Our facilitators are educators with post-graduate qualifications in gifted education and are appointed by the committee of the VAGTC. Educator professional development programs are delivered across the school year and can be customized for schools on request.
Mr Mark Smith – Master of Education (Gifted and Talented), completed via course work and research (Monash University). Most passionate about mentoring and inquiry learning programs that engage and inspire gifted learners, enabling passion research, processes for learning, and ultimate student autonomy. Presenter and writer of VAGTC seminars. Former Head of Gifted and Talented at Carey Grammar and Mentone Grammar.
Ms Kathy Harrison – Master of Education (ICTE), Diploma of Education, Bachelor of Science. Former Exemplary Teacher at Methodist Ladies’ College. 2018 recipient of the Australian Mathematics Trust Teaching Award. A passionate gifted student advocate, enthusiastic about social justice and a community volunteer. Expertise and experience as a VAGTC seminar presenter and exemplar of theory to practice in gifted education.
Ms Amy Horneman – Master of Arts (Applied Linguistics), Bachelor of Arts/Education (Secondary). Gifted education practitioner (Northside Christian College) and VAGTC seminar presenter. Passionate about fostering positive home-school partnerships, advocating with and for parents of gifted children and seeing all (but particularly gifted) children happy and loving learning inside and outside of school.’
Dr Susan Nikakis – Doctorate of Education. Thesis title: “What Makes an Expert Teacher of the Gifted”. Senior Gifted Education Officer for Catholic Education Melbourne. A passionate advocate for gifted children, with the mantra ‘different not more!!!’
Dr Anna Pollard – Phd (RMIT), Master of Education, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, Graduate Diploma of Education (La Trobe). Developed and managed literacy support and gifted education programs in both state and catholic schools in Victoria. Expertise and passion in gifted education – to provide professional development for teachers in order to build program that are targeted, appropriate and supportive of the needs of gifted and talented students. Writer and presenter of VAGTC seminars.
About the Regional Seminars
The VAGTC continues to be well placed to facilitate learning seminars and to provide up to date and well-researched resources for both educators and families on the identification and support of gifted and talented children.The VAGTC recognizes a need to provide support for the learning needs of gifted and talented students in the regional and rural areas of Victoria, and one that is considered by both federal and state governments as a matter of equity for this sector of gifted and talented learners. Country educators and parent-carers do not have the access to activities about giftedness that are available to those who live in metropolitan areas of the state.
VAGTC’s seminars are the initiative of the VAGTC, and as such, they are delivered according to programs developed by the VAGTC. Our facilitators are selected from within the VAGTC committee or may be appointed by the VAGTC. All facilitators are aligned with the values and the vision of the VAGTC and approved by the VAGTC committee.
Seminars for parents and primary carers
The parent seminars are developed with the same approach as the educator seminars with a focus on best practices for advocating and working alongside schools and teachers.
Parent-carer initiatives provide a space for parents and families to come together to share their experiences and learn from others. These may include seminars and workshops on topics such as developmental milestones, educational options, best practices in developing strong school-family relationships, assessments and career counseling.
Using research-based recommendations, the parent seminars aim to connect parents with their children and their children’s teachers, serving to not only strengthen community engagement but to also help build parental confidence in schools.
The seminars provide both a platform for parents to gain essential resources to support their parenting journeys and act as a forum in which individual parents can connect with other parents in similar situations to share their stories in a safe and supportive environment.
Seminars for educators, teachers, pre-service and CRT teachers
These seminars aim to set high standards for teachers and students and employ evidence-based strategies to support gifted and talented students.
The educator seminars on identification are relevant to all educators of kindergarten to Year 12 learners, including pre-service teachers, casual relief teachers, and early childhood professionals.
The VAGTC teacher seminars are aligned to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) and meet the requirements under the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT). All registered participants who complete the seminar will receive a VAGTC Certificate of Attendance, citing the relevant standards addressed under the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
For educators, professional development seminars and workshops range from the identification of high capacity students to understanding and working with assessments. Through our seminars, educators will learn how to interpret educational psychologist reports, and develop individualized learning plans, as well as working with families to support gifted children and young people’s education.
For example, identification for students who are gifted and talented includes identification of underachievers, EAL and culturally diverse students, as well as students with high capacity but present with learning challenges.
The VAGTC supports the aspirations, achievements, and opportunities of Victorian students by supporting the professional development of early childhood professionals and teachers, and connecting parents with their children’s learning. Safe, supportive and inclusive schools celebrate and protect diversity and understanding of others, acknowledging the right of every child, no matter their background or ability, to achieve the best possible outcomes at school.
The VAGTC Regional Seminars provide participants with up-to-date research and best practices to identify underachievers, nurture talent potential and support social-emotional development both at home and in the classroom.
We work closely with the Department of Education, Victoria (DET), Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) and Independent Schools Victoria (ISV) as well as experts in the field of gifted education to develop and deliver workshops and seminars across Victoria.
VAGTC works with schools to develop customized seminars and workshops to cater for their professional development requirements. If you are interested in having one at your school, Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
2019 Seminars for Educators
On behalf of the VAGTC and the Department of Education, we’d like to thank all the participants who attended the 2019 Seminar Series for Educators during the months of August and September.
A ONE DAY SEMINAR WORKSHOP – From Understanding to Supporting Gifted and Talented Students
We headed to Melbourne Metro, Geelong, Dandenong and Bendigo.
Free to VIT registered Educators
This one-day workshop will provide educators with the opportunity to develop their theoretical and practical understanding of giftedness and talent with their own school contexts in mind, whilst also providing strategies for establishing supportive learning environments and communities.
Comprised of three intertwined units, the workshop will begin with an overview of understanding gifted and talented children, taking into account the definitions of these two key terms and the differences between them. It will also briefly explore the psychology of the gifted child and highlight key theorists in this field.
The second session will focus on the identification of gifted and talented students, and how this can be achieved through establishing a definition of giftedness and talent relevant to your school setting, together with more formal assessment and practical task options.
The workshop concludes with a detailed session on implementing theory into practice, and how to use this theoretical base to design and establish appropriate programming and provisions for the gifted and talented students within your classroom and across the school. An introductory framework of how to develop a program unique to a school will be shared, as well as an exploration of models used by other schools in their own gifted and talented program development. This session will also highlight the importance of nurturing a learning environment supportive of the emotional, social and cognitive needs of gifted and talented children, and the roles of cluster groups and coaching for sustainable ongoing partnerships.
The VAGTC are pleased to be able to offer 2 Parent Seminars in Albert Park and Ashwood in October! Are you parenting a student who is Gifted and Talented?
Are they of high ability, or high potential, maybe creative, achieving musically, in sport or another endeavour, emotionally and socially energised, experiencing challenge along with strengths (2e), or of above average intelligence with a commitment to succeed; or pos- sibly under-achieving and needing a challenge?
You might be surprised to learn you have a gifted child.
This seminar shares current theorists’ definitions of giftedness, and
how we understand and support these young people.
Working Collaboratively With Schools and Teachers
Individual Learning Plans
Thursday 24th, October
6:30pm – 8:30pm
Albert Park College
83 Danks Road
Albert Park VIC 3206