UNK-Three courses dealing with gifted education will be the focus of the Institute for High Ability Learners is being offered this summer by Kearney’s Educational Service Unit 10, in conjunction with the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The first course, Developing Excellence: Matching Teaching Strategies to Learning Styles, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on May 30 and 31. The presenter will be Patty Duncan, Nebraska Director of High Ability Learner Education. This workshop will highlight some of the latest brain research and the implications for education. Teachers will also overview hemisphericity, learning styles and multiple intelligences. Participants will receive practical, useable information and resources.

The next session, Defensible Differentiation, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on June 5 and 6. The presenter will be Dr. Laurie Croft, administrator of professional development at the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education at the University of Iowa. This workshop is designed to help teachers construct a philosophy and understanding of the concept of classroom differentiation, specifically focussing on “defensible differentiation” for gifted students. At this program, teachers will develop a greater familiarity and comfort with diagnostic-prescriptive interaction with their students. After the workshop, they will also be able to apply concepts such as curriculum compacting, cluster grouping and scaffolding to units of their choice.

Finally, “Nourishing the High Ability Learner” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on June 8 and 9. Presented by Dr. Linda Silverman of the Gifted Development Center in Denver, Colo., this two-day institute addresses the emotional and instructional needs of the gifted in the classroom. Effective instructional and counseling techniques will be presented for accommodating the different learning and personality styles of the gifted. Participants will also learn about Dabrowski’s theory of emotional development as it applies to the gifted and the contributions of Nebraska’s Leta Hollingsworth, a leader in gifted education.

Each program will be held at ESU 10 in Kearney. There is no charge for three slots to schools that are members of the ESU 10 H.A.L. Consortium. Additional slots for consortium school personnel are available at $100 per person, for any or all of the sessions. For schools that are not members of the H.A.L. Consortium, or schools outside the ESU 10 area, the cost is $200 per person for the entire conference or $120 per session per person. A continental breakfast and lunch plus materials are included in the registration cost.

Graduate credit of 1-3 hours from UNK is an option. Participants must pay tuition directly to UNK.

For more information, contact Paula Mellinger at (308) 237-5927.

These sessions are part of the Summer Synergy 2000 offerings at UNK. Summer Synergy includes short-term classes and workshops, as well as selected special events and enrichment activities. For more information on Summer Synergy, visit the Web site at