Gifted Education Research

The National Center for Research on Gifted Education

The Center, located at UConn, will examine the extent of gifted programming and student participation in three states; identify districts and schools that show high achievement growth rates among gifted students, including those from underserved groups; and explore how these sites successfully identify, serve, and retain students from underrepresented groups in gifted programs.

Other 2014 Javits Grant Awardees

  • Twice-Exceptional Students Achieving and Matriculating in STEM (TEAMS) is a research project at the University of Hawaii designed by Hye Jin Park, Ed.D. It is designed to increase the number of underrepresented students with high academic ability in gifted and talented education programs, as well as the enrollment of these students in postsecondary STEM programs in 24 schools across Oahu, Hawai'i Island, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Iowa, and New York. Award #S206A140012


  • STEM Starters+ is a research study designed by Ann Robinson, Ph.D., and Kristy Kidd at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; it is evaluated by Jill Adelson, Ph.D., of the University of Louisville. This project is designed to increase identification of underrepresented populations, STEM experiences for first- through fifth-grade gifted students, and teacher knowledge of gifted education and STEM disciplines. The research will be completed in schools from the El Dorado, Little Rock, and Pulaski County School Districts. Award #S206A140006


  • Experiences Cultivating Exceptional Learning (EXCEL) is a research initiative designed by Beverly Shaklee, Ed. D., and Anne Horak, Ph.D., of George Mason University, and Shelagh Gallagher, Ph.D.. The goal of the project is to improve English/Language Arts achievement through the use of Problem-Based Learning in 7th and 8th grade students. Award #S206A140022


  • Total School Cluster Grouping (TSCG) is a project created by Marcia Gentry, Ph.D., Jennifer Richardson, Ph.D., Yukiko Maeda, Ph.D., and Kristina Ayers Paul, Ph.D., of Purdue University, and Scott J. Peters, Ph.D., of University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The purpose is to improve achievement in and increase identification of low-income and culturally and linguistically diverse families as gifted. Participant schools are sites with at least 40% population eligibility for Federal Free and Reduced Meals Program in Arizona, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Carolina. Award #S206A140011


  • Collaborative Planning Utilizing a Technical Assistance Collaborative to Upscale the Identification Processes and Programming for Gifted At Risk Learners is the research study designed by Karen L. Westberg, Ph.D., and Karen B. Rogers, Ph.D., of the University of St. Thomas. The project goals are to develop, apply, and assess a model of collaboration that implements various identification strategies for at-risk students, provides effective differentiation in core subjects, and supports the professional growth of teachers and administrators. There are 15 total participant schools consisting of elementary, middle, and high schools. Award #S206A140005


  • Project Talentum Academe is created by Julie Swanson, Ed.D., of the College of Charleston. This project is designed to apply talent development curricula and strategies to ultimately increase teacher awareness of gifted education teaching strategies, improve student achievement, and increase the number of students nominated and placed in gifted programs. The six schools participating in this study are from the Charleston County School District. Award # S206A140029


  • Project CHANGE has been created by Sandra K. Kaplan, Ed.D., and Jessica Manzone, Ed.D., of the University of Southern California with the goals of redefining California's description and identification of gifted behaviors, extending the identification procedures to include preschool through second grade students, and providing professional development and support in gifted education strategies for early childhood educators. The 64 participant schools will come from four California schools districts. Award # S206A140036


  • Project Bright IDEA 3 (Interest Development Early Abilities) is Angel L. Harris, Ph.D., of Duke University's large scale implementation of Bright IDEA 1 and Bright IDEA 2. Bright IDEA 3 is designed to increase the number of students of underrepresented populations identified as gifted, advance academic achievement for these students by modeling skills and behaviors, and support teaching of gifted curriculum to all students. The participants in this study will come from 32 schools in Wake County Public School District in North Carolina. Award # S206A140032


  • Promoting PLACE (Place, Literacy, Achievement, Community and Engagement) in Rural Schools has been designed by Carolyn Callahan, Ph.D., of the University of Virginia and Amy Azano, Ph.D., of Virginia Tech. The purposes of this study are to adapt identification procedures, non-cognitive interventions and curriculum elements to identify rural students, develop a "place-based language arts curriculum for rural learners" based on the CLEAR curriculum, and provide both of these elements to high-poverty rural gifted students. Six cohorts of students will be identified from 14 rural school districts in Virginia for participation. Award # S206A140034

2015 Javits Grant Awardees

2015 Javits Demonstration Grant Awardees

The purpose of Project KALEIDOSCOPE, an initiative designed by Tonya Moon, Ph.D., at the University of Virginia, is to increase the identification of gifted primary-aged students from unrepresented groups through implementing wrap-around services in literacy and to enhance the reading achievement of primary-aged students from underrepresented groups.

