Gifted Education expert visits Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

Internationally-renowned authority on Gifted Education, Dr Karen Rogers, conducted a multi-faceted workshop for diocesan educators in Newcastle in February.

Dr Rogers led a two-day masterclass on multiple exceptionalities as well as two days of workshops for primary and secondary teachers involved in Gifted Education.

Dr Rogers is a Professor of Gifted Studies in Special Education andGifted Education Department at the College of Education, Leadership and Counselling at the University of St Thomas in Minneapolis in the United States and an honorary Professor at the University of NSW.

She is also a world expert in research-based Gifted Education practices including gifted program development and evaluation and twice-exceptional education.

The two-day masterclass on multiple exceptionalities supported the work of the Catholic School Office’s working party that has been developing support documents for teaching staff on identifying and catering for gifted learners who also have a disability.

This masterclass helped to enhance teacher awareness of characteristics and identification of learners with multiple exceptionalities. The importance of collaboration to develop education plans and to cater for the varied needs of these students was a major focus of the masterclass.

The masterclass also focused on the need to adopt an educational strategy that centred on a student’s particular strengths.

Teachers had the opportunity to work in small groups using a range of data to assist in the identification of students with multiple exceptionalities and to plan strategies to focus on strengths and to overcome weaknesses.

The second part of Dr Rogers’ visit involved workshops for primary and secondary teachers who have completed professional learning in Gifted Education led by the CSO.

Dr Rogers offered insights into various approaches to research-based educational decision-making for students with gifts and talents.

Teachers reviewed research on flexible grouping in schools, effective identification, curriculum differentiation, compacting and curriculum complexity as well as critical and creative thinking skills.

The workshop was invaluable in that it enabled expert input from Dr Rogers and opportunities for small group discussion, reflection and planning.

To find out more about Gifted Education in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, click here.

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