My research broadly explores giftedness and creativity, both within and outside of school contexts, through equity and empowerment lenses, with theoretical frameworks from critical pedagogy and cognitive psychology. My research has two overlapping but distinct strands. First, I investigate motivational and metacognitive dynamics of talent development especially for underserved and at-risk populations in STEM areas. I am specifically interested in exploring pathways to make STEM opportunities more accessible for all talented students by increasing the perceived fit between underserved identity and STEM culture. More specifically, I have three objectives for this research program: (1) highlighting the experiences of underrepresented gifted students in schools, (2) identifying support systems for their teachers, including pedagogical and content knowledge and (3) designing school-based or out-of-school talent development curriculums and programs.
My second area of research focuses on educational strategies for enhancing mathematical creativity and problem solving and their implications for educators in K-12 settings. More specifically this research is nested at the heart of the discussion that focuses on the role of teacher and educational setting on the development of creative potentials.
Dr. Bahar is an Assistant Professor of Gifted and Creative Education (GCE) in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Georgia. After graduating from Bilkent University with a degree in Industrial Engineering, he completed his Ph.D. in Special Education with a focus on Gifted Education and minor in Mathematics Education at the University of Arizona. His research interests include mathematical creativity, problem solving, mathematical ability, and equity/access.
Before his position at UGA, Dr. Bahar was a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, served as the coordinator of graduate programs in Gifted Education and directed youth programs including Youth in College and STEM for Young Scholars. Dr. Bahar is the recipient of numerous awards including, Math Hero of the Year Award and Edith May Sliffe - Distinguished Teaching Award.