We are proud to announce our Keynote Speaker, Dr Susen Smith.
Dr Susen Smith is GERRIC Senior Research Fellow and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the School of Education, UNSW, Australia. She has held a variety of leadership, consultancy, and educator roles from early childhood through to tertiary and adult education. Susen’s research interests include differentiating curriculum and pedagogy for underachieving gifted and multi-exceptional students and their social and emotional learning, and she developed the Model of Dynamic Differentiation (MoDD) to cater for the diverse needs of all students. She has been a visiting scholar at many international universities, guest editor of the Australasian Journal of Gifted Education (AJGE), and is published in the Roeper Review and Gifted Child Quarterly. She has keynoted internationally and most recently edited the Springer International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent in the Asia-Pacific. You can view Dr Susen Smith's UNSW Researcher Profile here.
Talent development and wellbeing of high potential and gifted students: Differentiating in the social-emotional domain
I taught Kahlia in fifth grade. I remember her because of her natural leadership skills: she was very articulate, had a wicked sense of humour, but exhibited compassion and protectiveness towards sensitive peers who were struggling. When he was in Year 8, I taught Greg: he had such advanced pro-social skills that he could communicate with people of all ages – peers, teachers, parents – with confidence and charm, and more often than not, he got his own way due to the eloquence of his persuasion. Conversely, at times he swung between charming and aloof, and could employ a sarcasm that alienated his peers.
According to the NSW DoE High Potential and Gifted Education Policy, both students could be considered high potential and gifted students. More specifically, Gagné would say that these students are gifted in the social-emotional domain. While these students may exhibit many social-emotional characteristics, and display behaviours that suggest they are very confident, happy, and empathetic individuals, there are many factors that may inhibit their development. However, the potential development and wellbeing of gifted students in the social-emotional domain can be scaffolded utilising several relevant social-emotional learning strategies. In this presentation, I will provide student stories as a foundation for illustrating their characteristics, competencies, and associated behaviours. Combining the research while following the guidelines of the NSWDoE’s High Potential and Gifted Education Policy, I will reinforce an holistic strength-based approach to nurturing the social and emotional learning and practice needed for supporting the wellbeing of gifted students in the social-emotional domain.