World Council for Gifted and Talented Children 2023 Virtual World Conference

Excellence Without Borders: Gifted Education in a Changing World

2023 Virtual World Conference
August 5 - 6 and 12 - 13


The 2023 Virtual World Conference will feature eight keynotes. Details about the speakers and presentations will be included below as they are available.

How to Cope with Winning and Losing in an Increasingly Competitive World: A Challenge for Those Who Educate the Gifted

Márta Fülöp, PhD

To be able to compete in a way that develops the competitors and helps to bring out their best is a significant social-motivational skill that gifted students undoubtedly need in order to optimally develop their abilities and knowledge. Since competition is one of the most effective institutions for identifying talents everywhere in the world, those who are perceived as having exceptional abilities tend to participate in contests often. If they stay away from contests, they risk not being identified which may lead to the situation that they do not receive the necessary resources and educational or financial support that would promote their further development.

While the potential beneficial and detrimental effects of contests are relatively widely researched, their role in the case of participants with different competitive attitudes, different patterns of coping with winning and losing, and different psychological protective factors is a mostly undiscovered area; however, these may have an effect on young people’s with high abilities approaching or avoiding contests. Even much less attention was given to the systematic research of the adaptive ways of coping with winning as generally losing has been considered to have a more damaging effect. To be a winner or a loser has not only individual emotional, cognitive, and behavioral consequences but also social consequences and to successfully manage them requires skills as well. 

This talk will present empirical research data about these psychological phenomena among the gifted and will highlight the potential role of educators and parents in the socialization of the “gifted competitor.”  

Marta Fulop - WCGTC23 World Conference Keynote Speaker

Márta Fülöp is a scientific advisor and head of the Social and Cultural Psychology Research Group in the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, Research Centre of Natural Sciences. She is also a professor of social and cultural psychology at the Institute of Psychology of Karoli Gaspar University, Budapest, Hungary. Her research focuses on the psychology of competition, competitive attitudes, their relationship with mental and somatic health, coping with winning and losing, cross-cultural differences in competition and also the competitiveness of the gifted. She wrote the chapter  Cooperation and Competition in the Handbook of Childhood Social Development (Wiley-Blackwell).  She is secretary general of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology and president of the Children’s Identity and Citizenship: European Association.

Developing Talent in and for a Changing World

Vlad Glăveanu, PhD

This talk focuses on the meaning of a ‘changing world’ for talent development. It proposes that we should focus on educating talent not only on the fact that gifted individuals live ‘in’ a changing world but that they need to thrive under uncertain and rapidly changing conditions. As such, educating ‘for’ a changing world raises the important question of what kinds of skills, knowledges, mindsets, and, indeed, talents, are required to successfully respond to the many challenges of today. The field of Possibility Studies will be introduced as an emergent area of research and practices that examines how individuals and collectives become aware of and explore the possible in psychological, social, material, technological, cultural, and/or political terms. Gifted education, it will be argued, should be particularly invested in identifying and developing possibilities for everyone and cultivating, in priority, those talents and inclinations that help people adapt to a changing world, continue to change it, and change it for the better.

Vlad Glăveanu - WCGTC23 World Conference Keynote Speaker

Vlad Glăveanu, PhD, is Full Professor of psychology in the School of Psychology, Dublin City University, and Professor II at the Centre for the Science of Learning and Technology, University of Bergen. He is the founder and president of the Possibility Studies Network (PSN). His work focuses on creativity, imagination, culture, collaboration, wonder, possibility, and societal challenges. He edited the Palgrave Handbook of Creativity and Culture (2016) and the Oxford Creativity Reader (2018), co-edited the Cambridge Handbook of Creativity Across Domains (2017) and the Oxford Handbook of Imagination and Culture (2017), authored The Possible: A Sociocultural Theory (Oxford University Press, 2020), Creativity: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2021), and Wonder: The Extraordinary Power of an Ordinary Experience (Bloomsbury, 2020), and authored or co-authored more than 200 articles and book chapters in these areas. He co-edits the book series Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture with Palgrave and the Cambridge Series on Possibility Studies with Cambridge University Press. He is editor of Europe’s Journal of Psychology (EJOP), an open-access peer-reviewed journal published by PsychOpen (Germany) as well as Possibility Studies and Society, launched by Sage in 2022. In 2018, he received the Berlyne Award from the APA Division 10 for outstanding early career contributions to the field of aesthetics, creativity, and the arts. 

One Size Does Not Fit All: Variability in Achievement and Growth of Academically Advanced Students

Karen Rambo-Hernandez, PhD

Compared to typically achieving students, high achieving students may not benefit as much from their time in school. Typically, students are taught academic standards and objectives consistent with their grade level, but this ignores the wide range of variability in achievement in those grade levels. In this keynote address, I will weave together a series of studies. Leaning on multiple theoretical frameworks for achievement and growth, I will start by establishing the typical range of achievement is within grade levels and classrooms and then discuss how prior achievement relates to subsequent academic growth in both elementary reading and mathematics. I will address who needs advanced academic services, how and when advanced students grow, and what are some ways to ensure all students have their academic needs met.

Karen Rambo-Hernandez - WCGTC23 World Conference Keynote Speaker

Dr. Karen E. Rambo-Hernandez is an associate professor at Texas A&M University in the School of Education and Human Development. Her research focuses on access for all students— particularly high achieving and underrepresented students— to high quality education and the assessment of educational interventions to improve STEM education. Along with her research teams, she has received over $3.4 million in grant funding from organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education Javits Grants. Dr. Rambo-Hernandez was the District Teacher of the Year in Coppell, Texas, in 2006 and received the National Association of Gifted Children’s Early Scholar Award in 2019.

Nurturing Creativity-Generating Intellectual Styles for Gifted Education

Li-fang Zhang, PhD

Intellectual styles are people’s preferred ways of using their abilities.  In this fast-changing world in which creative thinking and behaviors are constantly called for, intellectual styles play an even more crucial role in gifted education.  This talk showcases primary research evidence demonstrating that giftedness is strongly associated with the propensity for using creativity-generating intellectual styles; it argues that intellectual styles is a real psychological phenomenon. The talk further presents empirical evidence revealing that styles can be modified through both socialization and training. Finally, the talk completes with a discussion on the implications of the research findings respectively for identification of gifted students and for special gifted education programs and inclusive gifted education.

Li-fang Zhang - WCGTC23 World Conference Keynote Speaker

Li-fang Zhang is Professor of Psychology and Education at The University of Hong Kong. She has published dozens of academic book chapters and books (including two monographs by Cambridge University Press) and (co)authored nearly 140 peer-reviewed journal and encyclopedic articles. She is the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology and serves as consulting editor of Journal of Educational Psychology and associate editor of Educational Psychology.  She is also an editorial board member of several other academic journals in psychology and education.