#WCGTC13 #IYGC – Megan Foley Nicpon PhD – Speaking on Twice Exceptional Children, Raises a Kite for Giftedness and Creativity

Welcome to the WCGTC KITE SITE!- Raising Awareness on Giftedness, Talent and Creativity Worldwide, we hope you enjoy reading the first of  a number of guest blog posts by individuals who will be presenting and or attending the 20th World Conference in Kentucky- Celebrating Giftedness and Creativity and Flying their kites for awareness..

Dr. Megan Foley Nipcon

Dr. Megan Foley Nipcon

Megan Foley Nicpon, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology Program Licensed Psychologist and Research Consultant,

Belin-Blank Center- University of Iowa, USA

Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

 N361 Lindquist Center -Iowa City, IA 52242

This August, I am honored to be presenting at the WCGTC 20TH Biennial World Conference.  being held in Louisville, Kentucky. This conference provides an opportunity for gifted education leaders worldwide to join in discussing best practice, promoting new ideas, and sharing cutting-edge research. It is also the main event for the International Year of Giftedness and Creativity. This is an exciting time to be a gifted educator and advocate, and Louisville is the place to be!

 The focus of my Keynote Presentation is on Twice-exceptional students, or Gifted students with co-existing disabilities.

Researchers have shown that gifted educators in the US are becoming more familiar with the concept of twice-exceptionality, but understanding outside the field is scant. Additionally, we know less about how familiar people are with twice-exceptionality worldwide. It is my goal to share insights from my extensive research and clinical experience with identification of and intervention with twice-exceptional individuals. Through this sharing and open dialogue, it is my hope that attendees will gain deeper knowledge about the challenges twice-exceptional students face, learn practical strategies about how to optimize talent domains, and discover accommodations that work to facilitate positive educational and personal experiences for this exceptional group of learners.

 My presentation is only one of several diverse options for attendees. For example, worldwide leaders will be discussing topics such as social capital and leadership skills for gifted students, developing creativity and creative minds, and identifying giftedness in light of various cultural definitions and political contexts. The options are countless for the eager learner and inquisitive mind.

 I am thrilled to be speaking at the WCGTC World Conference this August, 2013. I hope you join me at this exciting conference, during this exciting time for gifted education worldwide.  Come fly your kite with us!

Paint on tile kites- by members of the Thomas Family

Paint on tile kites- by members of the Thomas Family

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#IYGC- The International Year of Giftedness and Creativity- World Council for Gifted and Talented Children’s President, Dr. Taisir Yamin, sends an invitation…


Dr. Taisir Yamin Phd
World Council for Gifted and Talented Children

Taisir Subhi Yamin– President of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children– is a professor of gifted education. He has a B.Sc. in Physics, an M.A. in Special Education, and a Ph.D. in Gifted Education and Computer Assisted Learning from Lancaster University in England. He is the recipient of academic prizes and fellowships from Jordan, England, and the U.S.A. including a Fulbright Award (1996), and the British Council scholarship.  He is the Scientific Director
International Centre for Innovation in Education (ICIE-Paris)
Université Paris Descartes


Welcome to the IYGC Gifted Awareness Kite Site! A World Council for Gifted and Talented Children initiative.


Contributed and designed by members of the Thomas Family- N.C. USA

The Kite Site was initially developed in 2012.  It was used for the first time to run what became a very successful blog tour during the first inaugural International Week of the Gifted, lead by the WCGTC, during August of that year. Please feel free to explore some of these contributions by clicking on the links under ‘Recent Posts’ at the right. 

During this year – The International Year of Giftedness and Creativity  the Kite Site will be used to facilitate the sharing of information, and to showcase some of the activities taking place this year. A selection of this material may also be shared at the 20th World Conference, August 10th-14th, in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.  Please feel free to click on the pages in the main menu to see if you would like to contribute.  The purpose is to invite participation from the worldwide gifted, talented and creative communities, to share in the celebration.  

In our run up to the 20th World Conference we will be giving some of our outstanding conference presenters and contributors a voice, through a number of guest blog posts on this site, as well as some conference participants. During and after the conference, we also hope to share reflections from participants and contributors. These reflections may also form part of our Stories and Story Sharing Project, after the conference.   

