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June Maker

Creator and Founder 

of the

Global Cooperative Synergy Group

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C. June Maker, Ph.D., Litt.D. C. June Maker is Professor Emerita in the Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies at The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.  While a full-time faculty member she coordinated a doctoral degree program in education of the gifted and taught courses in professional writing and early childhood education for doctoral students.  In 2015, she received the International Research Award from the World Council for Gifted and Talented Students (WCGTS). She also was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters Degree by Western Kentucky University in May, 2016, in recognition of her accomplishments. In 2017 she was inducted into the Bridges Academy 2e Hall of Fame in recognition of her contributions to the education of twice exceptional students. In 2019, she was honored with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been active in and served in leadership positions in national and international organizations for gifted children and serves on Editorial Boards for national and international journals in education of the gifted such as Gifted Education International and The Gifted Child Quarterly. She is Associate Editor for Gifted and Talented International and the International Journal of Research in Education and Advisory Board Member for the Bulletin of Special Education in Taiwan. She has conducted research on performance-based assessments, implementation of multiple intelligences theory, and creativity development. A unique performance-based assessment, Discovering Intellectual Strengths and Capabilities while Observing Varied Ethnic Responses (DISCOVER), was developed and validated in research projects funded by the Javits Gifted and Talented Education Program, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs. It has been translated into Spanish, French, Chinese, Thai, and Arabic; researchers and practitioners in Chile, France, Hong Kong, Canada, Bahrain, Lebanon, and the United Arabic Emirates are working with her to identify gifted students using this instrument, and to conduct research on its psychometric properties. Dr. Maker has worked with children, teachers, and researchers in the US and many different countries, and has published numerous books, articles, and videos. Since 2005, her most significant curriculum design project was the integration of the DISCOVER curriculum model, Thinking Actively in a Social Context (TASC), and Problem Based Learning (PBL) to form a new model for developing problem solving in general and special classes: Real Engagement in Active Problem Solving (REAPS). She worked with researchers and practitioners to implement this model in a demonstration school in New South Wales, Australia, two high schools in New Zealand, schools in the Navajo Nation and South Tucson, and in Beijing, China.  In 2014, she and her research team completed a major research review, developed recommendations for curricula for Special Schools for Gifted Students and developed a unique plan for Centers for Creativity and Innovation for King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia. In another funded research project, in cooperation with the Colleges of Science and Pharmacy and the Bio5 Institute, funded by The National Science Foundation, she developed and evaluated new performance-based assessments to identify students with exceptional talent in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  Articles about this research were published in a special issue of the Journal of Advanced Academics in July, 2020. Her most recent research project, in collaboration with the International Namaa Association for Research and Development and the Ministry of Education in the United Arab Emirates, was to develop a new performance-based assessment for young children (ages 4, 5, and 6) based on the Prism of Learning Model co-authored with Dr. Usanee Anuruthwong, which is being used to identify gifted children and the strengths of all children in the UAE. The website for her long-term project, DISCOVER, is www.discover.arizona.edu, and her new international project is https://www.globalcooperativesynergygroup.org/; she can be reached at junemaker@hotmail.com.

Randy Pease

Creator and Founder

of the

Global Cooperative Synergy Group

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Randy Pease, educator, author and now co-creator and current administrator of The Global Cooperative Synergy Group (GCSG) has been with Dr. June Maker’s DISCOVER Projects since 1992 in many capacities. He has served originally as one of the first research teachers to trainer and a contributing developer of the DISCOVER High School Assessment. His positions in public education have included Classroom Teacher, Director for Gifted and Talented, Curriculum Specialist, and Instructional Coach. This year begins his 40th year in education.

More recently he assisted in the development of a battery of performance assessments to identify strengths, talents, creativity and academic performance for UAE and USA preschool children with Dr. Maker. He served as education research and curriculum assistant on Cultivating Diverse Talent in STEM funded by the National Science Foundation. His participation focused on high school students and their teachers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). He was instrumental in developing the Real Engagement in Active Problem Solving (REAPS) curriculum both in his own classroom for five years and unwrapping the curriculum at Demonstration School, North Sydney, Australia. Randy and the DISCOVER team conducted REAPS training for high school teachers in Australia, New Zealand, China, and the United States. All teaching models, curriculums, and assessment instruments reflect a student-centered approach with self-selected formats that integrate intercultural proficiency, creativity, and joy for the exceptional and regular learner. Another passion is storytelling, and history. All come together with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) community of Tucson. He is co-founded the nonprofit Tucson Queerstory (TQ). Members collect, preserve, exhibit, celebrate, and make accessible to the public the materials and knowledge to support and promote understanding of a diverse LGBTQ history, its people, culture, and arts. Individuals also have an opportunity to share and record their recollections with TQ, their experiences, which are then achieved and used in presentations and celebrations. He and Dr. Maker are currently conducting a REAPS Teacher Training and presenting a series of REAPS Master Classes for high school students in the Abu Dhabi through the United Arab Emirates University; and conducting REAPS Teacher Training and Curriculum Development for elementary and high school teachers in New South Wales, Australia.

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