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University of Iowa News Release


July 29, 2008

Korean educators visit UI for gifted education seminar

Twenty-three Korean educators have traveled across the globe for a two-week seminar at the University of Iowa College of Education's Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. The Korean scholars will be here through Friday, Aug. 1

An agreement last July between the Daejeon Metropolitan Office of Education in Korea and the UI College of Education created a joint effort in support of gifted education. Annually, Korean educators will participate in seminars on topics including the nature and needs of high-ability learners, and learn ways to challenge gifted students in mathematics, science and technology.

"The Belin-Blank Center emphasizes collaboration with the worldwide gifted community in its mission statement," Laurie Croft, the Belin-Blank Center's administrator for professional development, said. "Through an exchange of philosophies and practice, we can all learn more about best practices in meeting the needs of our highest ability learners."

During the first week of the current seminar, UI professors and professionals at the Belin-Blank Center taught classes on conceptions of giftedness, creative problem solving and differentiation for gifted learners.

This week, educators are learning how to identify gifted students through the talent search process, and other skills that would enhance programs for Korea's gifted students.

Croft said the government of Korea has become very interested in and supportive of gifted education in the past few years. Although Korean students generally are among the best in the world in math and science, she added, the government wants to enhance their creativity as well as their analytical academic abilities, in order to generate new solutions to the world's emerging problems.

The Belin-Blank Center is helping achieve this goal by providing Korean educators an understanding of how to recognize creative students and some of the ways to meet their needs.

"Korean educators have confidence in the Belin-Blank Center as an international leader in gifted education," Nicholas Colangelo, director of the Belin-Blank Center, said. "These educators believe they can get the best professional development at the center."

For more information on the Belin-Blank Center, visit

Editor's Note: To set up an interview with one of the Korean scholars, call Laurie Croft at 319-335-6148.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Laurie Croft, Belin-Blank Center, 319-335-6148,; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,; Writer: Aly Dolan