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How do the NAGC Gifted Education programming standards and Future Problem Solving align?

Future Problem Solving’s interdisciplinary program provides teachers with standards-based and skill-based resources to meaningfully engage students while building knowledge and skills.

The National Association for Gifted Children provides Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Education Programming Standards grounded in theory, research, and practice. These standards provide an important foundation for gifted learners at all stages of development. Gifted learners must have access to activities in and out of school that support their unique needs. Gifted educators need programs and curriculum designed to support those needs.

Alignment to NAGC Standards

Our programs support the student outcomes outlined in the NAGC Gifted Programming Standards. Within these standards, NAGC identifies student outcomes related to learning and development, assessment, curriculum planning and instruction, learning environments, programming, and professional learning. Future Problem Solving programs support educators in meeting the needs of gifted learners.

Learning and development

The standards in earning and development address self-understanding; awareness of needs; cognitive, psychosocial, and affective growth; and cognitive growth and career development.

  • Educators adapt program content to fit the needs of their learners.
  • Educators connect students with community resources and partners as they pursue community projects.
  • Our programs are based on years of research from leaders in the field such as, Dr. Donald Treffinger, Dr. E. Paul Torrance, Dr. Ed Selby, and Dr. Marcia Delcourt
  • Our program is designed for grades 4-12 and resources for early education are available to support gifted learners throughout their educational journey.
  • Our feedback structure allows students to fail productively, reflect on their learning, and continue to progress.

Assessment

The assessment standard encompasses learning progress.

  • Students self assess their learning progress through evaluator feedback and reflection on provided rubrics.
  • Students demonstrate growth in multiple areas through continued participation in our programs.

Curriculum planning and instruction

The standards of curriculum planning and instruction include curriculum planning, talent development, responsiveness to diversity, and instructional strategies.

  • Educators use our resources to adapt a standard curriculum to the needs of gifted learners.
  • Students engaged in community projects develop their skills in goal settings, resiliency, self-management, self-advocacy, social awareness, and responsible decision making.
  • Students have agency to decide which projects to pursue, which topics to deeply research,and  which programs are right for them based on their interests and experiences.
  • Coaches use a variety of tools to develop critical thinking, creative thinking, and problem solving.
  • Students employ these tools in their research about global issues, as they plan community projects, and as they develop their creative stories.

Learning environments

The learning environments standards include personal competence, social competence, responsibility and leadership, cultural competence, and communication competence.

  • Students experience learning and competition in a way that prompts perseverance and rewards effort as they strive to meet high standards. 
  • Students can choose to work individually or in a group; both options allow students to collaborate with peers, coaches, and their community.
  • Students experience many opportunities for leadership as they develop their problem-solving skills.
  • Students learn to listen to diverse perspectives inside and outside of their communities and classrooms. 
  • Students use a variety of tools and media to produce, edit, and publish their writing about real-world issues, creative stories, and community projects.

Programming

The programming standard addresses comprehensiveness.

  • The flexibility of our programs allows educators to flexibility accelerate learning in and out of school settings. 
  • Students can pursue individual projects and interests, both as enrichment and as competition.

Professional learning

The professional learning standard includes lifelong learning.

  • Educators participate in training and professional development in order to create a more positive impact on gifted learners.

This is a curated list of applicable standards and does not encompass standards related to identification, school-based services, or policy and procedures.

Program connections

Our program was originally developed to meet the needs of gifted learners and proudly celebrates 50 years of empowering diverse learners with dynamic, purposeful learning experiences.

Global Issues

Students, either in a group or individually,  learn to apply the 6-step problem-solving process to real-world issues as they develop strong critical and creative thinking skills.

Community Projects

Students have the opportunity to pursue their own interests through identifying community issues important to them  and develop an action plan to make their community a better place.

Creative Writing and Storytelling

Students can explore imagined futures based on real-world issues and allow their imagination to expand, something they may not experience in traditional literacy curricula.

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April Michele

April Michele Bio

Executive Director

A seasoned educator, April Michele has served as the Executive Director since 2018 and been with Future Problem Solving more than a decade. Her background in advanced curriculum strategies and highly engaging learning techniques translates well in the development of materials, publications, training, and marketing for the organization and its global network. April’s expertise includes pedagogy and strategies for critical and creative thinking and providing quality educational services for students and adults worldwide.

Prior to joining Future Problem Solving, April taught elementary and middle grades, spending most of her classroom career in Gifted Education. She earned the National Board Certification (NBPTS) as a Middle Childhood/Generalist and later served as a National Board Assessor for the certification of others. She was trained and applied the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Humanities, which helped widen the educational scope and boundaries beyond the U.S. In addition, April facilitated the Theory and Development of Creativity course for state level certification of teachers. She has also collaborated on a variety of special projects through the Department of Education.

A graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and the University of South Florida with a master’s in Gifted Education, April’s passion is providing a challenging curriculum for 21st century students so they are equipped with the problem solving and ethical leadership skills they need to thrive in the future. As a board member in her local Rotary Club, she facilitates problem solving in leadership at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute and earned her certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Edyth Bush Institute at Rollins College.