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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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2.8.1 Global partnerships to develop creative problem solving

Members of the panel include university-based researchers, public school teachers, and administrators from four countries who have cooperated to implement an evidence-based teaching/learning model to develop Real Engagement in Active Problem Solving through facilitating students’ solving of real-life problems. The model was developed to serve gifted students, and has been used successfully with students in varied settings. Local community members, teachers, students, researchers, and administrators have cooperated in choosing local, national, and international problems connected to required curriculum standards for their schools. We will share the ways we have implemented, tested, and modified the model in both research and practice.


C. June Maker
University of Arizona
United States

C. June Maker, PhD, professor in the department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, University of Arizona, prepares professors in special education and education of the gifted. She is an associate editor for Gifted and Talented International and the International Journal of Research in Education, and an Editorial Board member for other international journals. In 2015, she received the International Research Award from WCGTC and Doctor of Letters Degree from Western Kentucky University. Her research is on performance-based assessments and creativity development. She is a frequent keynote speaker. The website for her project, DISCOVER, is, and her email is

Myra Wearne
North Sydney Demonstration School

Myra Wearne is principal of North Sydney Demonstration School, a public school in New South Wales with a long-standing partnership with the Education Faculty of Sydney University. She is considered by colleagues and supervisors as an exemplary leader in providing differentiated curricula and educational programs for all students; she facilitates professional dialogue and cooperative programs between her faculty and faculty members of the university to create an environment that is safe, happy, and academically challenging. Administrators, teachers, and support personnel are committed to developing teaching practices and school structures in line with the best of current educational research.

Tracy Riley
Massey University
New Zealand

Associate Professor Tracy Riley works in the Institute of Education, and teaches gifted education at post graduate level, and supervises Masters and PhD students with research interests in gifted education and talent development. She is a lifetime member of giftEDnz: The Professional Association for Gifted Education, in recognition for her service as the founding Chairperson and a New Zealand Delegate to the World Council.

Faisal Alamiri*
The University of Jeddah
Saudi Arabia

Dr. Faisal Alamiri has an extended specialty in gifted education including Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D.; assistant professor in giftedness and creativity; and Chair of the Special Education Department in the Faculty of Education, The University of Jeddah. He is a member of the strategic committee for developing policies, initiatives, and academic programs at the University of Jeddah. He is a member of the executive committee of The Asia-Pacific Federation on Giftedness (APFG). He teaches gifted education and creativity courses at the postgraduate level. His research interests are in gifted education policies, curriculum and pedagogy, and creativity.

Melinda Webber
University of Auckland
New Zealand

Dr Melinda Webber has been lecturing and researching at The University of Auckland since 2001. Melinda is currently Associate Dean PBRF. Melinda worked fulltime as a qualitative researcher on the Starpath Project from 2011-2014. She was also a co-principal investigator on Nga Pae o te Maramatanga funded research project called ‘Ka Awatea: A case study of Maori student success’ in her home town of Rotorua.

Katrina Sylva
Dargaville High School
New Zealand

Katrina Sylva is the Gifted and Talented Education Coordinator at Dargaville High School, a low decile rural school in Northland, New Zealand. She is the lead teacher of the REAPS Teacher Led Innovation Fund (TLIF) research project.


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