Wellbeing Through Global Cooperative Synergy : An Essential Paradigm Shift


June Maker, PhD., Litt.D. and Randy Pease,

United States of America





Hola from the American Southwest! We respect and value the work of the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education, and wish you success in your 2020 blog tour. Although we know many people are suffering from this pandemic, we believe that as a result, many important changes will be made at local, regional, state, national, and international levels. We want to help engineer this change through the Global Cooperative Synergy (GCS) Group. 


For centuries, we have been taught principles stemming from the “survival of the fittest” paradigm, in which the way to success is by running faster, making more money, expanding more rapidly, gaining access to more natural resources. We get ahead by pushing others back or running ahead of them. What if the way to get ahead in this new global economy and increasingly interdependent world is to cooperate? What if we get ahead by helping everyone create a better world, a world in which all people and their emotional, physical, ethical, and social health are more important than money and profits?


In 1997, June Maker collaborated with educators from 13 states in the USA and several schools in Beijing China. In groups, students from both countries listed local and international problems, discussed them, and decided which ones were common to the countries (See picture).




Then, they decided which problem they wanted to solve. This experience was life-changing for June and for the high school students from both countries. Now, it is needed more than before, and our experiences with online platforms show that it’s possible. We have created the GCS Group and are inviting others to join us!


Our goal is to develop the ability and commitment to “think globally and act locally” to solve problems seen as important through Real Engagement in Active Problem Solving (REAPS). With a base of knowledge, people with passion and commitment will be creative and innovative entrepreneurs who can capture opportunities, generate resources, and cultivate 21st century skills. Their actions will demonstrate their commitment to cooperation, respect for diversity, preservation of the environment, mutual benefit, and valuing health over profiteering.


Two programs successful in achieving these goals in face-to-face contexts are being merged and adapted to an online format: REAPS (to develop creativity and innovation) and the Summer Enrichment Program at IAU in Saudi Arabia (to develop entrepreneurial skills). Participants will follow a problem-solving process to solve a problem they identify as important at the local level, and will be connected via Zoom and the DISCOVER interactive website with others who are solving similar problems at the national and international level. National coordinators have been identified for Australia, Chile, China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the USA, and the UAE. 


All of us are interdependent just as our inner and outer worlds are interdependent (See figure). We know that gifted people of all ages with passion and commitment can create their own inner and outer wellbeing through thinking globally and acting locally to make our world a better place to live. 


About June Maker, PhD., Litt.D., and Randy Pease, the DISCOVER Team


C. June Maker is Professor Emerita in the Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies at The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Over a distinguished career, she has conducted research on performance-based assessments, implementation of multiple intelligences theory, and creativity development and developed various teaching models, including the Real Engagement in Active Problem Solving (REAPS) model. She has worked with children, teachers, and researchers in the USA and many different countries, including New Zealand, and has published numerous books, articles, and videos.


Randy Pease: While working in the Special Education Program, Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, at The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, Randy found his heart and home within the education of the gifted and meeting the needs of twice exceptional students. Randy assisted June Maker in the development of the Real Engagement in Active Problem Solving (REAPS) model and has written publications and coauthored numerous articles with Dr Maker.





Posted as part of the 2020 New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog Tour, run by the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education.

The views and opinions expressed in the Gifted Awareness Week Blog Tour are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of NZCGE, their staff, and/or any/all contributors to Gifted Awareness Week.

Wellbeing Through Global Cooperative Synergy - An Essential Paradigm Shift

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