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Torrance Center Summer Institute (June 10-14)

By Torrance Center for Creativity & Talent Development

Monday, June 10, 2024 9am to 4pm

+ 4 dates

  • Tuesday, June 11, 2024 9am to 4pm
  • Wednesday, June 12, 2024 9am to 4pm
  • Thursday, June 13, 2024 9am to 4pm
  • Friday, June 14, 2024 9am to 4pm
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This Professional Development event is a unique opportunity for teaching practitioners, school administrators, and education researchers to receive state-of-the-art instruction and guidance for optimal pedagogical practice.



DATES  Monday, June 10 – Friday, June 14


You may choose any combination of courses that do not conflict with each other according to scheduled meeting times.

Course dates and times are listed in the Course Description section below, but please visit our TCSI Website for a visual schedule guide course schedule and cost information: TCSI Website

To go directly to registation, please go to: TCSI Registration Form


TTCT Figural Scoring Workshop

TTCT Figural training participants will become proficient at scoring the norms-based creativity components measured by the TTCT Figural: fluency, originality, elaboration, resistance to closure, and abstractness of titles. Additionally, participants will learn how to score the criterion-based creative strengths checklist and assign test-takers' Creativity Index and National Percentile rank.

Instructor: Desiree I. Sharpe, Ph.D.

Schedule: Monday, June 10-Thursday, June 13/AM/In-person

Committing to Social and Racial Justice in Elementary Education Coursework

In this course, participants will learn how one faculty member infuses diversity, equity, and inclusion into courses taught in the Elementary Education program at the University of Georgia. In doing so the instructor is willing to get uncomfortable with candidates in class. Participants will both learn about the practices as well as engage in activities themselves. Participants will share the strategies they currently use to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into their classes and devise additional methods. The course instructor will model reflective practices looking to one’s early experiences as well as “aha” moments one might experience.

Instructor: Bob Capuozzo, Ph.D.

Schedule: Monday, June 10-Friday, June 14/AM/In-person

Artful Endeavors for Restorative and Sustaining Practices in Education

The past few years have demanded creativity, resilience, and a deeper abiding commitment to education. As such teachers and leaders in education have been called upon to reexamine how they have and will continue to engage and exist in education. For women, there is a greater call to protect and evaluate individual wellness practices as a way to restore and sustain their work. This course is designed to highlight some of the unique barriers women experience and to cultivate actionable and realistic steps toward teaching and leading with joy. Specifically, participants will be using artful inquiry as a conduit to identifying barriers to wellness; develop strategies for avoiding burnout, and generate a plan/ representation that clearly defines boundaries and focuses on discovering joy in and outside of the workplace. These interactive sessions will include journaling, poetry, music, artwork, etc. as grounding for our intellectual pursuits, discussion, and authentic restoration.

Instructor: Kiana Willis

Schedule: Monday, June 10-Friday, June 14/AM/In-person

Effective Early Literacy and Reading Comprehension Instruction

LITERACY - Proficient reading and writing skills are linked with positive work, health, and social life outcomes. These complex, higher-order skills rely on the efficient coordination of processes at the word level. Effective early literacy instruction directly relates to developing this efficient coordination. In this course, educators will learn about (1) why instruction at the sub-word and word level of language benefits students’ writing and reading skills and (2) how to explicitly teach the foundational skills necessary for efficient word reading and spelling. The session will start with the theory broken down for clear understanding, but much of the session will focus on effective routines. These routines will be explained and modeled, and then educators will practice with opportunities for feedback from the instructor to equip educators to implement learned routines effectively.

READING COMPRHENSION - The ultimate goal of reading instruction is to ensure that students can comprehend what they read. But, what does it mean to comprehend a passage?  When you read a passage, what exactly do you do to comprehend what you have read?  Without knowing how you do something, how can you model/teach that behavior to others? In this presentation, Dr. Ardoin will share with you the steps involved in developing comprehension of texts, why so many students struggle with reading comprehension, and provide guidance on both what to teach and not teach students when teaching reading comprehension skills.

Instructors: Christina Novelli, M.Ed., BCBA & Scott P. Ardoin, Ph.D.

Schedule: Monday, June 10-Friday, June 14/AM/In-person

Help-seeking in Online Learning

As a significant component of self-regulated learning, help-seeking has been proven to be positively linked to online learning outcomes. Considering the status quo that help-seeking is not well explored in online settings and its importance to both learners’ motivation and learning outcomes, this five-day course will be helpful to those instructors who are struggling with improving online learning experiences.

Topics include differences between online and face-to-face settings, common help-seeking categories, intrinsic, extrinsic, and amotivation in online learning, and other components of self-regulated learning besides help-seeking.

This course is designed to provide participants with both theoretical and hands-on experience with online help-seeking. Theoretically, participants can understand better what help-seeking is and how help-seeking is affected by different variables. Practically speaking, understanding these aspects will prepare educational practitioners better as they implement online teaching practices in the future.

Instructor: Fan Yang

Schedule: Monday, June 10-Friday, June 14/AM/Online

Motivational Interviewing for School Mental Health Professionals

Behavior change can be difficult for everyone, particularly young children, and adolescents. To better support school mental health professionals, this course will introduce a client-centered and evidence-based approach designed to promote behavioral change within their individual clients. Motivational interviewing is a collaborative technique that can be used with a wide range of individuals who are contemplating change and need some additional support navigating this process. Throughout the course, participants will be provided an overview of the key components for implementing motivational interviewing with their clients, followed by opportunities to practice the skills taught during the session. Upon completion of this training, participants will have gained motivational interviewing skills to activate the internal motivation of their clients to help them make and sustain behavioral change.

