Reaching for the Sky!
Gifted Thinking
Thinking Gifted

The 2011 FNO Hong Kong Seminar
Thursday and Friday
10-11 November 2011

Join Jamie McKenzie
for a two day seminar
exploring tactics and techniques
to nurture the imagination, creativity and inquiry skills of students.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel Hong Kong
Queen's Road East, Wan Chai
Hong Kong — Tel: +852 3552 1111
Jamie McKenzie is an international speaker and writer who has devoted his career to understanding how to nurture the questioning and thinking skills of students. He is the author of several books exploring that task in depth. He has also been working on ways to develop the inventive capacities of students — showing them how to create fresh new ideas.
Photographs of Jamie leading hands-on workshops for the Department of Defense Schools in Frankfurt, Germany. Photos courtesy of Jack Higbee

Jamie completed his doctoral dissertation on gifted education while at Rutgers and spent years developing effective gifted programs while a school leader in school districts like Princeton, New Jersey. He now works with schools and teachers around the world from Shanghai, Perth and Manila to Toronto, Chicago and Amarillo to lift the level of challenge asked of students, making sure that rigor is balanced with appropriate levels of scaffolding.

Jamie McKenzie's resume

You can register and pay on line for this conference at

Schedule of Events

Thursday, 10 November, 2011 Gifted Thinking — Thinking Gifted
Reaching for the Sky!

8:45 AM - Registration

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM (with a mid morning break)

What are the prime characteristics or traits of gifted performance, and how can teachers team with parents to nurture and grow these behaviors and attitudes? What is meant by virtuosity and how can schools develop that level of prowess?

The thesaurus lists skillfulness, mastery, expertise, prowess, proficiency, ability, aptitude; excellence, brilliance, talent, genius, artistry, flair, panache, finesse, wizardry; informal know-how, and chops as related words.

Synthesis and Puzzling
Meaningful inquiry involves students in wrestling with mysteries, puzzles, conundrums and difficult questions and issues that deserve thought and consideration. We expect students to weigh the thinking of experts and elders but then come up with their own positions, decisions and suggestions.

Research should take students beyond the mere gathering of information to the construction of new understandings. They will need a firm grounding in synthesis skills in order to combine the information in ways that may resolve puzzles and mysteries.

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Lunch

1:30 AM - 3:00 PM

What do we mean by original thinking and production? How can we communicate the importance of original thought to students while equipping them with the synthesis skills required to support invention?

Jamie explains how his new Taxonomy can help teachers and their students determine the degree to which a particular production is original or is merely a knock-off, imitation or copy. For those placing a high priority on originality this is a Taxonomy that will inspire and guide student work in powerful ways.

Creating New Ideas and Possibilities through Lateral Thinking
and Wandering Purposefully

Little attention is devoted in most schools to what Edward DeBono has called "lateral thinking" - the exploration of unusual possibilities, yet it is precisely this kind of thinking that fuels innovation and invention. In this session, Jamie provides a rationale for developing this kind of thinking and shares strategies that teachers may employ to nurture both the attitudes and skills required so they are capable of "thinking outside the box."

Friday, 11 November, 2011 Gifted Thinking — Thinking Gifted
Involving Students in Extended, Deep, Authentic Inquiry

8:45 AM - Registration

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM (with a mid morning break)

Laying the Groundwork
What do we mean by inquiry? How do questions and questioning support inquiry? What kinds of issues, challenges and concepts lend themselves most powerfully by various age groups? How will we know when they have moved from knowledge to understanding? When is inquiry worthy of student time and when is it mere ritual? How does a teacher orchestrate inquiry?

Interpreting Findings and Cycling
Through the Stages of the Research Cycle

Because students do not know what they do not know at the outset of an investigation or inquiry, their initial questions rarely suffice and will need to be revised, deepened and extended as they gain knowledge. During this session participants will consider the value of the Research Cycle as a guide for extended inquiry.

Organizing Whole Units for Inquiry
How does a teacher plan so that individual students may pursue aspects of a major theme or issue in fruitful ways that may ultimately be woven together with the work of other students so that the "big picture" comes into focus?

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Lunch

1:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Modeling Techniques, Skills and Attitudes
The teacher provides an ongoing stream of mini lessons as the inquiry proceeds so that students benefit from "just in time instruction," acquiring new skills as they are needed. Real student growth depends upon careful monitoring and well timed intervention by the teacher.

Communicating, Reporting, Persuading and Sharing Powerfully
Once students have grasped important ideas, there are many options for sharing their findings, some of which are more effective than others. This session will focus on reporting options that require a high degree of potency.

Assessing Student Growth and Performance
How might teachers engage students in self-assessment and how can teachers augment those assessment activities with other measures that serve to guide the program along while also giving a sound view of individual progress?


Each Day Alone - $ 175.00 USD

Both Days - $ 325.00 USD

The price covers the workshop as well as a morning tea/coffee and a fabulous lunch.

Additional discount for schools sending 5+ staff members. Email Jamie at for details.