A contingent of 25 South Korean science teachers is currently visiting the UGA campus to learn how to provide programs for gifted students.
This is the fifth such visit to UGA since Korea began transforming some ordinary high schools into special schools for gifted students. Busan Science High School became the nation’s first science high school for the gifted and talented last March.
“This group is again emphasizing creativity and science, so the instruction is a collaborative effort among faculty from the departments of educational psychology, science education and entomology here at UGA, as well as teachers from schools in Clarke and Cobb counties,” says Bonnie Cramond, associate professor of gifted and creative education and co-organizer of the training sessions through the College of Education’s Torrance Center for Creative Studies. “We have gotten quite a good reputation in Korea for delivering effective training with quality instructors in a congenial atmosphere.”
The Korean visitors-elementary, middle and high school teachers, two university faculty members and two college instructors-are attending daily training sessions on topics such as characteristics and needs of gifted individuals, techniques to foster critical and creative thinking, Future Problem Solving programming, and how Georgia identifies students as gifted using multiple criteria.
They will visit classes at Barrow Elementary and Cedar Shoals High School in Athens and South Cobb High School Academy of Mathematics and Medical Sciences in Atlanta.
“I believe that one reason they chose to study here is our focus on creativity. So there will be a heavy emphasis on creativity and social and emotional needs of the gifted,” says 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 are being taught on campus by UGA education faculty and graduate students through Jan. 29.