Instructors: Brianna Caldwell, M.S. and Madison Rodriguez, B.S.

Schedule: Tuesday, June 11/AM/Online -or- Wednesday, June 12/PM/Online

“You’re Addicted to What?”: Understanding Behavioral Addictions

Behavioral addictions such as gaming, sex, pornography, social media, and gambling affect a substantial number of individuals, yet many people have not received information or training about the realities of addictive behaviors. As such, many myths and misperceptions exist regarding behavioral addictions that need to be addressed. In this course, attendees will learn about the signs and criteria of behavioral addictions, how addictive behaviors affect the brain, treatment considerations, and prevention efforts to combat behavioral addictions. The workshop will provide a model for understanding behavioral addictions in general, and insight into specific addictive behaviors such as gaming, sex/pornography, nonsuicidal self-injury, social media addiction. Additionally, the presenter will address common myths related to individuals with behavioral addictions.  

Instructor: Amanda L. Giordano, PhD, LPC

Schedule: Wednesday, June 12 -or- Friday, June 14/AM/Online

Transforming Creative Identity through Playful Collaboration

Students will engage in the Lego® Serious Play® (LSP) methodology to transform their creative identity through playful collaboration. LSP is a collaborative methodology to facilitate conversation, decision-making, and complex problem-solving. Using Lego® bricks as a socio-material technology supports reflection, reframing, and transformative learning that builds on constructivist, constructionist, and social learning theories. As students engage in model-making and storytelling, they reframe their understanding of creativity and creative intelligence. This reframing contributes to increased self-efficacy and demonstrated agency of creative confidence, intelligence, and competency. As a result, students are more likely to consider themselves creative and better equipped to address complex challenges in a variety of contexts through playful collaboration.

Instructor: Emmaleigh Klein

Schedule: Monday, June 10, Wednesday, June 12, and Friday, June 14/PM/In-person

Nurturing Creativity in Educational Contexts: Applying the 5-Ps Approach
This interactive workshop will help you create classrooms that promote creative mindsets in all students. In adopting the 5-Ps approach, you will learn about the necessity to consider multiple perspectives in combination at the level of the person, process, product, place, and physiology in order to understand how creativity works. Learn about the mental operations that are involved in creativity (process), the traits and habits that have a positive impact on creativity (person), the specific elements that make an idea creative (product), the contextual factors that have a facilitative effect on creativity (place), and why creative modes involve getting past automatic and dominant modes of operation that typify the workings of our brains (physiology). Learning how to apply this knowledge will help cultivate the creative impulse in your students.

Instructor: Anna Abraham, Ph.D.

Schedule: Tuesday, June 11 and Thursday, June 13/PM/In-person

Creativity in the Foreign and Second Language Classroom

Today’s communicative second and foreign language teaching approaches consistently require students to be creative in order to succeed at classroom activities and high-stakes assessments. At the same time, current research indicates that creative students demonstrate various advantages in language learning. This workshop will begin with an explanation of existing knowledge on the relationships among bilingualism, creativity, and second language acquisition. Participants will then consider how existing language proficiency assessments (i.e. WIDA ACCESS for ELLs, AP World Languages exams) require students to be creative. Next, participants will practice designing classroom activities that support students who struggle with creative thought, as well as how to leverage students’ existing creative strengths to develop skills in all language modalities. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of all that remains to be discovered about creativity and language acquisition and tips for educators and researchers who are interested in pursuing this emergent strand of research.

Instructor: Ashleigh Pipes, Ph.D.

Schedule: Tuesday, June 11/PM/In-person

Teaching Cultural Leadership with ChatGPT

Prepare for future workplaces where professionals collaborate with both human colleagues across cultures and with AI counterparts. In virtual settings, distinguishing between humans and AI becomes challenging. Modern organizations require effective diverse teams and technologically informed decision making. This course fosters cross-cultural communication and awareness through virtual simulations with AI colleagues. No prior knowledge of artificial intelligence or of cross-cultural knowledge is necessary. Gain the knowledge and skills vital for navigating diverse, complex, dynamic, innovative and technology-driven workplaces.

Instructor: Bruce Neubauer, Ph.D.

Schedule: Monday, June 10 and Thursday, June 13/PM/Online

Evidence-Based Autistic Inclusive Education

The identification of autistic students is continuously rising and most of these students are in general education classes for at least 80% of the day. However, general education teachers often feel unprepared to implement evidence-based practices to instruct autistic students. To better prepare aspiring general education teachers, we will provide pre-service teachers with feasible and acceptable evidence-based inclusive autistic practices they can incorporate into their instruction and classroom management. This course will teach students how to implement various practices that were identified in the literature and backed by support from a recent study obtaining insight from pre-service and active teachers. Students will also learn how to select appropriate strategies to use based on characteristics of the individual student. Students will complete the course with increased autism knowledge and a “toolbox” of feasible and empirically supported strategies to implement in their inclusive classroom.

Instructors: Ashley Harrison, Ph.D and Karrah Bowman, B.S.

Schedule: Tuesday, June 11/PM/Online

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