The Arabian Gulf University (AGU) is hosting select international creativity and talent development experts to stand on the programmes and outputs of the Gifted Education Department in the University. The visit will continue from April 4 to April 6, 2021, during which the experts will present their views and suggestions in order to enhance creativity and innovation in the curricula and the outputs of the Gifted Education Department.
On this occasion, Gifted Education Department Head Dr Ahmed Al Abbasi stated that the visit comes in light of the continuous assessment conducted by the Department for the Master's and PhD Programmes in Gifted Education, where the meeting with the visiting experts aims to assess the reality of the Department in terms of the number of credit hours, the criteria for accepting applicants for both programmes and the nature of the presented curriculum and the study plan, in addition to reviewing the Department's mission, vision and objectives, taking into consideration the GCC and Arab context, as well as the changes that occurred in the policies and legislations related to gifted students in GCC countries.
Dr Al Abbassi further explained that the meeting will discuss the Department's future, its programmes and the possibility of developing other qualitative programmes that fall within the scope of specialisation and meet the scientific and research needs of the children in GCC countries, in addition to highlighting gifted education in light of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. He also pointed out that the Department was established more than three decades ago and has graduated more than 400 teachers and researchers from different GCC state.
The visiting experts will include Former Head of the Gifted and Creative Department at the University of Georgia, and honorary professor at the University of Georgia and Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development Dr Bonnie Cramond, who won a number of international awards such as the Distinguished Service Award from the American Council for Gifted Children and has more than 80 published works in the field of gifted education and creativity in scientific journals and books.
The experts also include the President of the National Council for Gifted Children in the US and Gifted Education Department Head at Johns Hopkins University Dr Jonathan Plucker, who is one of the policy makers of gifted student education in the US and author of more than 200 works, including research in scientific journals and books.
Director of the Psychology and School Education Centre at the American Psychological Association Dr Rena Subotnik; specialist in the field of special talents and one of the first to speak about the talent gap in the educational literature on giftedness will also be among the visiting experts, in addition to Senior Lecturer at the College of Education in the University of Glasgow Dr Margaret Sutherland, who has more than 38 years of experience in the different stages of education, and is a member of the Royal Society of Arts and currently works as the Director of Graduate Studies in the College of Education.
It is noteworthy that the first two days of the experts meeting will be devoted to discussing the themes of the meeting with the members of the Gifted Education Department. The final recommendations of the meeting, which will include procedural steps aimed at developing the programmes of the Gifted Education Department, will be submitted to AGU President Dr Khalid bin Abdulrahman Al Ohaly.