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Kristina Collins WAETAG Keynote

Dr. Kristina Collins Delivers Keynote Addresses at WAETAG Conference

by Emma Carberry
Outreach Coordinator, College of Education

October 30, 2018

Dr. Kristina Collins, assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, recently served as a keynote speaker for the Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted (WAETAG). During their annual conference on October 12 and 13, Collins delivered two keynote presentations about equity in talent development and gifted education.

This opportunity first came about in February 2017, when Collins met then president of WAETAG, Vicki Edwards, while working with the University of Washington on their Equity in Gifted Education Summit, where she also served as a keynote speaker. A couple months after their meeting, Collins recalls receiving an invitation from Edwards to speak at the 2018 WAETAG annual conference.

In keeping with WAETAG and Texas State’s Common Experience theme of innovation, Collins focused her addresses around equity and innovation. Her opening reception keynote was titled Know Good DEED: Curriculum Innovation that Fosters Differentiated Engagement, Equity and Diversity. Collins says she used this time to introduce the audience to her research, as well as to familiarize and contextualize equity, privilege and diversity. One way that Collins illustrates privilege is by asking her audience to think about right-handed privilege and how left-handed people are often ignored or not seen by the larger society. She finds that by starting with this basic comparison, she is able to build to weightier topics while maintaining audience understanding.

Dr. Kristina Henry Collins
Dr. Kristina Henry Collins

Collins continued to build on the idea of equity on the second day of the conference, when she delivered a second keynote titled The TEMPEST Effect: Answering the Call to Prioritize Equitable Identification and Talent Development in Gifted Education, based around the themes in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The work centers on the idea of righting a wrong, and so Collins highlighted seven TEMPEST strategies for educators to right systemic wrongs in order to equitably serve all students, with the idea in mind that educational equity is not only about differentiating educational opportunities, but also eliminating systemic barriers that create the inequities in the first place.

In speaking with Collins, her skill for adapting her messages to her audience is immediately clear. She does this frequently in her blog, Fresh Flavor Fridays, where she posts about multicultural talent development in a way that is approachable. Follow along with her blog here.