ISAD is an organization devoted to education and scientific research. Our mission is to study advanced development in children and adults and to uncover abilities in underserved populations. We have the largest data bank in existence on the gifted (> 6000), including the twice exceptional, and the exceptionally and profoundly gifted (>1000 cases above 160 IQ).
The leader in research on overexcitabilities, internationally, our work has verified the existence of gifted personality characteristics and mapped the dynamics of the inner world of the gifted. We have developed the Overexcitability Questionnaire II (OEQ-II), the Overexcitability Inventory for Parents (OIP), and the Overexcitability Inventory for Children (OEQ-2C), all of which can be licensed by researchers for a nominal fee. The construction of these instruments originated with The Dabrowski Study Group at the University of Denver in 1980, which became ISAD in 1986. Our instruments have been translated into 12 languages, and studies have been conducted in 19 countries. Consistently, these international studies have shown that gifted groups demonstrate stronger overexcitability profiles than average groups.
Other assessment tools and inventories we have constructed include the Visual-Spatial Identifier, the Characteristics of Giftedness Scale, the Introversion/Extraversion Continuum, and the Developmental Questionnaire. We have investigated the performance of high ability individuals on various IQ tests. We were contracted by the National Association for Gifted Children to conduct a study of WISC-IV performance of gifted children from eight sites, which led to the construction of extended norms for the WISC-IV.
We are currently digitizing our files. We collect data on measures of IQ, self-concept, and achievement, as well as extensive parent reports and multiple indices of personality, learning and sensory characteristics. Our database will be available to qualified researchers who adhere to strict confidentiality agreements. We publish only aggregated data and all identifying information is removed. Files are only accessible where we have obtained parental permission.
Few understand the need to fund research on giftedness. As we are not a university, financial backing for our work is challenging to secure. We depend on your support to continue our ground breaking studies on the inner world of the gifted.
R. FRANK FALK, Ph.D., serves as Director of Research of the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development. Dr. Falk 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 frequent presentations at professional meetings including NAGC, SENG and the World Council on Gifted & Talented Children. In 2007-2008, he served as statistical consultant to the NAGC Task Force on a national study of WISC-IV performance of gifted children. His latest publications involve the measurement of overexcitabilities in Dabrowski’s theory, including chapters summarizing the research in Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration (Mendaglio, 2008) and Living with Intensity (Daniels & Piechowski, 2009). He has conducted data analysis for hundreds of publications in all areas of giftedness and continues to assist and provide information to professionals in the field. He is currently collaborating on work identifying the relationship of brain structure to the gifted and associated characteristics with fMRI’s.
ERIN HOUGH, M.A., Research Assistant, holds a degree in Curriculum and Instruction. While in graduate school, she studied gifted education and wrote curriculum for the Institute for the Development of Gifted Education through the University of Denver. Although initially certified as a secondary science teacher, Erin has taught mainly ESL, both overseas and here in the US. She currently teaches ESL at Temple University in Philadelphia. She joins the Center with the interest of translating its vast body of collected information into statistically analyzed, peer-reviewed journal articles. She is particularly interested in cross-cultural comparisons and working with the Center’s International network to develop globally relevant studies.
STEVEN C. HAAS, M.A., MPA, has worked in gifted education as a Gifted and Talented Resource Consultant, mentor, classroom teacher, Advanced Placement instructor, school administrator, researcher, and middle school principal. For twenty years, Mr. Haas has served as Project Director for the Visual-Spatial Identifier Project, coordinating the development and validation of the Visual-Spatial Identifier©. He also works at the Indigenous Students Leap Ahead (ISLA) Project in Denver, Colorado.
Mr. Haas’s passion is working directly with teachers and staff in districts, schools, and classrooms to support programming and instruction to reach underserved populations of gifted and Native American children.
He is a frequent presenter at conferences of the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented, the NAGC, the WCGTC, the NIEA, and the Native American Student Advocacy Institute of the College Board on a wide range of topics including teaching gifted visual-spatial learners, creativity, perfectionism, acceleration, and the needs of gifted Native American children.