MONMOUTH – Western Oregon University’s College of Education, Teaching Research Institute, and the Division of Extended Programs have been awarded $106,350 by the Oregon Department of Education, through a competitive grant proposal process, to develop a Talented and Gifted Regional Planning Center.
This center at WOU will serve several purposes. First, it will identify teachers’ professional development needs in serving TAG students. Second, it will design targeted responses to those needs. Third, it will provide easily accessible professional development to improve outcomes for TAG students. Last, it will coordinate access to resources on best practices in gifted education. The project will offer asynchronous online modules, synchronous Web-based presentations, regional workshops and application-based trainings throughout Oregon with a particular emphasis on meeting the needs of students identified as talented and gifted, their parents and their educators living in rural areas.
According to the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2001, talented and gifted students are those “students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities.”
The Oregon Revised Statues define talented and gifted children as those “who require special educational programs or services, or both, beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their contribution to self and society and who demonstrate outstanding ability or potential in [intellectual, academic, creative and/or leadership] ability” (ORS 343.395).
“Meeting the needs of talented and gifted students requires collaboration between and among educators, administrators, parents, higher education personnel, and local communities,” commented the project’s director Ella Taylor, Ph.D. “This project will bring together these groups to maximize the learning outcomes of students.”
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Ann Bardsley, Sorenson Communications
Elisa Maroney, associate professor of special education