Gifted Development Center      





The Institute for the Study of Advanced Development (ISAD) is a nonprofit research corporation—501©3—with an international advisory board, directed toward the study of giftedness, advanced development, and undeveloped potential in women. ISAD operates as two organizations: the Gifted Development Center and Visual-Spatial Resource.

ISAD became incorporated in 1986 and has produced the only journal on adult giftedness since 1989. Advanced Development, the official publication of the Institute, is published annually and serves the worldwide community with theoretical expositions, case studies of moral exemplars, research, therapeutic applications, poetry and essays on advanced human development. Nine volumes have been published to date. The journal offers in-depth exploration of the issues facing gifted adults. Unlike the traditional view of adult giftedness as high levels of productivity and creativity, ISAD’s view of advanced development in adults is more subtle: it involves the deepening of the personality, strengthening of one’s values, broadening of one’s scope of responsibility, consciousness of the meaning of one’s existence, striving toward self-perfection, concern for others and commitment to service.

Research is an important focus of the Institute. ISAD has accumulated case studies on more than 800 children above 160 IQ—the largest databank in the world on highly gifted children. Research has also been conducted on emotional development in adults, giftedness in siblings, comparisons of gifted children’s performance on different instruments, the relationship between ear infections and underachievement, introversion and giftedness, and the visual-spatial learning style.

Among the instruments that have been developed are: The Visual-Spatial Identifier; The Visual-Spatial Identifier: Self-Report, Rating Scale of High IQ Visual-Spatial Learners; Characteristics of Giftedness in Children Scale; Introversion/Extraversion Continuum; Developmental Record Form; Characteristics of Introversion in Adults Scale; Parent Questionnaire; Parents of Gifted Offspring Questionnaire (for children above 160 IQ); and the Student Self-Nomination Form.

Postdoctoral internships with ISAD have been awarded to Dr. Karen Rogers, Coordinator of Gifted Education at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota; Dr. Frank Falk, Chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Akron; Dr. Nancy Miller, Associate Director of Family Studies at the University of Akron; Dr. Martha Morelock, Director of the Gifted Unit at the University of Melbourne; and Dr. Cecile Alip, Dean of the School of Education at the University of the Philippines. Pre-doctoral interns include Sarah Pong, with the Education Department of Hong Kong; Chor Siang with the Ministry of Education in Singapore; Cheryl Ackerman, doctoral student at Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas; Katheryn Kearney, doctoral student at Columbia University Teachers College; and Lacen Horter from the University of Alaska, Barrow, Alaska.

Major research findings of the Institute can be found within the document, entitled, What We Have Learned About Gifted Children."


Director of Research

R. Frank Falk, Ph.D.

R. FRANK FALK, Ph.D., serves as Director of Research of The Institute for the Study of Advanced Development.  Frank received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Minnesota and for many years taught and served as an administrator at both the University of Denver and the University of Akron.  He has authored numerous books, monographs, chapters, and peer-reviewed journal articles and delivered over 75 presentations at professional meetings including the National Association for Gifted Children, Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted, and the World Conference on Gifted.  In 2007-2008, he served as statistical consultant to the NAGC Task Force on WISC-IV Extended Norms.  His latest publications involve the measurement of overexcitabilities in Dabrowski’s theory: a chapter on cross-cultural studies in S. Mendaglio (Ed.), Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration (2008), and a chapter on research and assessment in S. Daniels and M. Piechowski (Eds.), Living with Intensity (2009).


ISAD Board Members:

Bruce Allen
Dave Atkinson
Mary Haynes
Nancy Miller
Mindy Solomon
James Sorrells

Ex Officio Member:

Linda K. Silverman




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