If you know children or young people who would like to let their creativity soar and take part, why not explore Fly a Kite for Giftedness page and find out how they can participate by sending one in. We would like to share a number of these both on this site and in Kentucky.


Contributed and Designed by Susanne Thomas, N.C. USA

To join in your celebrations, we are hoping to collect any news and information about any Celebrations or Gifted Advocacy and Awareness Events during 2013. We will share a selection of these with the participants during the conference.  These events could include Gifted/Talent/Creativity Awareness Days/Weeks/Months, or they could be an advocacy event, a conference, planned celebrations such as a school gathering or celebration, an organised children’s event, or an organised family picnic.  What kind of kite did you fly?

If you would like to tell us, please use the contact details on the Celebrations and Advocacy Exchange page.

IYGC-Slide image

Produced for the WCGTC by Leslie Graves

We would like to begin by wishing you all a wonderful year,  and to thank all worldwide advocates,  wherever you live, for all that you do for our children. What are you or your organisation doing to Celebrate Giftedness and Creativity this year? Have you flown your Awareness Kite yet?  Come fly it with us at the 20th Anniversary WCGTC Conference in Kentucky, USA!

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#IWG12- The International Week of the Gifted- World Council for Gifted and Talented Children’s President, Dr. Taisir Yamin, shares his thoughts…

Dr. Taisir Yamin Phd
World Council for Gifted and Talented Children

Taisir Subhi Yamin— President of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children— is a professor of gifted education. He has a B.Sc. in Physics, an M.A. in Special Education, and a Ph.D. in Gifted Education and Computer Assisted Learning from Lancaster University in England. He is the recipient of academic prizes and fellowships from Jordan, England, and the U.S.A. including a Fulbright Award (1996), and the British Council scholarship.  He is the Scientific Director
International Centre for Innovation in Education (ICIE-Paris)
Université Paris Descartes

International Week of the Gifted 2012

 The first “International Day of the Gifted” was successfully celebrated in (August 10, 2011) during the 19th biennial conference in Prague. Building on the sense of community that was formed by celebrating gifted children, and honoring gifted and talented efforts worldwide, it was decided to expand the day to a week this year during the second week of August 2013.

The “International Week of the Gifted” was a wonderful opportunity to cooperate and collaborate with international networks of individuals and organizations committed to promoting this field of knowledge and raising the public awareness concerning the importance of nurturing the gifted, creative, and talented children and adults through the exchange of ideas and experiences. A considerable amount of interest was generated by the contributors

You are no doubt aware of the huge work the organization of an event such as this represents, from an intellectual just as much as from a logistical point of view. I value teamwork, dialogue, honesty, integrity, cooperation, and collaboration as a part of our continuous improvement efforts. I honor the trust placed in our team, as founders, contributors, and administrators of this blogtour. My warmest thanks and gratitude go to Mary St George, and Leslie Graves (EC and Coordinator) for their splendid commitment and professionalism in the different stages of this exceptional event. Thanks as well to the many people who helped distribute the blogs over the various networks.  Many thanks also go to the World Council Executive Administrator Tracy Harkins.

We are truly fortunate in being assisted by a competent and generous team. Many thanks also go to Western Kentucky University for: Hosting the headquarters of the WCGTC, providing financial support, and offering both intellectual and logistical facilities.

In the name of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC) and in my capacity as the President of the WCGTC, I would like to express my gratitude to those who contributed for this event in particular and gifted education in general in different parts of the world. Thanks to each one of you for your continuous support.

Finally, in closing, I am honored to lead this international organization. I am looking forward to a busy “International Year of Giftedness and Creativity”. We are really proud of the faith, trust, and confidence you have placed in the members of the Executive Committee. We look forward to seeing many of you at the 20th World Conference in New Zealand!

 Taisir Subhi Yamin

President, WCGTC

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Last Links for #IWG12

We have been delighted with the variety of blog posts contributed over the past week. Posts have come from parents of gifted children, teachers, researchers and advocates. We have heard from WCGTC delegates, from members, and from people who simply share our goals and are happy to join their messages with ours. Writers have joined us from Hungary, Norway, Mexico, Denmark, Vietnam, Israel, Ireland, the UK, the US, Australia, and of course from New Zealand where the 2013 World Conference will be held.

