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CTD Researchers Win Book, Paper of the Year Awards

Researchers at Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development have won both Book of the Year and Paper of the Year awards from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC).

Unlocking Potential: Identifying and Serving Gifted Students from Low-Income Households, co-edited by Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, director of the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University; and Tamra Stambaugh, director of programs for Talented Youth at Vanderbilt University, was named Book of the Year in the scholars category.

Designed to help educators use research-based practice to identify and support children with effective program models, curriculum and instruction, Unlocking Potential provides a comprehensive look at the research related to talented learners from lower-income backgrounds.

In addition, the paper “The Effectiveness of Current Interventions to Reverse the Underachievement of Gifted Students: Findings of a Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review", was selected as Gifted Child Quarterly’s, the premier Paper of the Year and Decade. Gifted Child Quarterly is the premier scholarly journal of NAGC.

Co-authored by Olszewski-Kubilius, Saiying Steenbergen-Hu, and Eric Calvert, the research looks at varied studies on gifted education–a meta-analysis–and finds that current research studies are generally of low quality.

“Interventions do not appear to impact achievement directly,” Olszewski-Kubilius said. “Still, they do improve psychological factors such as students’ motivation for learning and perceptions of the meaningfulness of school. These are important outcomes as, if sustained, they can lead to improved achievement over time.”

It’s the third time in three years that Olszewski-Kubilius has received the Book of the Year Award and the third time overall, that she has received the Paper of the Year honor.

In 2020, Olszewski-Kubilius co-edited The Psychology of High Performance: Developing Human Potential Into Domain-Specific Talent. And in 2019 she helped edit Talent Development as a Framework for Gifted Education: Implications for Best Practices and Applications in Schools.

Award winning papers include “Minority Achievement Gaps in STEM: Findings of a Longitudinal Study of Project Excite” (2018) written by Olszewski-Kubilius, Steenbergen-Hu, Dana Thomson, senior research scientist at Child Trends, and Rhoda Rosen. In 2011 "The Efficacy of Academic Acceleration for Gifted Minority Students" by Seon-Young Lee, Professor and Associate Dean  at Seoul National University; Olszewski-Kubilius; and George Peternel, retired CTD associate director, won Paper of the Year.

Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development, part of the School of Education and Social Policy, has been committed to excellent teaching and innovative research for 40 years. A pioneer in the field, CTD remains at the forefront of talent development research and educational programming for young people from early childhood through young adulthood.

The awards will be presented at the upcoming NAGC Convention in November.

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