“Teachers benefit from professional development trainings that are focused, purposeful, provide examples of what the targeted expectation should look like, and allow teachers the opportunity to apply what they have learned and implement it into their instruction”(Keely Blair P’Pool, 2021, p. 100)
That is why professional development has been an integral part of the Belin-Blank Center since 1980, when Dr. Nicholas Colangelo, founding director of the Center, was first talking with Connie and David Belin and Jaqueline and Mike Blank about how to best support gifted and talented children.
Over winter break, the Center will offer EDTL:4085:0WKA Current Readings & Research in Gifted Education (December 21, 2022 – January 13, 2023), allowing “just-in-time” professional learning on topics of most interest to participants.
In Spring of 2023, the Center is offering three-semester-hour extension classes (Identification, Program Models, Curriculum Concepts) and a two-semester-hour class about Administration and Policy Issues. A variety of workshops are also available. Check belinblank.org/courses after the Thanksgiving holiday to see everything that is available.
Summer Professional Development Options
The Belin-Blank Center will host the 43rd Connie Belin & Jaqueline N. Blank Fellowship Program in Gifted Education, July 16 – 21, 2023, on campus at the University of Iowa. One of the longest-running professional learning programs in the country, the Fellowship allows those with little background in gifted education and talent development to immerse themselves in ways to identify and understand gifted students, including those who have been traditionally underrepresented, and ways to develop students’ talents. This is the time for parents and teachers of the gifted to find allies in their schools, urging those who have an interest and would benefit from the program to apply for the Fellowship, free of cost to participants (although participants do need to cover the cost of travel to Iowa City). Room and board, as well as presentations from experts in the field, are all part of the Fellowship. Teacher leaders / instructional coaches are especially welcome! Anyone wanting to earn academic credit can enroll in CSED:5237:0WKA. Look for application materials in mid-January (belinblank.org/fellowship)!
Summer of 2023 will offer both PSQF:4123:0EXW Academic Acceleration and the CSED or EDTL:4137:0EXW Introduction to Educating Gifted Students (both three-semester-hour extension classes), as well as multiple online and asynchronous one-semester-hour courses, offered in a workshop format. Everything available will be posted at belinblank.org/courses early in December.
As well as online opportunities, the Belin-Blank Chautauqua (belinblank.org/chautauqua) will take place in June 2023. Over the two weeks from June 12 – 17 and June 19 – 24, participants will have an opportunity to participate in up to six workshops that will include two days of either face-to-face interaction on campus in Blank Honors Center or via Zoom (participants may choose the option best for them). Those who enroll at the graduate level for all three workshops in either week—or both—receive an automatic tuition scholarship from the Belin-Blank Center for one of three classes (i.e., three workshops for the cost of two; six for the cost of four). Chautauqua offers opportunities in the Psychology, Programming, and Administrative strands, making earning the endorsement easier than ever. Chautauqua classes differ from summer to summer, allowing those interested in the endorsement (belinblank.org/endorsement) to complete all of their work through Chautauqua over two summers. Between online and Chautauqua opportunities, endorsement candidates can complete all of their work before the next academic year.
To participate in endorsement classes, you must register one time each year with Distance and Online Education as a non-degree seeking student. For the purposes of the State of Iowa Endorsement in Talented and Gifted Education, you may register as either a graduate or undergraduate student regardless of your professional status. In other words, if you won’t benefit in other ways from the graduate credit, you can save tuition dollars. Once you have your HawkID and password, you can follow the directions to register for the courses that interest you the most (belinblank.org/educators/reg).