Sandra Kaplan, an expert in gifted education and professor at the USC Rossier School of Education, has received the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Legacy Award.
Selected for her professional talents and contributions to enhancing the lives of the nation’s most able learners, Kaplan is only the sixth winner in the more than 50-year history of the organization.
“Sandra Kaplan is one of the true pioneers in the field of teaching gifted children and her professional work has influenced education in this area around the world,” said USC Rossier Dean Karen Symms Gallagher. “We are so proud to count her among our esteemed faculty, and I congratulate Sandy on this well-deserved award.”
Kaplan is one of the most preeminent scholars in gifted learning. She has published more than a dozen books on teaching gifted children, consulted for numerous special projects and provided teacher training to incorporate gifted education into classrooms internationally. Kaplan is currently a clinical professor in learning and instruction at USC Rossier’s Teacher Education program.
Her publications cover the nature and scope of differentiated curriculum for gifted students, with her primary area of focus being modifying the core and differentiated curriculum to meet the needs of inner-city, urban, gifted learners. She is a past president of the California Association for the Gifted and the NAGC.
Kaplan received the Legacy Award on Nov. 16 at a special event in her honor during the NAGC conference in Denver. Before an enthusiastic audience, she was interviewed about her professional journey, and she shared stories and insights on her career. On Jan. 5, the California Association for the Gifted also held an event in recognition of Kaplan’s award.
Kaplan’s story now becomes part of The Legacy Series, begun in 2007 in an effort to capture a permanent record of prominent leaders in the field of gifted education through audio and video interviews. Led by the NAGC Conceptual Foundations Network, the multiyear project honors the contributions of scholars, such as Kaplan, and preserves their theories for future generations of advocates and educators.
USC Rossier recently introduced an online Master of Education in Advanced Instruction program that includes certification in gifted education.