Professor Del Siegle


Del Siegle is the Lynn and Ray Neag Endowed Chair for Talent Development at the University of Connecticut, where he directs the U. S. National Center for Research on Gifted Education (NCRGE). He is a past-president of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and recipient of their 2021 Founder’s Memorial, 2018 Distinguished Scholar, and 2011 Distinguished Service Award. He is a former co-editor of Gifted Child Quarterly (GCQ) and the Journal of Advanced Academics (JOAA), co-author with Gary Davis and Sylvia Rimm of the 6th and 7th editions of Education of the Gifted and Talented, author of The Underachieving Gifted Child: Recognizing, Understanding, & Reversing Underachievement, and author of a technology column for Gifted Child Today. He has served as an Educational Psychology department head and Neag School of Education Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs at the University of Connecticut. He currently chairs the University Senate Executive Committee.

enlightenedKeynote Title

Addressing the Elephant in the Room with a Three-Legged Gifted Education Service Approach

enlightenedKeynote Description

We share a strength-based talent development model that provides (1) opportunities for subject-specific and whole-grade acceleration, (2) increased depth and complexity in classroom instruction, and (3) environments for students to expand their interests. We do this without the stigma of labeling or failing to label students as gifted. Each year many schools spend millions of dollars on tests to identify students as gifted. In some schools, the entire gifted budget is spent on testing, with little left to provide services for those students who are identified. In the U.S., some states require schools to identify gifted students, but do not require schools to provide services to the students they identify. At a time when the field of gifted education is under attack over its failure to proportionally identify and serve students from underserved populations, we need to rethink the paradigm that has dominated the field for the last half century. In this session, we propose a gifted education service model built on the premise that (1) there are students with academic, emotional, and social needs that cannot be met without some modification of their education experience, (2) the current gifted education model is not meeting their needs very well and is missing students who could benefit from an effective model that does meet these needs, and (3) it may be possible to meet these needs without formally labeling students as “gifted” or “not gifted” because they failed to meet a set score on an assessment. We ask, which is more important, the label or the service? We believe the service is more important. We propose a three-legged service approach using the best from acceleration and enrichment research.