The Wedge Visiting Scholar Presentations, a free evening lecture and all-day workshop for educators and the public, has been presented each year since 2003 through a gift from the Wedge family. Presentations have included Dr. Carol Tomlinson on “Defensible Differentiation: What Will It Take to Get It Right?”; Dr. Donald Treffinger on teaching children to think critically and creatively; Jonathan Plucker on excellence gaps; Bronwyn MacFarlane on “Curriculum for Every Student to Succeed: Integrating Best Practices from Gifted Education in the Content Areas; and Barbara Kerr on “From Imagination to Innovation: Encouraging Students in STEM.”
The first session was Wednesday, February 21 at 7:00 p.m. (CDT) in Gary Ransdell Hall on WKU’s campus and was open to students, parents, teachers, administrators, and counselors interested in gifted education. Subotnik spoke about how psychological science can provide key insights on effective instruction, classroom environments that promote learning, and appropriate use of assessment, including data, tests, and measurement, as well as research methods that inform practice.
The second session, a three-hour workshop with EILA credit available, was Thursday, February 22 at 8:30 a.m. (CDT) at the Knicely Conference Center. This workshop was open to educators and administrators. Subotnik explored how gifted students may be simultaneously unique from—and the same as—typical students in that their learning hinges on general psychological learning principles. However, to be effective, the application of those principles may be different for gifted students than for their classmates. Examples were shared of the varied ways in which psychology promotes the application of principles based on the needs of special groups of learners.
Rena Subotnik is Director of the Center for Psychology in Schools and Education (CPSE) at the American
Psychological Association. CPSE promotes high quality application of psychology to
programs and policies for schools and education. The office serves as a liaison both
within APA and with national educational and scientific societies, federal agencies,
and the general public concerning teaching, learning, and the well-being of children
and personnel in schools and other educational institutions.
Before Dr. Subotnik came to APA, she was a professor of education at Hunter College, where she coordinated the secondary education program and served for 14 years as research and curriculum liaison to the Hunter College laboratory schools for gifted children (grades PK-12). Subotnik was the 2002 recipient of the National Association for Gifted Children NAGC Distinguished Scholar award, 2013 Mensa Lifetime Achievement award, and is a 2009 American Educational Research Association fellow.