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Norma Lu Hafenstein, Ph.D., is the Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education at the University of Denver, Morgridge College of Education, Department of Teaching and Learning Sciences. A former teacher and administrator, Hafenstein brings decades of experience and expertise in graduate-level and K-12 teaching, teacher preparation, program development and evaluation, supervision, and research. Hafenstein led the development and implementation of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) for the University of Denver’s Education Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Gifted Education. She was a member of the Colorado Department of Education’s Standards Development Team where she helped to design the Gifted Education Core, Specialist, and Director endorsements.
Hafenstein has secured over $13 million in grants, gifts, and contracts toward Gifted Education at the University of Denver including support through the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act Grant of the US Department of Education, the Bradley Foundation, the Considine Family Foundation, the Sturm Family Foundation, the Buell Foundation, Daniel L. Ritchie, and Alice Collister. Hafenstein is PI for a $2.8 million, U.S. Department of Education, Jacob K. Javits five-year grant from 2020-2025 for I-REECCH: Impacting Rural Education through Expanding Culturally responsive curriculum, Computer science training, and Higher order thinking skills.
Hafenstein has conducted research in Colorado’s rural school districts since 2014, with the goal of understanding barriers to equitable identification. Her research interests include young gifted children, information-processing styles, social and emotional development, mathematical ability, individualized educational planning, and addressing disproportionality in gifted education. Hafenstein analyzes pre-service teacher training related to the needs of gifted learners and was recently named Chair of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children’s international Teacher Education Position Paper Committee to develop teacher educator standards that support gifted education. Dr. Hafenstein loves music, is a classically trained pianist, currently performs in a women’s choir, is an avid reader, and is interested in art from Impressionist Era to Southwest works.Portfolio