Project ELEVATE: English Learner Excellence eVolving through Advanced Teacher Education is designed by Jeanette Lukens of Seminole County Public Schools in partnership with the University of Central Florida’s College of Education and Human Performance. Project ELEVATE presents alternative methods for identifying and serving gifted students, with an emphasis on the inclusion of English Language Learners (ELL) and the district’s most economically disadvantaged and highest minority schools.

Smart Spaces, an evidence-based systemic model of gifted instruction, is scaled up for use throughout the state of Wisconsin by Annalee Good, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin to increase gifted programming access for underrepresented gifted students. Scaling up Smart Spaces includes implementing blended online curriculum modules designed for underrepresented middle school students within the Response to Intervention (RTI) framework. The project will serve students in Milwaukee public schools,Green Bay Area Catholic Schools, Madison Metropolitan School District, and rural schools in central Wisconsin.

2015 Javits Statewide Grant Awardees

The Arizona Department of Education designed the Aligning Efforts for Talent Development project, led by Peter Laing. The project goals are to increase the performance and participation of high ability and high potential students, especially those from underrepresented groups, through enhancing school-wide talent-engagement abilities. The research will be completed in low-performing schools in each region of Arizona.

The Colorado Department of Education’s grant, designed by Jacqueline Medina, targets developing sustainable gifted programs throughout the state, especially in at-risk and rural communities. The grant focuses on supporting gifted learners in areas of the state that have a high degree of English language learners, poverty, and Hispanic and Native American students. The Colorado Department of Education will partner with faculty at the University of Denver to facilitate professional developments tailored to each school based on local resources and needs.

The Kentucky Department of Education created the Reaching Academic Potential Project, an application of the Young Scholars Model led by Kathie Anderson, aimed at identifying and serving underrepresented gifted students. Through partnering with the University of Louisville, Western Kentucky University, and Jefferson County Public School, the project will implement professional development to K-3 teachers on understanding behaviors that correlate with gifted behaviors and learning instructional methods and teaching practices that support gifted learners.

The Minnesota Department of Education created Project North Star, led by Wendy Behrens, to enhance identification of and programming for gifted students in rural populations. Specific professional development opportunities will be implemented on-line, targeting each of the following groups individually: 1) teachers, 2) school leaders, and 3) families and communities. The effects of these PDs will be assessed, and results will be distributed locally and nationally.

The Ohio Department of Education created the Online Curriculum Consortium for Accelerating Middle School (OCCAMS), led by Michael Demczyk, with the goals of increasing the identification of underrepresented gifted students, increasing access to gifted programming for identified students, and creating multi-district infrastructure online to increase schools’ abilities to identify and provide programming for gifted learners. OCCAMS is the result of a collaboration between the Ohio Department of Education, the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University, the Center for Gifted Education at William & Mary, and five school districts in Ohio. The Censeo group will evaluate the program efficacy based on the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards.

The Utah State Office of Education, through the Utah Center for the Advancement of Reading Excellence (UCARE) and led by Moya Kessig, aims to identify and improve services for advanced and gifted readers in Title 1 schools. Professional development using a coaching model will be provided for teachers regarding identifying and instructing gifted readers. In collaboration with the Utah State University, the Utah State Office of Education will create a website for teachers to be used as a continual professional development tool.

The Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction designed the HiCapPlus project, led by Jody Hess, in partnership with the state’s office of public instruction, seven pilot local education agencies (LEAs), University of Washington, and Whitworth University. HiCapPlus targets the identification and service of gifted students through the creation of technical assistance and professional development modules that correlate with the state’s and the National Association for Gifted Children’s standards.

The Wisconsin Department of Education (the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction) developed project Expanding Excellence, led by Chrystyna Mursky, to decrease the excellence gap for English Language Learners and those who qualify for free or reduced price lunch in urban school districts. Professional development on best practices regarding identifying and serving such students will be developed and implemented for classroom teachers and District Leadership Cadres in urban areas. A State Leadership Cadre will also be trained on the model in order to scale it statewide.

