Down Under and to the Left…

(L to R) Dr. Susan Assouline, Associate Director of the Belin-Blank Center; Professor Emirita Miraca Gross; Ms. Bronwyn MacLeod

Greetings from down under!  I’m spending the week in Sydney with gifted colleagues, Professor Emirita Miraca Gross (center),  and Ms. Bronwyn MacLeod (right), where I have the honor of serving as the international guest lecturer for the 23rd session of the University of New South Wales COGE (Certificate of Gifted Education).   It’s easy to adjust to the change in climate (it’s summer and there are many hours of sunlight . . . ).  The time difference is a bit more challenging.  But this group of educators is bright and passionate and very energizing which makes the minor inconveniences well worth it.

Another adjustment is walking on the left side of the street,  hallway, and stairs, or even just figuring out where the up/down escalators are (hint:  think left).  Shifting to the left was the (unintentional) theme of my first lecture:  Definitions of Giftedness and Talent:  Key Influences and Influencers.  We started with a historical perspective, which connected us with the development of IQ tests and a psychometric approach to thinking about giftedness . . . and we concluded with a discussion based upon the comprehensive monograph by Subotnik, Olszewski-Kubilius, and Worrell (2011), “Rethinking Giftedness and Gifted Education:  A proposed Direction Forward Based on Psychological Science,” in Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

We’re off to a great start.  Today (or tomorrow, depending on where you are in the world), we’ll tackle twice-exceptionality – and we’ll have pictures of the members of COGE.

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