Realized Potential = Nature + Nurture + Mentors + Opportunity

How much does the interest or strength area of a parent dictate or guide the course of their child? Clearly some parents encourage their children to follow the paths they chose, or wished they had pursued; others discover the talent areas of their children and offer them support to pursue their own course.

According to Dr. Rena Subotnik, who spoke to P.A.L. and parents and faculty at Speyer Legacy School on January 13, 2012,  having an advanced ability or training toward a particular talent area is only part of the equation. Advanced learners need opportunities to be provided and taken.  It extends beyond ability, says Dr. Subotnik, as they need mentors and learned skills, such as persistence, risk-taking and social skills to achieve their full potential.

She focused on the importance of out-of-school enrichment; the need for acceleration, specialization and the importance of competitions with regard to policy implications for educating this population. Apprenticeships, internships and mentoring opportunities should also be explored and encouraged.

To learn more about her research, click to see the Powerpoint by Dr. Subotnik.

About Dr. Rena F. Subotnik:

Dr. Subotnik began her position as Director of the Center for Psychology in the Schools and Education at the American Psychological Association in January 2002. Before she came to APA, Dr. Subotnik was Professor of Education at Hunter College, where she coordinated the secondary education program and served as research and curriculum liaison to the Hunter College laboratory schools (grades PK-12). In 1997-98, Dr. Subotnik was an APA Congressional Fellow in child policy with U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. Her fellowship assignment involved drafting and promoting legislation related to teacher quality, which led to passage of Title II of the Higher Education Act in 1998. Since the fellowship, Dr. Subotnik has been actively involved in the community of scholars and practitioners concerned about federal policy related to teacher education.

Dr. Subotnik has been awarded grants from the McDonnell Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Education Sciences, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, the American Psychological Foundation, U.S. Department of Education Javits program, and the Spencer Foundation.

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