Gifted Education and Creativity Symposium

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August 24, 2017 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM​
Rider University, Lawrenceville Campus
Bart Luedeke Center
Cavalla Room

Register Now!

For more information or to register over the phone, contact:
Nicole Caplinger

Colleen Martin or Gail Turner

Symposium Description

Rider University's College of Education and Human Services and the Teacher Leadership Community are very pleased to offer our annual Gifted Education and Creativity Symposium.  This one-day Symposium is offered at no cost to attendees and made possible by the generous contributions of the Martinson Family Foundation.

This year, the Symposium will be offering participants the opportunity to present brief overviews of free tech apps/sites that can be used in the classroom. Presentations will be limited to no more than 3 minutes and must select the option to present during registration as well as indicate which app/site they would like to present. The Teacher Leader Community will select 10 people to present over the lunch hour and will be notified in advance if their topic has been selected.

The Symposium will provide a stand-alone workshop for those wanting to understand the nature of gifted education, talent development, and creativity, especially within the STEM disciplines. Participants who want to gain more in-depth expertise with these topics may participate in the Symposium, and engage in a follow-up 3-credit online graduate course (CURR-650 Understanding Gifted Learners) through readings and assignments. Course assignments will be due September 2, 2017.

Those registered in advance will be given a head start on readings and course assignments prior to the one-day symposium to avoid excessive workload at the end of the month.

Six Professional Development (PD) Hours are available for attending the Symposium.

Undergraduate students wishing to take the 3-credit course option must have completed 90 credits and maintained a 3.0 GPA.




We will explore the following questions, among others:

  • Who are the gifted and talented?
  • What is giftedness?
  • Do we really know it when we see it?
  • What is gifted education?
  • What is creativity?
  • What is talent development?
  • Can an interest in the STEM disciplines be cultivated in the gifted student and how do we identify STEM talent?
  • How can the gifted and talented match their abilities with turbulent 21st-century conditions?
  • What are their cognitive, social-emotional, and behavioral characteristics?
  • What barriers do they face while attempting to maximize their abilities?
  • What is the current climate for gifted education in New Jersey, the nation, and the world
  • How can we best prepare these students for a future in which technologies will emerge and evolve in unpredictable ways?
9:00-9:20 Welcome and Symposium Preview
 – Introduction of presenters and facilitators; overview of the agenda
9:20-9:50 Introduction to Giftedness and Talent: Some Big Questions and Issues
 – Don Ambrose
9:50-10:30 Gifted Education in New Jersey: What’s happening now? What’s coming in the near future?
– Jeanne Muzi & Roberta Braverman
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-11:00 Are my students creative? Am I a creative teacher/administrator/counselor? 
– John Baer
11:00-11:50 Interview with Gifted Students
– Panel of gifted students moderated by Jeanne Muzi & Roberta Braverman
11:50-1:00 Lunch along with Tech & Take (speakers giving brief overviews of free tech applications/sites that you can use in your classrooms)
1:00-1:30 Keynote Presentation: Cultivating Creativity with Meaningful Tech Integration 
– Jay Billy
1:30-2:10 Curriculum and Instruction for the Gifted and Talented: differentiation, enrichment, acceleration… 
– Don Ambrose, Jeanne Muzi & Roberta Braverman
2:10-2:25 Break
2:25-2:50 Social-Emotional Development: perfectionism, relationships, hypersensitivity… 
–Jeanne Muzi, Roberta Braverman & Don Ambrose
2:50-3:20 Career/Life Coaching the Gifted and Talented 
– Trevor Buser 
3:20-3:30 Symposium wrap up. Those attending the 1-day conference only and not taking the 3-credit class are finished for the day.
3:30-4:15 Orientation meeting for those taking the 3-credit class (overview of course content, procedures, assignments, etc.) – Don Ambrose
Presenters and Workshop Facilitators

Researchers, College Faculty

  • Don Ambrose - Editor of the Roeper Review, an international journal on gifted education; internationally prominent scholar of giftedness and creative intelligence; Professor of Graduate Education, Rider University (Don will run the college class that continues beyond the one-day conference)
  • John Baer - Internationally prominent scholar of creativity and giftedness; Professor of Teacher Education, Rider University
  • Trevor Buser - Associate Professor of Counseling and Coaching, Rider University 
  • Sharon Sherman - Dean of the College of Education and Human Services, Rider University; president of NJ Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

Practitioners: Teachers, Administrators, Consultants

  • Jay Billy - Principal, Slackwood Elementary School, Lawrence district
  • Jeanne Muzi - gifted coordinator, Lawrence district; New Jersey Teacher of the Year award winner
  • Roberta Braverman - Advocacy Vice President NJAGC; educational consultant; professional development provider; private enrichment tutor and advocate

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