Hybrid Edufest Inspires Around Gifted and Talented Education

The 23rd annual Edufest, a conference for parents, teachers, administrators, and coordinators on gifted and talented education, took place late last month. The first-ever hybrid Edufest consisted of 20 different live lectures broken up into strands that were presented over the course of three days. Sessions included topics such as creativity, differentiation, cultivating thinking in the classroom, and curriculum design. Edufest organizers explained that the goal of the three-day conference was for participants to walk away with “many meaningful, energizing, and fun ways to differentiate for children of all ability levels.”

Tamara Fisher and Jeff Danielian kicked off the three-day conference by welcoming attendees, both virtually and in-person at Boise State University. Dr. Joseph Renzulli began the opening keynote by starting with the question, “What is the major goal of gifted education?”

“I like to say it very simply,” Renzulli said. “It is to increase the world’s reservoir of highly creative and productive people.” His opening keynote went on to explain the opportunities and resources we can make available to improve creative productivity, something Renzulli explained as the center-focus of his work at the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Sally Reis, also of UConn, then shared new research she has been conducting on creative and talented women. She began by presenting recent headlines and statistics that showcased the importance of the topic. “Why are over 90% of patents held by men?,” Reis said. “Are women less creative than men or are there a number of barriers for women?”

Her research found that each of the 15 highly creative women in her study acknowledged their own creativity, purposefully focused on cr...

 

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