July 11, 2009

The Gifted Education Seminar presents a comprehensive overview of gifted education. Framed by an overview and conclusion, the course examines five major areas over 45 hours of instruction: characteristics of diverse gifted learners; perspectives on giftedness; identification instruments and procedures; social and emotional needs of gifted and talented students; differentiated instruction and flexible grouping; and curriculum models. Emphasis is placed on practical application of theoretical principles, and inclusion of underrepresented populations is continually addressed.

The Gifted Education Seminar is appropriate for all educators. The goal of the Illinois State Board of Education is to make this course available to every educator throughout the state.

The course may be provided in three formats:

Ÿ 36 hours face-to-face instruction plus 9 hours DVD instruction with assignments through independent study
Ÿ 24 hours face-to-face plus 21 hours of DVD instruction and assignments
Ÿ 15 hours face-to-face plus 30 hours of DVD instruction and assignments

The face-to-face instruction combines direct instruction, participant engagement through various flexible grouping strategies, and use of DVD instruction for independent work. The focus is on major concepts in gifted education, concrete practice, explicit connections to the classroom, and development of action plans.

The use of DVD instruction for independent study is a unique feature of the Gifted Education Seminar. Multiple delivery formats allow for comprehensive professional development with limited interruption to classroom instruction. The course design team recognized the administrative complexities of providing professional development, and teacher reluctance to be absent from the classroom for 45 hours during the school year. The DVD instruction provides flexibility to deliver the course in the formats previously described.

The design team for developing the Gifted Education Seminar includes:
Dr. Sally Walker, Executive Director for the Illinois Association of Gifted Children; Cathy Greene, Former Director of Elementary and Gifted Education for McLean County Unit #5 School District; Mary Ellen Leonard, Consultant from Champaign-Ford Regional Office of Education; Diane Beedy, Director Macon-Piatt Regional Office of Education.

For more information, contact:
Diane Beedy at 217-872-3721 or email beedyd@roe39.k12.il.us