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An Interview with Scott Barry Kaufman

Kaufman Scott Barry

Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman

Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman will deliver the Keynote, From Evaluation to Inspiration, at the Closing General Session of this year’s Annual Conference of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented on December 5th in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Kaufman is the Scientific Director of The Imagination Institute and a researcher at the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the co-founder of the popular website The Creativity Post and writes the blog Beautiful Minds for Scientific American Minds. He has a doctorate in cognitive psychology from Yale University, a master’s degree in experimental psychology from Cambridge University where he was a Gates Cambridge Scholar and B.S. degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Kaufman is an outspoken advocate for a new approach to understanding intelligence and the role of imagination. Recently, he accepted our invitation to be interviewed. His insights based on extensive research and inspired by personal experience are changing the conversation surrounding giftedness, creativity and the direction of education.

SBK at NAGC

Dr. Kaufman speaking at the 2014 NAGC Convention

M: What is the difference between creative giftedness and intellectual giftedness?

SBK: To me, intellectual giftedness is a reflection of advanced development of a range of characteristics that facilitate ascertaining what is, including intellectual curiosity, intellectual interests, academic intrinsic motivation, quick and efficient learning of new material, abstract reasoning, visuospatial reasoning, and vocabulary. In contrast, creative giftedness reflects the advanced development of a set of characteristics that facilitate ascertaining what could be, including daydreaming, imagination, prospection, perspective taking, divergent thinking, and nonconformity. Obviously, there is overlap, but not complete overlap.

M:  How does a child’s environment affect their ability to learn?

SBK: The environment is crucial in bringing out optimal learning outcomes in all children. There’s a lot of emerging research showing the importance of student engagement for learning. Environmental factors can influence engagement in the way it increases (or decreases) a sense of belonging, support, high expectations, and inspiration.

M: Could you explain the difference between intelligence testing and intelligent testing?

SBK: The notion of intelligence testing is that we can determine a person’s level of intelligence through a single, decontextualized testing session. I much prefer to think of each testing session as an opportunity for intelligent testing on the part of the examiner to determine the child’s unique learning needs, style of responding, engagement, and creativity. The great intelligence researcher Alan Kaufman has been arguing for intelligent testing since the year I was born!

“Every person on this earth is full of great possibilities that can be realized through imagination, effort, and perseverance.”

M: The concept of inspiration; what role does it play in inspiring student engagement and can it increase cognitive efficiency?

SBK: Inspiration transforms people’s views of their own capabilities, and their place in the world. People who are inspired are typically inspired to realize some new grand vision they have for themselves or others, and inspiration motivates people to approach that vision. In a lot of ways, it’s an organic, longer lasting way of motivating students to want to do well, because inspiration is about as intrinsically motivating at you can get.

M: What advice would you give to educators to help them recognize potential in their students?

SBK: I’d suggest that educators stop thinking of potential as something that is set in stone at any moment in time, but as a moving target constantly changing and highly dependent on engagement. Personally, I much prefer the word “possibility” than “potential”. Every person on this earth is full of great possibilities that can be realized through imagination, effort, and perseverance.

Thank you, Dr. Kaufman, for bringing perspective to these important issues. We look forward to hearing your Keynote at TAGT 2014. Look for our tweets at hashtag #tagt14 on Twitter December 3rd through the 5th.

 

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

 

Books by Scott Barry Kaufman:

Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined (Amazon)

The Complexity of Greatness: Beyond Talent or Practice (Amazon)

The Psychology of Creative Writing with James C. Kaufman (Amazon)

The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence with Robert J. Sternberg, editors (Amazon)

The Philosophy of Creativity: New Essays with Elliott Samuel Paul, editors (Amazon)

Podcasts:

The Psychology Podcast (website)

Daydreaming and Mental Contrasting for Goal-Fulfillment with Gabriele Oettingen

The Science of Growing Smarter with Annie Murphy Paul

Talking Mastery and Social Intelligence with Author Robert Greene

Interviews:

The Problem with Standardized Tests

Why the Current Definition of Intelligence Isn’t Smart

A Defense of Daydreaming (Audio 52:05)

The Innovative and Creative Power of ADHD (Audio 9:35)

Articles:

From Evaluation to Inspiration

Who Is Currently Identified as Gifted in the United States

Creativity and Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders Across the Arts and Sciences

The Creative Gifts of ADHD

Confessions of a Late Bloomer

American Education and the IQ Trap

 

Photo of Scott Barry Kaufman from scottbarrykaufman.com

Photo of Dr. Scott Kaufman at NAGC courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Plan Now for TAGT 2014!

