Nurturing for Talent Development and Impactful Research
Professor Rena Subotnik was invited as the NIE Higher Degrees Distinguished Speaker from 10 to 12 January 2018. Professor Subotnik is with the Education Directorate, and is Director, Center for Psychology in the Schools and Education at the American Psychological Association. Her research expertise is in creativity, innovation and talent development. At the Distinguished Lecture entitled, “Talent development toward creative eminence in the 21st century”, Professor Subotnik highlighted that the challenges posed by problems in the new century require a rethinking of the elements associated with the development of talent and creative productivity. She underscored that talent preparation is developmental in nature and teachable with guidance and practice. Professor Subotnik encouraged professors and education leaders to incorporate skills in mentoring their students, help students develop collaborative skills and resilience, and acquire insider knowledge of a domain.
In the seminar with NIE academic faculty and graduate students entitled, “Talent development for STEAM: Applications from the psychology of high performance to academic domains”, Professor Subotnik presented interesting research on multiyear students studying science and classical music that highlighted the differences between audition selection versus science testing, explicit versus no explicit psychosocial skills teaching, and other important applications from the psychology of high performance to academic domains. In the seminar, “Nurturing young talents”, Professor Subotnik provided new insights for identifying talent in the domain areas, and spoke about the variation involved in particular domains as to when abilities can be identified and nurtured, particularly in young children. The seminar with NIE’s doctoral students entitled, “Doing meaningful and impactful research”, focused on valuable ideas for beginning educational researchers. She shared how randomised controlled trials (RCTs) can be designed and implemented with qualitative methods to analyse policy and research implications and get the most “bang” for all the hard work that goes into developing a RCT.
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Navigating the Tensions and Paradoxes in Preparing Educational Researchers
Professor David Labaree was invited as the NIE Higher Degrees Distinguished Speaker from 4 to 6 January 2017. David Labaree is a Professor at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education and a Professor (by courtesy) in history. His research focuses on the historical sociology of American schooling, including topics such as the evolution of high schools, the growth of consumerism, the origins and nature of education schools, and the role of schools in promoting access and advantage more than subject-matter learning. At the Distinguished Lecture entitled, “Peculiar problems of preparing educational researchers”, Professor Labaree emphasised that the problems of educational practice cannot be fixed unless there is deep understanding of practice in the steady work of educational reform. In the seminars with NIE academic faculty and graduate students entitled, “What schools can’t do” and “The trouble with educational schools in the U.S.”, Professor Labaree raised a range of issues in education. From arguing about the lack of causal relationship between education and productivity, to decrying the politicisation of education and acknowledging the challenges of graduate schools of education, he provided a cogent and critical analysis of education and education systems. In a seminar with beginning doctoral students, “Sermon on educational research”, he shared the wisdom of staying truthful in uncovering the big questions and assumptions in education research. Professor Labaree also stimulated rich discussion among a panel of NIE professors in response to key points raised in his lecture, “The peculiar problems of preparing educational researchers: What can NIE do?”
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