The University of Connecticut is home to the Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development. Our research, focusing on meeting the needs of gifted and talented youth and developing talents in all students, has received national and international attention for over 40 years. Our earliest work was research related to creativity, assessment, identification, programming, and evaluation. Several studies conducted by our research team are considered seminal research that guides the design and development of programs and services to meet the needs of gifted and talented students.
Our research team includes Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli, Dr. Sally M. Reis, Dr. Del Siegle, Dr. E. Jean Gubbins, Dr. Catherine Little, Dr. James C. Kaufman, and Dr. D. Betsy McCoach. We are also currently working with several other UConn researchers and scholars, including Dr. Aarti Bellara, Dr. Tutita Casa, Dr. Rebecca D. Eckert, Dr. Nicholas Gelbar, Dr. Joseph Madaus, Dr. Bianca Montrosse-Moorhead, and Dr. Christopher Rhoads. The team poses theory-based and practice-relevant questions such as the following:
- What is the process of talent development, and how we can we help to develop talents in all students?
- How do you identify potential gifts and talents in a broader range of students, particularly those from culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse communities?
- What research-based programs and services successfully develop talents and provide enrichment for a broader pool of students?
- How do gifted education programs and practices enrich students' learning opportunities?
- What are the most effective approaches to reading and mathematics instruction for students with identified and potential gifts and talents?
Historical leadership in advocating a broadened conception of giftedness, and a focus on the development of potentials in groups not ordinarily included in special programs for the gifted and talented are hallmarks of the Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development. Academically talented or high potential students with disabilities, those who underachieve in school, and students who attend schools in high poverty districts have been our focus for decades. Our research suggests that the programs we advocate benefit these and other students. This focus is integrated into all of our programs and services, including our affiliation with graduate programs in the Department of Educational Psychology. These include our campus program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree, as well as our online programs designed for students throughout the world resulting in Master's degrees and Sixth Year Certificates. Our graduates hold key leadership and research roles throughout the nation and the world. See our graduate program page at https://gifted.education.uconn.edu.
Research and teaching are further enhanced by our previous and current federally-funded research organizations: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT, 1990-2013) and the National Center for Research on Gifted Education (NCRGE, 2014-2020). Research findings are available to the public on our websites: https://nrcgt.uconn.edu and https://ncrge.uconn.edu.
The Renzulli Center is well-known for the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM), developed by Drs. Renzulli and Reis, and the resulting technology-based learning system. The Renzulli Learning System is an on-line program matching students' interests and learning styles to enrich and challenge their learning opportunities. The Schoolwide Enrichment Model is one of the best-known enrichment models in the world, and it is used in thousands of schools in the United States, Europe, Mexico, Asia, and South America.
The Renzulli Center in internationally known for its summer professional learning experiences associated with Confratute (conference & institute). As of 2020, Confratute celebrates the 43rd anniversary of this dynamic approach to high-end learning experiences for educators and parents. The learning experiences mirror the theoretical and practical approaches advocated for students with gifts and talents.
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