We are please to share our interview with Dr. Joyce Juntune who will be the Keynote speaker at this year’s TAGT Annual Conference in Houston, Texas. Dr. Juntune is an Instructional Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at Texas A & M University.
Moderator: Dr. Juntune, could you tell our readers about your background in gifted education?
Dr. Juntune: I started out in gifted education as a cluster teacher in Minnesota. I was teaching when the first federal law was written concerning gifted education. I had attended a workshop on gifted education when I was teaching in California, but nothing was ever mentioned about gifted again until I returned to Minnesota.
Moderator: This week, you will be keynoting at the Opening Session of TAGT 2013 on Thursday. What will you be speaking about?
Dr. Juntune: I will be addressing the challenges ahead for gifted education. Yes—we have succeeded in getting laws concerning gifted education passed in every state—AND we have educators in every district who advocate for gifted students—BUT we have started to become complacent about what gifted students really need. The existence of programs for gifted students has made us comfortable instead of being the catalyst for designing what is really needed for the gifted.
Moderator: One of your presentations at the conference will be, “Finding and Serving Gifted Students Raised in Poverty”. Can you tell us one way a school can identify gifted students from low-SES communities?
Dr. Juntune: In order to identify gifted students from poverty—a school district needs to understand how poverty impacts the development of intelligence. We need to look for students with potential for intellectual development and then design programs so they develop the intellectual skills they need for academic success.
Moderator: What advice do you have for parents struggling with financial concerns to help their gifted children succeed in school and life?
Dr. Juntune: Many of us came (including myself) from limited economic backgrounds. I took advantage of every grant and work opportunity I could find. There are more options available today—high ability students can often get full or partial scholarships, some students work to get a scholarship in an area of talent (music, athletics, etc.), dual-enrollment during high school means a student can enter college with at least a year or more already completed, some attend a local (more inexpensive) community college for their first two years and then transfer to a major university.
Moderator: What changes can teachers make to their classrooms to assist students from poverty to build academic success?
Dr. Juntune: First and foremost is to help them build academic vocabulary and their level of verbal communication. These areas are basic to building academic literacy. Talk—talk—talk about the content.
We at Global #gtchat would like to thank Dr. Juntune for taking time from her busy schedule to chat with us. If you are going to this year’s conference, you can hear Dr. Juntune on Thursday at 8:30 AM in the General Assembly Theater at the GRB Convention Center in Houston to speak on “Time for a ‘Provolution’ (Proactive Revolution) in Gifted Education”.
Dr. Joyce Juntune “Creativity in Education” TEDx The Woodlands 2011
What You Value, You Will Get! (in Education and Training) (pdf) by Joyce E. Juntune
Dr. Joyce Juntune Suggested Readings