UHCL faculty win education research award

March 21, 2018 | Jean Rudnicki

UHCL faculty win education research award

Three University of Houston-Clear Lake faculty members have been named winners of the prestigious American Education Research Association’s (AERA) Michael Pyryt Collaboration Award, presented by its Special Interest Group for Research on Giftedness, Creativity and Talent for their joint research.
Associate Professor of Educational Foundations Carol Carman, Assistant Professor of Psychology Christine Walther and Professor of Psychology Robert Bartsch will receive the award at the annual AERA meeting in New York City in April. Walther and Bartsch are with UHCL’s College of Human Sciences and Humanities; Carman is in the College of Education.

To qualify for this award, which is only given every other year, the research must offer significant potential impact to the field of the gifted and talented. It must also include co-authors who have not previously worked in the field. The intent is to promote scholarship in the area of giftedness, creativity, and talent to the larger education research community through collaborations, and to benefit from the insights of important scholars who have not previously studied or written about gifted, talented, or creative populations.

Bartsch and Walther joined with Carman, who has published in the gifted and talented field, to investigate “Using the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) 7 Nonverbal Battery to Identify the Gifted/Talented: An Investigation of Demographic Effects and Norming Plans.” Their article featuring the results will appear in the April 2018 issue, volume 62, issue 2 of Gifted Child Quarterly, the flagship journal of the National Association for Gifted Children. It is also currently available in its OnlineFirst publication area.

“Including faculty from another research area on this publication not only brought a fresh point of view to a long-debated topic in my field,” said Carman, “but also fits with the spirit of collaboration and interdisciplinary research that is encouraged at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.” 

One of the ongoing problems in gifted identification is the underrepresentation of students from various demographic groups such as racial/ethnic minority students and students from poverty.

 “By exploring different ways of using one of the most commonly used identification tests with a sample of over 15,000 students, we discovered that the test cutoff itself may be responsible for some of the differences in group identification,” Carman said. “We proposed to use school-level identification, as that reduced the demographic differences between the identified students and the demographics of their district.”

In addition to the group receiving the AERA honor, Carman has been invited to present the trio’s finding at the Super Sunday panel session, “Hot off the Press: The Latest Research News on increasing Equity in Gifted Education,” during the annual conference for the National Association for Gifted Children in Minneapolis in November.