top of page

Rethinking Educational Excellence: New Perspectives on Developing Student Talent

Professor Jonathan Plucker Julian C. Stanley Professor of Talent Development

Center for Talented Youth and School of Education

Johns Hopkins University


Date: March 31, 2021 (Thursday) Time: 10:00 am - 11:30 am (HKT)

"The traditional approach (of identifying gifted students) has failed us… I just don’t see any way that it serves us well over the next fifty to sixty years where we really need to do a better job of providing opportunity and equity towards as many students as possible."

Rethinking Educational Excellence New Perspectives on Developing Student Talent
Download PDF • 993KB


The term “gifted” is used across cultures when referring to students performing well above average. But what does it mean to be gifted? Traditional definitions tend to create contexts in which inequity is the norm, with few low-income students being identified. These definitions also tend to focus on innate ability and not the effort often required to achieve excellence. Yet scholarly developments over the past quarter century suggest there are more effective ways to conceptualise advanced learning. These new perspectives can be used to design educational interventions that allow more students to reach their potential than traditional models.

About the Speaker Professor Jonathan Plucker is the Julian C. Stanley Endowed Professor of Talent Development at Johns Hopkins University. Previously, he was Raymond Neag Endowed Professor in Education at the University of Connecticut and Professor of Educational Psychology and Cognitive Science at Indiana University. He graduated with a BS in Secondary Chemistry Education and a MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut, then after teaching at an elementary school in New York, received his PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Virginia. His research examines education policy, talent development, and creativity, with over 300 publications to his credit. His recent books include Excellence Gaps in Education: Expanding Opportunities for Talented Students with Scott Peters (Harvard Education Press) and Creativity and Innovation: Theory, Research, and Practice (Prufrock Press), both of which have received the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Book of the Year Award. He is an APA, APS, AERA, and AAAS Fellow. Moreover, he is the recipient of the 2012 Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Achievement in Psychology and the Arts from APA and the 2013 Distinguished Scholar Award from the NAGC. He is a past president of the Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, and immediate past president of the NAGC.


bottom of page