TAGT 2014 logo

Where are you planning to be December 3rd through the 5th? May I suggest this year’s TAGT 2014 Conference in Fort Worth, Texas? Although the sultry days of summer are upon us, it’s not too early to be thinking about attending one of the premiere gifted conferences of the year! The conference theme is “In Focus” and will take an in-depth look at many aspects of GT individuals.

Not from Texas, you say? No problem! Everyone is welcome regardless of where they reside. Not a member of TAGT? As with most conferences, both member and non-member fees are available. Your state has its own conference? Great, but if you are unable to attend yours or would like to attend a larger conference; consider TAGT as well! This conference attracts many national speakers and over 2,000 attendees with whom to network.

TAGT 2013 gtchat 1LIVE #gtchat TAGT 2013: Jeffrey Farley, Mary Lovell and Tracy Fisher

Why should you attend TAGT 2014? What would you say to over 150 training sessions with top-notch presenters and world-class keynotes by Nikhil Goyal and Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman? Of course, from my vantage point, the LIVE #gtchat on Friday morning where you are invited to meet and participate in person with many of your friends from chat should be reason enough; AND our infamous famous #gtchat TweetUp is not to be missed!

TAGT 2013 TweetUp 4#gtchat TweetUp 2013: David Sebek and Stacia Taylor

Not convinced yet that you should be making reservations? Let’s take a look at all the opportunities you will find at this year’s conference including the Keynotes, Conference Institutes (December 3rd) and the concurrent Parent Conference (December 5th). Did I mention that TAGT is an approved provider of CE credit for educators, counselors, psychologists and school board members?

Nikhil Goyal Head ShotNikhil Goyal

This year’s opening keynote (December 4th) will be given by Nikhil Goyal. At age 19, Nikhil Goyal is an activist and author of One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School as well as a book on learning, forthcoming from Doubleday-Random House in 2015. He has appeared as a commentator on MSNBC and FOX and has written for the New York Times, MSNBC, NPR, Huffington Post and Forbes. A Motivational Speaker, Goyal has spoken at Google, The Atlantic, Fast Company, NBC, MIT, Yale University, Stanford University, SXSW and others. He was named one of the “World Changers” for Dell #Inspire 100 (2012), named to 2013 Forbes 30 Under 30: Education List, one of ORIGIN Magazine’s The Nation’s Top Creatives.

Scott-Barry-Kaufman TAGTDr. Scott Barry Kaufman

The closing keynote (December 5th) will be delivered by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman. He is a cognitive psychologist who studies the development of intelligence, creativity, and personality. Recently, Dr. Kaufman became the Scientific Director of The Imagination Institute and a researcher in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to publishing more than 25 book chapters and articles, Kaufman is the author of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, co-editor of the Philosophy of Creativity, co-author of The Psychology of Creative Writing and co-author of The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence. He co-founded the popular nonprofit website The Creativity Post and writes the blog Beautiful Minds for Scientific American Mind.

Dr. Kaufman completed his PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Yale University in 2009 and received his master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from Cambridge University in 2005, where he was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Kaufman also earned a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University in Psychology and Human Computer Interaction.

Still unconvinced? Let’s talk Conference Institutes! These half-day training sessions feature some of the best-known and most knowledgeable presenters in the field of gifted education. The institutes allow participants to go into greater depth on specific topics which can result in more comprehensive strategies for implementation. Some of the sessions available this year are:

  • Developing Promotion Strategies for Self-Regulation: Critical Skills for Underrepresented Students’ Success in Gifted Programming with Dr. Richard CashCash-Richard

 

Susan Johnsen

 

Kettler_Todd

Krisel Sally

  • Tools of the Trade: Honest Collaboration with Technology with Ginger Lewman.

Ginger Lewman

Lynette Breedlove

Included in this year’s presenters are Lisa Van Gemert, the Gifted Guru, of American Mensa; Ian Byrd of Byrdseed Gifted and Byrdseed TV; Dr. Bertie Kingore;  Michelle Swain and Lisa Conrad (that’s me). This year, I will also be presenting on “Using Twitter in the Classroom” and look forward to meeting all my Twitter friends.

If you are a parent, there is the Parent Conference on Friday!  Presentations will focus on parenting strategies, meeting the social and emotional needs of gifted youth, educational enrichment and other relevant topics. This is a great time for parents and guardians to come together, ask questions and learn more about how the unique needs of gifted children can be met in the home, classroom and community.

Fort Worth Convention CenterFort Worth Convention Center

Now that you’re ready-to-go, here’s where you can find information on registration and hotel reservations. Conference sessions, exhibits and more will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center and several events will take place at the host hotel, Omni Fort Worth Hotel. TAGT has contracted with Omni to be able to provide extremely attractive pricing. Better yet … bring a friend and share expenses. See you there!

Omni Fort Worth 3Omni Fort Worth

gtchat thumbnail logoGlobal #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered byTAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

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