Sign In | Forgot Password? Search   

2012 General Sessions

Javits Frasier Scholarship

Find Out More

Plan for Summer

Resource Directory

> Home > Conventions and Seminars > 2012 Convention Pages

2012 horizontal small 



Registration  Schedule  Virtual Exhibit Hall 
Hotel and Travel  What You'll Find at the NAGC Convention  CEU and Graduate Credits 
General Sessions  Pre-Convention Offerings 
Wednesday, Nov. 14 - Thursday, Nov. 15
NAGC Live Learning Center 
Network Events  Convention FAQs  NCSSSMST  
NAGC 2012 Convention App  Parent Day at the National  
Info /

Online Registration Now Open
Click here


Chester FinnThursday, November 15
Opening General Session
2:30 – 4:00pm

Education’s Neglect of High-Ability Learners and What We Can Do to Change It

Chester E. Finn, President, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Washington, D.C.

Every motivated, high-potential young American deserves the opportunity to excel in school. Many never get the opportunity. 

Chester E. Finn, better known to friends, colleagues and pundits as “Checker,” can provide compelling data to back up this observation. Through research commissioned by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Finn can point to more than one data set and trend that speaks to public education’s neglect of high-ability students.

During this session Finn will share his own observations on the performance of top students and where he sees opportunities for change.  He also will provide key findings from his NEW book, Exam Schools: Inside America’s Most Selective Public High Schools, coauthored with Jessica Hockett, about what high quality education for exceptionally able and high-achieving youngsters looks like. 

Friday, November 16
General Sessions
9:20 - 10:40 AM

Gardner, Renzulli, and Sternberg: In Their Own Voices in Our Time 

Gain intimate insights into the evolution of thinking in the field of gifted education by listening to these three influential individuals reflect on how their ideas evolved along parallel and complementary paths. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents Gardner, Renzulli, and Sternberg together to reflect on their individual histories and the amazing ways in which their ideas have overlapped. Explore “multiples” in our time and field as a follow up to their reflections first presented in Gifted Child Quarterly.   

creativity renzulli

Joseph S. Renzulli, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT


Robert Sternberg, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK



Howard Gardner, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (simulcast)



Moderator: Carolyn Callahan, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Helping Different Kinds of Minds to Learn

Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin 

Temple Grandin is a professor, prolific author, and one of the most accomplished and renowned adults with autism in the world. During this captivating general session, she will share her personal story, as well as her insights into the vibrant population we know as twice-exceptional children. Too often these kids—both gifted and diagnosed with a disability—get lost in in an endless cycle of chasing diagnostic labels and are never given the tools to fully realize their potential. Come away with deeper insights into the challenges these learners face, as well as a fresh perspective on what we in the support community of parents and educators, can do to help some of our brightest children succeed.

Saturday, November17
General Session

Getting it Write: Where Imagination Meets Creativity

Bestselling author Ridley Pearson takes you into the world of his imagination, how he ended up inside Walt Disney World after dark, and how he connects with school groups on the joys of writing.

NAGC wishes to thank Disney Educational Productions and Disney Youth Programs for their support.

        Disney Educational Production                                              Disney Youth Programs 


Ridley Pearson 

Ridley Pearson

I currently volunteer as a teacher for an eight-week writing/publishing course at The Principia's middle school in St. Louis, so I can empathize with the challenges and rewards of teaching. I hope you are planning to attend the NAGC convention in Denver, where we’ll have the chance to exchange ideas during my general session Saturday morning. My series for young readers, Peter and the Starcatchers (co-written with Dave Barry) and The Kingdom Keepers, have opened up whole new avenues of my thought. I am embarking on a "Massive Writing Experiment" for the final installment in the Kingdom Series--with the help of new technology, students from around the world will contribute to the actual writing of the novel in the year ahead. We have a great deal to talk about and to learn from each other in order to keep the pedal down on encouraging creativity and productivity, imagination and investigation in a day-to-day environment that often encourages plopping down in front of one of many flickering screens and shutting down. I am so looking forward to sharing with you at the NAGC Convention. Let's make something happen!

--Ridley Pearson

Saturday, November 17
E. Paul Torrance Creativity Session sponsored by Scholastic Testing Service

Creativity is a Decision

What does it take to unlock creativity in children and adults? What happens if we lack creative vision? Is it really just as simple as deciding to be creative?

Robert Sternberg will take the audience on a journey through the concept of creativity and the roles that educators play in helping their students choose to be creative in the classroom and beyond. Sharing examples from business, education, politics, and the arts, Sternberg reveals the intuitive method the creative person employs to predict early on which ideas and products will gain popularity and how that person promotes his or her ideas effectively despite initial resistance. You’ll learn how the creative person typically finds ways to subvert institutions that seek to squelch creativity in order to promote their ideas.

Psychologist. Psychometrician. Author. Professor and Provost. Above all, Robert Sternberg is a researcher who has greatly contributed to the field’s current conceptualization of intelligence. In addition to his Triarchic Theory of Intelligence, Sternberg is known for several influential theories related to creativity, wisdom, and thinking styles. Recognized by numerous academic organizations including NAGC, Sternberg’s research has led to innovations in instruction that enhance children’s performance by building on their learning strengths. Honored with the E. Paul Torrance Award by the NAGC Creativity Network in 2006 and the NAGC Distinguished Scholar Award in 1985, Sternberg serves as Regents Professor of Psychology and Education and Provost at Oklahoma State University.

NAGC appreciates the continued support of Scholastic Testing Service for the
E. Paul Torrance Creativity Lecture Series.undefined

Robert Sternberg


Sunday, November 18
Closing General Session

Neurodiversity: Your Compass to a Changing World 

Neurodiversity: Your Compass to a Changing World

You’ve scaled the heights and have reached the summit! We want to send you off the remainder of your trek with an inspiring storyteller, Jonathan Mooney. Jonathan weaves his experiences and forward-thinking philosophies with his broad academic knowledge of education, psychology, sociology and history of learning and disability.

Welcome to a new world, where the good kid doesn't sit still. A world where some of the smartest kids in the class don't read well or don't read at all. A world where the popular kids don't make eye contact, don't shake hands, and definitely don't back slap.

In this world, these kids enjoy academic success and personal fulfillment at places like the MIT Media Lab and MET High School in Providence, Rhode Island, one of the top charter schools in the country. Then, they go on to run companies in Silicon Valley, New York and Tokyo.

Unlike ever before, this century proves their cognitive differences are more than "quirks"—they are the groundwork for innovative ideas and skills to solve problems most of us wouldn't anticipate. Think Google. Jet Blue. Apple.

By embracing the beautiful, bizarre realities of neuro-diversity—the idea that we are all special snowflakes—as essential components of a healthy vibrant culture, we can propel students not only to better participate in, but seize the changing world where the digital brain rivals the text-oriented and a design oriented economy replaces a manufacturing base.

Renowned writer, neuro-diversity activist and author Jonathan Mooney vividly, humorously and passionately brings to life this wonderful world of neuro-diversity: the research behind it, the people who live in it, and the lessons it has for all of us who care about the future of education.

Explaining the latest theories, Jonathan helps teachers and parents redefine what it is for students in the 21st century to think and to learn and to be successful. He provides concrete examples of how to prepare students and implement frameworks that best support their academic and professional pursuits.

Jonathan Mooney