UGA hosting gifted education training for Korean teachers

ATHENS, Ga. – A contingent of Korean educators are going back to school this week on the University of Georgia campus to learn how to train their teachers in gifted education.

The visit to UGA’s College of Education is a result of the Republic of Korea’s new regulations under which ordinary high schools can be transformed into specials schools for gifted students. Busan Science High School in Busan has been designated to become the nation’s first science high school for the gifted and talented. It is scheduled to open in March of 2003.

“This is the first time the Korean government has considered gifted education and they are working to formulate a definition, programming and teacher training,” said Bonnie Cramond, professor of educational psychology and co-organizer of this first round of training.

The Koreans chose to collaborate with UGA’s gifted and creative education program in the department of educational psychology over those at four other universities they visited last December: Connecticut, Iowa, Purdue and Yale.

UGA’s educational psychology graduate program is ranked 14th in the nation in U.S. News and World Report’s 2003 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”

The visiting group, which includes about 28 teachers from Busan Science High School, will attend daily training sessions on such topics as characteristics and needs of gifted individuals, techniques to foster critical and creative thinking, the Future Problem Solving programming, and
how Georgia identifies students as gifted using multiple criteria.

“I believe that one reason the group chose to study here is our focus on creativity. There will be a heavy emphasis on creativity and social and emotional needs of the gifted,” said Cramond. “It’s exciting for UGA to be in the position to have such an impact on a nation’s developing
gifted program.”

The sessions will be taught by UGA education faculty, graduate students and graduates now working elsewhere. The classes will be held at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education through Friday, Aug. 2.