As the annual convention of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) takes place in Florida this weekend (Nov 9-12, 2023), some may wonder: Is it worthwhile to attend?
NAGC 2023 conference: https://nagc.org/page/nagc23
Here's a Byrdseed
opinion piece, which I think is spot-on.
"Is NAGCís 2023 Conference Worth It For Teachers?
link - https://www.byrdseed.com/should-i-go-to-nagc/
[font:Comic Sans MS]Byrdseed[/font][/i] article]... because NAGC is an organization of academics, theyíve created a session proposal system biased towards academics. Now, I donít think they do this on purpose. Itís just the consequence of such limited voices in their leadership.
Here are a few ways that NAGCís proposal process leads to an over-representation of academics.
Session proposals are entirely written. Yes, friend, you write about how good your talk is going to be. Obviously, this benefits people who frequently write about their topic (thatís not teachers). A purely written proposal also hides whether someone is, you know, a good speaker or not. This leads to sessions that look good in the session guide, but are awful talks. I walked out of more sessions at NAGC than any other conference Iíve been to.
You arenít allowed to put your name in your session proposal! To pick good speakers, donít you kinda need to know who will be giving the presentation? You need to be able to say, ďOh, this person is an amazing speakerĒ or ďOh heck no. This person was awful last year!Ē Hiding peopleís identities protects bad presenters. And thatís unfair to the attendees.
Proposals are due in January for a conference in November. Thatís ten months in advance. Itís only two months after the previous event ended. Who has well-written submissions ready so far in advance? Yep! Folks who are already spending lots of time writing about their topic. (Again, not teachers.)
Random people choose the sessions. Itís not some elite team of experts doing the picking. Itís whoever will agree to do it! Heck, I judged submissions back in my third year of teaching! What did I know about picking sessions? Iím sure I added to the very problem Iím writing about! Iím sure I picked academics because their paragraphs sounded so fancy.
Now, this all seems fair to the people in charge because it mirrors how their papers get submitted to academic journals. But, an event for teachers should not be treated like an academic journal!
BTW, the creator of [i][font:Comic Sans MS] Byrdseed[/font][/i] is Ian Byrd,
who admits to being gifted...