David Yun Dai

Gifted Education, Talent Development, and Creativity.

The World Within Reach
David Yun Dai, Ph.D.

School of Education
Department: Educational and Counseling Psychology

Division of Educational Psychology and Methodology
ED 233 B
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David Yun Dai joined the faculty of Educational Psychology and Methodology at University at Albany, State University of New York in 2001. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University, and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut. He also holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Language and Literature from East China Normal University. Prior to his appointment with University at Albany, he worked as an assistant professor of psychology at the Central Missouri State University. He teaches courses pertaining to instruction, learning, motivation, and cognition. He also teaches a seminar on giftedness, talent, and creativity.

Research Interests

Dr. Dai was a Fulbright scholar to China during 2008-2009 and to Germany during 2015-2016. He was the recipient of the Early Scholar Award in 2006 conferred by the National Association for Gifted Children. He is internationally known for his work on gifted education, talent development, and creativity. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Gifted Child Quarterly, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, and Roeper Review. His current theoretical and research interests include (a) the psychology of talent development; (b) motivational and cognitive processes underlying creativity; and (c) foundational and policy studies in gifted education. His practical interests include formulating national and regional educational strategies and policies for promoting and nurturing talent and creativity at a macro level and fashioning pedagogical strategies for developing talent and creativity at a micro level.


Dai, D. Y., & Kuo, C-C. (Eds.) (2016). Gifted education in Asia: Problems and prospects. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Dai, D. Y. (2016). Creativity research in China and creativity in China: Reflecting and looking ahead. In W. Hu (ed.), A report on progress in creativity research in China (pp. 176-185) (in Chinese). Xi’an, China: Shanxi Normal University Press.

Dai, D. Y. (2016). Envisioning a new century of gifted education: The case for a paradigm shift. In D. Ambrose & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), Creative intelligence in the 21st century (pp. 45-63). New York: SensePublishers.

Dai, D. Y. (2015). Indigenous Chinese epistemologies as a source of creativity. In A-G. Tan, and C. Perleth (Eds.), Creativity, culture, and development (pp. 29-44). New York: Springer.

Dai, D. Y. (2015). Ten megatrends in gifted education and challenges for Asian countries. Forum on Gifted Education (Chinese), 13, 1-16.

Dai, D. Y. (2015). A Jeffersonian vision of nurturing talent and creativity: Toward a more equitable and productive gifted education. Asia Pacific Education Review, 16, 269-279.

Dai, D. Y., Steenbergen-Hu, S., Zhou, Y. (2015). Cope and Grow: A grounded
theory approach to early college entrants’ lived experiences and changes in a STEM program. Gifted Child Quarterly, 59, 75-90.

Dai, D. Y., & Steenbergen-Hu, S. (2015). Special Class for the Gifted Young: A 34-year experimentation with early college entrance programs in China. Roeper Review, 37, 9-18.

Dai, D. Y. & Chen, F. (2014). Paradigms of gifted education: A guide to theory-based, practice-focused research. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

Dai, D. Y. (2013). How advances in gifted education contribute to innovation education, and vice versa. In L. Shavinina (ed.), International handbook on innovation education. (pp. 52-67). New York: Routledge.

Dai, D. Y., & Cai, J. (Eds.) (2013). Gifted education in the USA (in Chinese). Hangzhou, Zhejiang: Zhejiang Education Press.