Prof. Joseph S. Renzulli is a leader and pioneer in gifted education and applying the pedagogy of gifted education teaching strategies to all students. The American Psychological Association named him among the 25 most influential psychologists in the world. He received the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Award for Innovation in Education, considered by many to be “the Nobel” for educators, and was a consultant to the White House Task Force on Education of the Gifted and Talented. His work on the Three Ring Conception of Giftedness, the Enrichment Triad Model and curriculum compacting and differentiation were pioneering efforts in the 1970s, and he has contributed hundreds of books, book chapters, articles, and monographs to the professional literature, many of which have been translated to other languages. Prof. has received more than $50 million in research grants and several million dollars of additional funding for professional development and service projects.
Prof. Renzulli established UConn’s annual Confratute Program with fellow Educational Psychology Professor Sally Reis. This summer institute on enrichment-based differentiated teaching has served more than 35,000 teachers from around the world since 1978. Dr. Renzulli also established the UConn Mentor Connection, a summer program that enables high-potential high school students to work side by side with leading scientists, historians, and artists and other leading edge university researchers. He is also the founder along with Dr. Reis of the Joseph S. Renzulli Gifted and Talented Academy in Hartford, Connecticut which has become a model for local and national urban school reform for high potential/low income students.
His most recent work is an online personalized learning program that provides profiles of each student’s academic strengths, interests, learning styles, and preferred modes of expression. This unique program also has a search engine that matches multiply coded resources with student profiles. Teachers also use the program to select and infuse high engagement enrichment activities into any and all standardized curriculum topics.
Assessment for Learning: The Missing Element for Identifying High Potential in Low Income and Minority Groups
A major controversy facing the field of gifted education is the underrepresentation of low income, minority, and dual language students. Strategies for addressing this challenge have been to use universal screening and local norms; however, these useful recommendations continue to focus on traditional testing procedures that measure what students already know and overlook other important traits that contribute to high levels of creative productivity. Assessment for learning examines traits such as interests, instructional preference styles, preferred modes of expression, and executive function skills. Although sometimes referred as the “soft skills,” they have gained much more attention on the parts of college admission officers and employers, especially for higher level leadership positions. Instruments that assess these traits are often completed by the students themselves; and technology and artificial intelligence now allow us to administer and analyze them with the same ease used for traditional standardized tests.