronomy to zoology or simply become well-informed citizens who can make sense of the world, recognize patterns, make generalizations and test conjectures, and make and defend logical decisions, mathematics is critical to their development. This session discusses the skills, habits of mind, and attitudes toward learning students need to reach high levels of competency as well as the classroom strategies for working with the CCSS in math that provide enriched and accelerated opportunities and depth and complexity to motivate and support advanced students.

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Implementing RtI with Gifted Students: Service Models, Trends, and Issues
Daphne Pereles, Colorado Department of Education, Littleton, CO; Donna Ford, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN; Sally M. Reis, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; George Betts, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO; Moderators: Mary Ruth Coleman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; Susan Johnsen, Baylor University, Waco, TX

RtI provides a wonderful opportunity to enhance collaboration to meet the needs of all learners – but does “all” really include learners with gifts and talents?  This panel addresses service models and approaches for meeting the needs of gifted learners within an RtI framework. Discussion includes trends of school reform and issues that must be addressed to ensure a goodness-of-fit for gifted learners.

Signature Series Welcomes Award Winners Fresh off the Stage:

  • The NAGC Administrator of the Year
  • The NAGC Distinguished Scholar
  • The NAGC Early Scholar
  • The NAGC Distinguished Service Award Winner