Virtual Confratute Focuses on Strengths, Creativity

More than 400 educators, parents, advocates, and masters in their field gathered virtually earlier this month for the 43rd annual Confratute educational conference based out of Connecticut. The programming featured six keynotes and 24 sessions over three days of virtual learning.

Confratute’s mission statement describes the belief that all students can benefit when educators consider “each student’s abilities, interests, learning styles, and preferred modes of expression.

“Our focus is on accommodating these differences in a variety of settings. We have shown through our research that a strength-based approach is the best way to both challenge our most advanced learners and to close the achievement gap for at-risk youngsters.”

Drs. Joseph Renzulli and Sally Reis kicked off the three-day conference with a keynote titled “Using Strength-Based Pedagogy to Engage and Challenge All Students.” “Enrichment opportunities that offer rich learning can make a profound difference, even if only a couple hours a week” said the University of Connecticut's Reis. The keynote speakers discussed the success that can happen when educators provide the three E’s in classrooms: enjoyment, engagement, and enthusiasm for learning. “Enjoyment comes first,” Renzulli said, “because anything one enjoys leads to the others.”

These three E’s provided the focus for the three-day virtual conference, which offered strands related to items such as understanding and supporting twice-exceptional students, differentiating curriculum and instruction, teaching for depth, and creating positive social and emotional environments for gifted and talented students. Each day began and ended with a keynote, while the middle of the day allowed for participa...

 

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