2017 Javits Grant Awardees

The scaling-up of Project CRITICAL is implemented by Syracuse University with the aim of developing schools’ capacities to identify and meet the academic needs of gifted students. The project serves regular education and English Language students through curriculum restructuring informed by gifted theories, providing professional development opportunities as well as internet applications for teachers, and identifying gifted learners using Renzulli’s Scales. Award #S206A170008

Project BEAM is created by Hye Jin Park, Ed.D., and Kiriko Takahashi, Ph.D., at the University of Hawaii to scale up and evaluate the BEAM Model to expand the number of underrepresented students who achieve at academically high levels through participating in gifted programs. The BEAM Model is a culturally responsive algebra intervention designed to serve Native American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Island seventh and eight grade students. Award #S206A170014

The Scaling-up and Expanding Excellence for Underrepresented Students (SEE US!) Project is designed by Milwaukee Public Schools to increase the number and performance of high-ability economically disadvantaged students identified as and receiving gifted programing. The SEE US! project develops collaborations between school and district personnel, students, and student families in order to best support students through implementation of the principles of the federally-funded U-STARS~PLUS (USP) and Expanding Excellence projects. Award# S206A170011

Project Bridge, developed by St. John’s University, aims to increase English and mathematical proficiency in students in grades K-2. In order to meet these goals, the project will implement an after-school, evidence-based mathematics program based on the Mentoring Young Mathematicians Project (M2) for three years. In addition, the project will include increasing the number of gifted students identified by the New York City Department of Education, expanding teachers’ use of Language Scaffolding Strategies for gifted learners, and provide professional development for teachers on instructional strategies that enhance academic proficiency for gifted learners. Award#S206A170028

Florida Atlantic University Academies of Innovation and Research (FAU-AIR) Program, created by Florida Atlantic University and Florida Atlantic University College of Education, aims to create a pathway for gifted students from all backgrounds to earn a bachelor’s degree without financial burden or college transitions. This project will serve 1,700 students in grades 7-12 through intrusive advising, near peer mentoring, targeted middle school, and teacher education on social-emotional learning and culturally responsive teaching. Award # S206A170005

The purpose of the Maryland Gateway to Gifted and Talented (GT) Education Project is to develop an online platform for resources regarding gifted students including identification and service delivery models, professional development modules, and instructional strategies. These resources will be available to students, families, educators, community members, and researchers. Award#S206A170010

The Thinking Like Mathematicians project, developed by E. Jean Gubbins, Ph.D., at the University of Connecticut, focuses on presenting a high quality mathematics curriculum that includes principles of differentiation for grade 3 general education classrooms. The project will generate data on the effectiveness of enhancing student learning through using a challenging, pre-differentiated curriculum developed using the frameworks of 21st Century Skills and Common Core Standards. Award#S206A170023

The Gifted and Talented (GT) Visual Arts and Leadership Program, created by the San Antonio Independent School District, targets the identification and provision of service delivery for students who are potentially advanced in Visual Arts and Leadership. These aims include increasing academic performance and Visual Arts and Leadership skills for students from underserved populations as well as developing and implementing Visual Arts and Leadership Programs for Gifted learners.  Award #S206A170013

Project Lift, designed by Catherine Little, Ph.D., of the University of Connecticut, aims to improve teacher understanding and practice of facilitating academic achievement among high potential students from underserved populations. The University of Connecticut is partnering with the Connecticut Association for the Gifted in order to serve 3,200-4,000 students. Targeting teacher perceptions of students demonstration of high-potential behaviors and related instructional practices, Project LIFT assists teachers in evaluating instructional focus linked to certain standards. Award # S206A170030

The California Lutheran University (CLU) Project for the Advancement of Gifted and Exceptional Students, designed by Melissa Spence, Ed.D., aims to increase post-secondary preparedness for gifted students at the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Academy of Integrated Arts and Technology (The Academy), encompassing twice-exceptional students with autism spectrum disorders, by enhancing the identification and development of skills for gifted students. Overall, the project will increase the number of students identified as gifted (including unrepresented students and students who are twice-exceptional), enhance the capacity of teachers at The Academy to use solid instructional strategies for these students, and promote college readiness for these students. Award # S206A170042

Project Reach EACH Through Literacy, led by Sandra Kaplan, Ed.D., of The University of Southern California, aims to implement a companion curriculum to the State adopted English Language Arts curriculum and chosen district texts in order to increase achievement scores in literacy for all students in a heterogeneous classroom. In partnering with the California Department of Education, the University of Southern California aims to promote awareness of and quick resolution to any issues that arise in meeting the project goal of enhancing literacy comprehension across the continuum of diverse learners. Award# S206A170031

The purpose of the Culturally Responsive Talent Identification and Career Exploration (TICE) Project, created by the University of Iowa Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, is to expand the participation of underrepresented students in gifted programming. Through the project, 400 middle school students from 40 school districts in Iowa will be identified and served through a newly developed talent development model and a career intervention program.  Award# S206A170017

The Greenville County Schools (GCS) Placement Program, developed by the School District of Greenville County, is designed to implement, improve, and assess a plan to increase the number of students identified for and served by the district’s gifted program. The plan includes pre-identification of gifted students in grades K-1, expanding measurable academic achievement, and the inclusion of a summer program to involve more students and parents. Award # S206A170029