Jonathan Plucker is a prominent education policy and talent development scholar, and the inaugural Julian C. Stanley Professor of Talent Development at Johns Hopkins University. He holds a joint appointment at the Center for Talented Youth (CTY) and School of Education.
He has been supported by more than $30 million in external grants and contracts, and has published over 200 articles, chapters and reports. His most recent books include “Intelligence 101,” published with Amber Esping by Springer, and “Critical Issues and Practices in Gifted Education,” published with Carolyn Callahan by Prufrock Press.
In Intelligence 101, Plucker focuses on the history of how we categorize, measure, and conceive of intelligence. His report, “Mind the Other Gap: The Growing Excellence Gap in K–12 Education,” examines the wide disparity between high-achieving white and affluent students and high-achieving minority and low-income students. He also outlines key education-reform measures, including focusing equally on minimum competency and excellence while simultaneously addressing poverty.
His work defining and studying the excellence gap (https://cepa.uconn.edu/mindthegap) is part of a larger effort to re-orient the thinking of policymakers and educators toward how to best promote success and high achievement for all children. He is editor for the “Research-Based Decision Making for Gifted Education and Talent Development” book series at Palgrave-Macmillan, and the “Psychological Perspectives on Contemporary Educational Issues” series at IAP.
Before joining Johns Hopkins, Plucker was the Raymond Neag Endowed Professor of Education Leadership and professor of educational psychology at the University of Connecticut. From 1997 to 2012, he was a professor of educational psychology and cognitive science at Indiana University, becoming a full professor in 2006. From 1995 to 1997, he was an assistant professor of educational psychology and measurement at the Maine Education Policy Research Institute at the University of Maine, Orono. He holds a doctoral degree in educational psychology from the University of Virginia, and a master’s degree in educational psychology and bachelor’s degree in chemistry education from the University of Connecticut.
He has received many accolades for his work. For his research on creativity, he received the Daniel E. Berlyne Award for outstanding research by a junior scholar (2001) and the Rudolf Arnheim Award for outstanding research by a senior scholar (2012) from the American Psychological Association, and the 2007 E. Paul Torrance Award for creativity research from the National Association of Gifted Children. For his gifted education research, he has received the NAGC Early Scholar Award (1998) and Distinguished Scholar Award (2013), and the Award for Excellence in Research (1997 and 2000) from the Mensa Foundation. For his education policy work, he was ranked as one of the top 100 most influential academics working in education in 2011, 2013, and 2014.
Plucker is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, and was named a fellow of the American Associate for the Advancement of Science in 2011 “for distinguished contributions to the science of creativity and the creation of research-supported education policy.”