Here are the last few posts from our blog tour for the International Week of the Gifted, 2012:

This time next year, we’ll be saying our goodbyes at our conference, after meeting many of the people who have been part of this blog tour in the last few days. It’s time to save up and to count down. We hope to see you there.

#IWG12 Logo 300 high

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Back to the Future

Associate Professor Tracy Riley of Massey University tells the story behind New Zealand’s revised handbook on gifted and talented education, launched during the International Week of the Gifted.

Revised Handbook Cover

Back to the Future

I often begin my lectures on gifted and talented education in New Zealand by explaining a conversation I had with the Ministry of Education back in 1997 when I arrived here from the United States. It went something like this:

Tracy: May I please speak with the person responsible for gifted and talented education? 
Operator: Silence
Tracy: (laugh) It must be my accent! (repeat question)
Operator: (throat clearing) Um, we don’t have anyone …. 
Tracy: Well would you please send me any publications on gifted and talented education?
Operator: (Stunned) Silence

It seems that the last Ministry of Education publication had been produced in 1972! How things have changed here in New Zealand since 1997 – and for the better.

So What Guides Gifted and Talented Education?

In 2000 the Ministry published its first handbook for schools, Gifted and Talented Students: Meeting their Needs in New Zealand Schools. As one of the original authors, I was in the privileged position of working alongside Don MacAlpine and Roger Moltzen to create what would become a highly influential guide for schools – far moreso, I feel, than the three of us ever imagined. The development of the ‘blue book’ involved consultation with focus groups of teachers, review by schools throughout New Zealand, and lots of editing. While we could have just written what we thought was needed, we aimed to actively engage teachers in its development.

Last week, the second edition of the handbook was released. The process for revision was facilitated by Learning Media who engaged an educational writer, Kate Dreaver, to work with Roger and myself (as Don has now fully retired).  Feedback for the initial draft was sought from the Ministry of Education’s Policy Advisory Group on Gifted and Talented, as well as some key stakeholders like the members of giftEDnz’s Maori Special Interest Group, He Kahui Pumanawa. And, as with the previous edition, there was lots of editing, but this time with more input from editorial advisers and the Ministry of Education.

What’s the Difference?

The blue book is now the green PDF, and available online, so rather than hard copies to all schools in New Zealand this one is being shared with the world! The structure of the handbook remains the same, as it has guided research and other Ministry of Education initiatives and is a strong framework showing the interrelationships between defining, identifying, and providing for gifted learners within a cycle of self-review. But within the walls of the newly revised handbook, we find a number of striking differences, as explained on the tki website:

The revised handbook outlines a set of underlying principles for gifted and talented education that are aligned to the NZ curriculum and provides greater guidance for defining gifted and talented from a NZ perspective, including Māori and Pasifika concepts and based on NZ research. The updated handbook also includes a range of locally-developed self-review tools for determining effectiveness and links to a range of NZ-based resources.

Basically, what the new handbook does is provide an answer for my call from 1997! It shows that there is local cultural and educational knowledge that develops, shapes and influences Ministry policy. The revised handbook also more strongly features New Zealand based practices and research, demonstrating a strong link between research-led practice and practice-led research.

Many would say I still have an accent (unless they are from Mississippi!) and the Ministry of Education has many people responsible for gifted and talented, so depending on who answers the phone, my first question might get the silent treatment!

I’m not sure that really matters, because ultimately everyone involved in education – whether we are researchers or teachers or parents or Ministry personnel – must take some responsibility for gifted and talented learners. New Zealand’s vision, as stated in the handbook, is one we should all pursue together.

Gifted and talented learners are recognised, valued, and empowered to develop their exceptional abilities and qualities through equitable access to differentiated and culturally responsive provisions.

To download the handbook, visit gifted.tki.org.nz/For-schools-and-teachers. It is in the resources box called Key Documents.

