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Gifted Educators, Parents from 41 Countries Attend World Conferenece

Gifted Educators, Parents from 41 Countries Attend World Conferenece

The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children hosted its 20th Biennial World Conference, “Celebrating Giftedness and Creativity,” Aug. 10-14 at the Galt House Hotel and Conference Center in Louisville.

Approximately 550 individuals representing 41 countries participated in the conference.  Dr. Julia Link Roberts, Mahurin Professor of Gifted Education at WKU and Treasurer of the World Council, said this conference was a phenomenal experience.

“Having the opportunity to attend a world conference is something to remember,” Dr. Roberts said.  “It was an honor to host the conference in Kentucky.”

The conference focused on several areas relating to the overarching theme of “Celebrating Giftedness and Creativity.” These included innovation education; developing future leaders; assessment, screening and identification approaches; homeschooling and parenting; twice-exceptional learners; and educational technology among others.

World-renowned gifted education scholars led participants through these topics. The conference included 10 keynote speakers.  Dr. Linda Silverman, Institute for the Study of Advanced Development in Denver, discussed the breakthroughs in assessing gifted children; Dr. Todd Lubart of the Université Paris Descartes in France, examined how to build a school system that promotes the development of creative potential; and Dr. Tracy Riley of Massey University in New Zealand, explained how to enhance creativity through competition.

The conference opened with a “Call to the Races” on Saturday and was followed shortly thereafter by welcome addresses from Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and WKU President Gary A. Ransdell, and singing performances by WKU music majors.  Dr. Joseph Renzulli, University of Connecticut Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, closed the Opening Ceremony when he presented his keynote on Social Capital.

“The World Conference was an amazing experience,” Dr. Renzulli said.  “The various presentations by international experts on identifying and serving gifted and talented students broadened my horizon about the cultural perspectives that educators, parents, and policy makers must take into consideration when examining research and practice in our field.”

Along with the keynotes, attendees had opportunities to listen to a variety of topics in the breakout sessions.  Each day, they could to hear up to 13 speakers whose focus was gifted and talented education.

“The 20th Biennial World Conference was a rare and phenomenal opportunity to gather together with other gifted and talented educators, scholars and esteemed leaders in the field of gifted and talented education from around the world,” said Denise Ann Zigler, Gifted and Talented Educator from Metro Nashville Public Schools in Nashville, Tenn. “It provided a unique occasion to learn and collaborate and to share insights and best practices with others from around the globe woven together with the universal strands of a celebration of giftedness and creativity.”

The 21st Biennial World Conference will be held Aug. 10-14, 2015, in Odense, Denmark.  The theme for the 21st Biennial World Conference is “Educating Gifted and Talented Children – Turning Research Into Practice.” For information on this conference, visit

About The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, Inc.: The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, Inc. (WCGTC) is a worldwide nonprofit organization that provides advocacy and support for gifted children. The WCGTC is a diverse organization networking the globe with an active membership of educators, scholars, researchers, parents, and others interested in the development and education of gifted and talented children of all ages. The WCGTC consists of its Members, Executive Committee, Delegates from member countries, and a Headquarters that recently relocated to WKU in Bowling Green. The World Council was founded over 35 years ago and hosts a biennial World Conference at a major international city during late July or early August in odd-numbered years.

About The Center for Gifted Studies: Located on the WKU campus in Bowling Green,The Center for Gifted Studies has been serving children who are gifted and talented, their educators, and their parents for 30 years. The Center provides exciting educational opportunities for gifted young people, rigorous professional development for teachers, and support for parents of gifted young people. Under the direction of Dr. Julia Roberts, The Center has become one of the preeminent advocates for gifted education in the United States.  The Center believes that when gifted young people meet their extraordinary potential, our communities, our state, our nation—even our world—become better places. That is why each school year, The Center renews its commitment to encouraging excellence by providing quality programming and resources for gifted students, their teachers, and their parents.

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 Last Modified 5/2/17