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Seminar Focuses on Gifted/Underachieving Students

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October 4, 2005 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Having an academically talented child does not necessarily mean having a child who either likes school or does well there. A seminar at Northwestern University on “Gifted Students and Underachievement” Saturday, Oct. 15, will provide insight on why even gifted students sometimes do poorly in school and suggest strategies parents and teachers can use to help gifted students reach their potential.

Sponsored by Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development (CTD), the seminar will take place in Room 107, Swift Hall, 2029 Sheridan Road, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.  It will feature remarks by nationally known gifted education experts Del Siegle (president-elect of the National Association for the Gifted) and D. Betsy McCoach. Both are professors of educational psychology in the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education.

The seminar will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions with a box lunch session in the middle.

Siegle and McCoach will present “Understanding Gifted Children Who Underachieve,” from 9 a.m. to noon and  “Strategies for Helping Gifted Underachievers” from 1 to 4 p.m. The lunch session from noon to 12:50 p.m. will give parents and teachers an opportunity to chat informally with Professors Siegle and McCoach and with other parents and teachers of gifted children.

Siegle writes a technology column for “Gifted Child Today.” His research interests include Web-based instruction, motivation of gifted students, and teacher bias in the identification of students for gifted programs.

A member of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, McCoach was part of that organization’s design team for an underachievement intervention study. She has developed an instrument designed to assess underachievement.

Individuals interested in attending the sessions must register by Thursday, Oct. 13. Registration forms are available online at <http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/resources/outreach.html/conference>. Cost is $70 for the morning, lunch and afternoon sessions or  $35 for the morning or afternoon session only (with an additional $10 for lunch). Currently enrolled college students, parents of currently enrolled Project Excite or Program Live students, or currently employed CTD teachers with valid IDs can attend free of charge.

For further information, contact the Center for Talent Development at (847) 491-7662 or e-mail c-ullegue@northwestern.edu.