Discussing Excellence Gaps and Creativity with Dr. Jonathan Plucker - Part 2
It’s easy to have a negative view of testing, but testing does have value in terms of content knowledge acquisition. In part two of this two-part interview, Dr. Cyndi Burnett and Dr. Matthew Worwood speak with researcher and creativity expert, Dr. Jonathan Plucker, about the relationship between gifted education and creativity. Jonathan also speaks on why he believes every school should have a Chief Creativity Officer and what that would look like.
Tune in to learn Jonathan’s approach to testing students, assessing for gifted education programs, and how to identify students who are talented or gifted. He sheds light on why it’s a huge mistake to drive advanced learning and creativity out of our schools. Plus, he shares his thoughts on why educators should be focusing on students with true potential who are underperforming and turning that potential into advanced performance.
“If a student’s performing at advanced levels, I encourage people not to overthink that. Just accept it. Great, they’re working at advanced levels. That’s the goal. How much further can I push this student?... But we have so many students who are not performing at those advanced levels who have the potential to get there and that’s what I’m really concerned about is we tend to look right past those students.” - Dr. Jonathan Plucker
Jonathan’s Tips for Teachers, Administrators, and Parents:
The best way to use teacher involvement is to focus on what they are trained to do: to help students, especially those who aren’t being noticed. If you’re going to be identifying for a talent, don’t use teachers as gatekeepers. Collect all your data and then use teachers as the safety net to catch those whom the administrators missed.
Modeling is incredibly important for creativity. If you run into a problem, have your students/children work with you to solve it.
Creative Articulation: Professional, long-term creators are very good at convincing people that their work is creative. They are also masterful at incorporating feedback and using it to improve their work. Help your students/children learn how to share their creativity and persuade others that their perspective is valuable… at ALL ages.
About Dr. Jonathan Plucker:
Jonathan Plucker is a prominent education policy and talent development scholar, and the inaugural Julian C. Stanley Professor of Talent Development at Johns Hopkins University. He holds a joint appointment at the Center for Talented Youth and School of Education.
His work focuses on education policy and talent development and has been supported by over $40 million in external grants and contracts. Jonathan has published over 300 articles, chapters, and reports. He recently became editor for the Psychological Perspectives on Contemporary Educational Issues series at IAP. His work defining and studying excellence gaps (http://cepa.uconn.edu/mindthegap) is part of a larger effort to reorient policymakers’ and educators’ thinking about how best to promote success and high achievement for all children.