Joni Lakin, Ph.D., an associate professor in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology, won a national award for Paper of the Year from the Gifted Child Quarterly, the flagship research journal for the National Association for Gifted Children. The award is peer-review based and only given to one paper each year.
Lakin’s research areas include studying undergraduate STEM majors and their engagement in their major, especially the retention of underrepresented groups in engineering; program evaluations of K-12 STEM curriculum; and communicating with K-12 teachers about assessment processes and understanding test scores to improve their teaching.
“Gifted and talented services often don’t reflect the diversity of the school populations they serve,” Lakin explained. “My research explores evidence-based approaches to increase the equitable representation of students in gifted and talented services.”
The award-winning paper looks at one crucial aspect of identification—how we combine multiple sources of assessment information—and explores how these policy decisions impact the students who are served.
“I found that we can impact both the size and diversity of the pool of identified students by how we incorporate assessment information into the identification process.”
As part of her research, Lakin works with collaborators across the country, including University of Arkansas and Northwestern University. This helps to broaden the impact of her work on school children.
“It’s important to help schools better identify talent in all students and then serve those students well. Our work helps all students reach their full academic potential.”
Congratulations Dr. Lakin!
*Photo from Gifted Child Quarterly