MacFarlane receives Early Leader Award for significant contributions to gifted education

Dr. Bronwyn MacFarlane (middle) recieves the 2019-19 Early Leader award from Dr. Jonathon Plucker (left), NAGC president-elect and rofessor at Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Sally Krisel, NAGC president and faculty at University of Georgia, at the 65th Annual Convention Celebration of Excellence Awards Ceremony of the National Association for Gifted Children.

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor has been recognized for her significant contributions and service as a leader in the field of gifted education.

Dr. Bronwyn MacFarlane, a professor of gifted education, received the 2018-19 Early Leader award from the National Association for Gifted Education (NAGC). The Early Leader Award is given nationally to the individual with the most potential and exceptional early leadership track record based on their professional contributions to the field of gifted education in their early career.

“The awards program shines a light on those who are making a difference in supporting gifted children as they reach to achieve their personal best,” said NAGC Executive Director M. René Islas. “Dr. MacFarlane is an accomplished author and speaker who is guiding work at the local, state, and national level.”

In another honor, MacFarlane has also received the Faculty Excellence Award in Research and Creative Endeavors for the College of Education and Health Professions.

MacFarlane is the editor and writer of four books about educational processes for high-ability learners. She is currently chair of the National Association for Gifted Education STEM Network, has also served as guest editor of Roeper Review, a journal on gifted education, and writes the national column, “The Curriculum Corner,” in Teaching for High Potential magazine.

MacFarlane published three of her books in the last three years and her latest book,Specialized Schools for High Ability Learners: Designing and Implementing Programs in Specialized School Settings” (2018), provides educators and parents with a guide about delivering school-wide change, serving learner needs, developing critical thinking and content mastery, and showcases specialized schools that are differentiating for specific areas of talent development.

In the past 15 years, MacFarlane has taken note of the increased demand for more specialized school programs such as STEM education. She believes that combining the lessons of gifted education is the way to make a winning formula for providing great STEM education as well as other educational programs.

“STEM education has been a topic of interest for many years,” she said. “Some school leaders and teachers may find themselves tasked with starting or revising a STEM program and there is a lot to consider in offering quality programs. How do we begin? What are the best materials to use? How will this program make a difference in supporting student growth and development? To offer STEM programs is important, but you want to deliver high-quality STEM programs that will offer students an advanced understanding in STEM topics and we can learn the how-to’s from the field of gifted education, such as ways to deliver curriculum and instruction with powerful, quality, and best-practice strategies.”

In the upper right photo, Dr. Bronwyn MacFarlane (middle) receives the 2018-19 Early Leader award from Dr. Jonathon Plucker (left), NAGC president-elect and professor at Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Sally Krisel, NAGC president and faculty at University of Georgia, at the 65th Annual Convention Celebration of Excellence Awards Ceremony of the National Association for Gifted Children.

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