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Global #gtchat Salutes the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children

#IWG12 Logo 300 high

As the International Week of the Gifted 2012 draws to a close, it is with great satisfaction that Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented on Twitter joins in this global venture with the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children to bring together the gifted community. It has been shown that support for gifted children and adults everywhere knows no boundaries. In the spirit of mutual respect, an incredible cacophony of voices and artistic expressions can be heard and seen far and near embracing the need for a renewed effort at raising awareness of the needs of the gifted.

Our topic this week on Global #gtchat was “Collaboration, Not Confrontation … Parents and Teachers Working Together”. A transcript of the chat can be found at http://goo.gl/7RYyX . In addition, a webinar was presented on how to join in Global #gtchat which can be found at http://goo.gl/PPf6J .This same theme played out on a much larger scale through the incredible participation of bloggers in the world blog tour. Parents, teachers, and academics worked together to produce an incredible volume of work which will stand as a remembrance of this celebration of gifted children and to honor all gifted and talented efforts.

As we move toward 2013 and the International Year of Giftedness and Creativity, may we continue to strive to understand the ‘Soul of Giftedness’ as embodied in the WCGTC’s 20th World Conference in New Zealand one year from now.

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No Bullying

Dr. Linda Kreger Silverman, is head of the Gifted Development Center, in Denver Colorado.  A well known Psychologist, researcher, author, advocate and parent, she will also be a Keynote speaker at the World Conference 2013.  Dr. L. Silverman has asked that we share the following article with our Blog tour readers. Although it has been published once before, she felt it was a topic of importance and would be well received. (re-used with permission)


Dr. Linda Kruger Silverman Phd

 No Bullying

Linda Kreger Silverman

We have greater awareness today of the harmful effects of teasing and bullying, but there is one area of our lives where it remains unchecked: within ourselves. Even the most sensitive and compassionate among us, who would never intentionally hurt another, do not think twice about mercilessly berating themselves. I would like us to examine this accepted practice. What we have labeled “perfectionism,” and have tried to cure in gifted children, may actually be this self-denigration exposed, which is uncomfortable for us to view.

As Peace Pilgrim and Virginia Satir have affirmed, peace in the world can only be attained when we have achieved peace within. If our children could read our minds (when they are little, some of them can…), would they hear words of self-comfort that they could emulate? How often are we our own Greek Chorus, our own cheering team? Have we ever asked ourselves if it is OK to treat ourselves the way we do?

I wrote this in the last chapter of Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner:

We expend an inordinate amount of psychic energy defending ourselves from blame and ridicule, and the vast majority of time the judgments we are defending against are from ourselves!  Can you imagine what it would be like to totally accept yourself, and not have to justify your thoughts, your actions, your reasoning?  Not have to defend yourself?  Not have to answer, “Why did you do that?”  “Why didn’t you…?”  No “you should haves”?  We are so used to living in an internal court of law that we assume it is “natural” and appropriate to continually prosecute ourselves.  But it’s only our left hemispheres running amok. (Silverman, 2002, pp. 348-349)

Jill Bolte Taylor (2006), author of My Stroke of Insight, offers wonderful suggestions for keeping that part of our brain in check. I urge you to listen to her Ted Talk on YouTube. If these ideas resonate with you, I promise that you will find those 18 minutes enlightening and her book even more so. Jill is a brain researcher who experienced a massive left-hemispheric stroke and documented the different realities of our left and right hemispheres. She says that there is tiny portion of our left hemisphere, no bigger than a peanut, which gives us all these negative messages. We are so used to this brain circuitry that we do not even question its appropriateness. But we have choices about listening to it and we can teach our children that they have choices as well.  In Chapter 18 of her book, Jill gives practical, concrete advice for dealing effectively with these persistent cognitive loops of negativity.

At the end of an exhausting day, when my own “Peanut Gallery” reminds me of all the things I didn’t get done, and starts to make me feel guilty, I now hear another voice in my head with competing messages. This appreciative voice says to me, “Look what you accomplished today! Good job! You’ve done enough. Now it’s time to rest and rejuvenate. Everything else will wait until tomorrow.”

Consciously create your own positive messages and discuss them with your children. Before they go to sleep at night, ask them to share a positive message about themselves with you and to think about it as they fall asleep. Let me know if it makes a difference in the happiness quotient in your family. I would love to hear your stories. Write to me at gifted@gifteddevelopment.com.

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