The Gifted Child Society is a
non-profit organization that was
founded in 1957 by parents of
New Jersey to further the cause
of gifted children.
Welcome to The Gifted Child Society's Educators' Page, where we provide additional resources to the teachers of gifted children.
The Gifted Child Society Has Sponsored 100 "GCS Fellows"
The Gifted Child Society (GCS) has reached a significant milestone in its teacher training program. In July 2007, the 100th GCS Fellow attended Confratute at the University of Connecticut. Confratute is one of the nationís leading institutes for teacher training in education of the gifted. It is a total immersion, live-in experience offering training in K-12 teaching that cuts across all school activities, curricular areas, grade levels, and grouping.
The 100 GCS Fellows who attended Confratute in July 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007 have become the vanguard of a growing cadre of teacher training leaders in education of the gifted. Each GCS Fellowís training at Confratute, including tuition, meals, and housing on the University of Connecticut campus, has been paid for by The Gifted Child Society.
To begin each GCS Fellowship process, the GCS office mails applications to superintendents in New Jersey public school districts, requesting that each superintendent nominate one teacher to become a GCS Fellow. From the superintendentsí nominees, GCS Fellows are selected based on professional excellence, leadership, regional representation, and potential to provide staff development in their district and region.
All GCS Fellows pledge to pass along their new knowledge in the form of staff training and program development in their school districts and regions. Superintendents also pledge to provide the GCS Fellows with the opportunity to share their Confratute training in their districts.
The 100 GCS Fellows represent public school districts in 20 out of the 22 counties in New Jersey.
The Gifted Child Society Fellows 2007
by GCS Fellow Bonnie Collins
"My brain is so full, itís about to explode." So say most of the educators who go to Confratute at the University of Connecticut. Over five days of activities running from 8:30 Am to 11:00 PM, attendees hear so many new ideas and try out so many exciting programs that they canít wait to return to their school districts and apply them to their teaching.
Con-fra-tute, a phrase coined by Joe Renzulli that is part convention, part fraternity, and part institute, is dedicated to helping teachers and administrators enrich the learning experiences of all students, with a special emphasis on the needs of the gifted and talented students who may not be challenged in a standard program. The professors are some of the greatest experts in Gifted education, such has Joe Renzulli, Sally Reis, and Sandra Kaplan. Educators come to the program for all over the word, and approximately 1,000 were there this summer, which was the 30th year of Confratute! Attendees can take three different "strands", or classes, over the five days, and additional strands offered on a one-time basis. So many additional activities are available that the frequent comment heard is, "I can sleep NEXT week!"
In addition to myself, three other Union County teachers attended this summerís Confratute in Storrs, Connecticut. Arlene Terpenning of Roselle Park, Donna Vaupel of Cranford, and Olga Broznya of Linden went to further develop their professional knowledge of gifted education, Olga during the first week (July 10-14) and the other three of us during the second week (July 16-20) of the two weeks the program ran.
I teach gifted students in Springfield in grades 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8. The best part of Confratute was being able to be a student myself, to be able to get excited about learning new things, things I was really interested in and really wanted to learn. Among them were the strands in Animation (visual storytelling with digital technology), Silk-Screening, and Origami (using math concepts and vocabulary in a concrete application). I plan to try all three activities with some of my students this year. I hope they enjoy them as much as I did!
While Donna Vaupel and Arlene Terpenning have attended Confratute before as GCS Fellows, this was Olgaís and my first experience as a Fellow The Gifted Child Society of New Jersey. Iím really grateful to the GCS and Janet Chen for supporting and funding this experience for NJ teachers. To date, The Gifted Child Society has sponsored 100 educators at Confratute. I loved being in a peer group that was as excited about teaching and ideas as I am. It brings new excitement to my return to school this fall.
I encourage any educator, especially one in the field of gifted education, to consider attending Confratute next summer. For more information, visit the NEAG Center's website.
Confratute 2010 at UCONN: July 11-16, 2010
This July will be Confratuteís 33rd annual summer at the University of Connecticut. From the beginning, Confratute was conceived as a combination of the best aspects of a Conference, and an institute with a good deal of fraternity blended within. It has remained one of the leading professional development programs on enrichment learning and teaching in the world. Participants come from throughout the United States and around the world to teach and learn about gifted education, talent development, and total school improvement. Confratute can be taken for academic graduate credit or for Continuing Education Units that vary from state to state.
Confratute features presentations by the nation's best-known leaders in gifted education, talent development, thinking skills, and creativity. Over 60 week-long strands focus on all aspects of differentiated instruction and enrichment learning and teaching. Everyone who teaches at Confratute is hand picked from among the very best professionals who spend the majority of their time directly involved with schools, teachers, and kids. The focus is on practical skills, the application of knowledge and thinking skills to relevant student interests and experiences. It is an informal learning environment where participants interact casually with the staff, network with colleagues, share similar concerns, and discuss hopes and dreams about making schools enjoyable and exciting places for talent development. For more information about Confratute 2010, visit the NEAG Center's Confratute website, or call 1-800-486-4826.
The NEAG Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development
The NEAG Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Connecticut now features online graduate courses in gifted and talented education.
The online courses offer educators an interactive and exciting classroom without leaving home. The courses are flexible and designed to accommodate students' busy schedules. Students engage in online discussions that provide asynchronous interactions between and among the instructors and classmates as they complete projects related to personal goals.
Links for Educators
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