Discussion on the implications of the term “giftedness”

Discussion on the implications of the term “giftedness”

Discussion on the implications of the term “giftedness”

Symposium173Britta Weinbrandt, DGhK Schleswig-Holstein, Germany; Madeleine Majunke, DGhK, Germany; Dagmar Bergs-Winkels, ASH Berlin, Germany; Christian Fischer, WWU Münster, Germany; Albert Ziegler, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany; Julie Taplin, Potential Plus UK, United Kingdom; Denise Yates, The Potential Trust, United Kingdom; Leonieke Boogaard, Koepel Hoogbegaafdheid, Netherlands; Desirée Houkema, Peers4Parents, Netherlands

Yangtze 2Fri 15:30 - 17:00

Balanced research and practice

The “German Association for Gifted Children” (“DGhK”) offers advice to professionals and especially parents.Our Association has been founded on the model of the british NAGC, now Potential Plus UK. We all are members of the HELP network - which promotes the term ‘High Learning Potential’ instead of words such as ‘gifted’ and ‘highly able’.We have been talking to educational and psychological scientists from our advisory board and members of HELP network, Potential Plus UK, the Potential Trust, the Dutch Koepel Hoogbegaafdheid (Umbrella of Giftedness) and Peers4Parents.Together, we would like to discuss- what is it, that the term ‘giftedness’ does to people?- the use of ‘potential’ vs. ‘giftedness’- how to offer a dynamic view of giftedness- how to address the needs of HLP children and their families- the mission of parents associationsDGhK (German Association for Gifted Children)Britta Weinbrandt, Madeleine Majunke

The “German Association for Gifted Children” (“DGhK”) offers advice to professionals and especially parents of high learning potential children.“I am not sure if I am right, talking to you”, is one of the most common first sentences our facilitators get to hear in their consultations. Very often, when we apply for a speech at a conference, the word ‘hochbegabt’ (‘gifted’) in our abstracts will be changed into ‘begabt’ (‘talented’) by the editors. Our Association has been founded on the model of the british NAGC - which is now called Potential Plus UK. We all are members of the HELP network - which promotes the term ‘High Learning Potential’ instead of words such as ‘gifted’ and ‘highly able’.We have been talking to educational and psychological scientists from our advisory board, Prof. Dr. Dagmar Bergs-Winkels, Prof. Dr. Christian Fischer and Prof. Drs Albert Ziegler, and to members of Anna Comino James' HELP network, Potential Plus UK (Julie Taplin) and the Potential Trust UK (Denise Yates). We will be joined by the dutch HELP members, Leonieke Boogaard from Koepel Hoogbegaafdheid (Umbrella of Giftedness) and Desirée Houkema from Peers4Parents.Together, we would like to discuss- what is it, that the term ‘giftedness’ does to people?- the use of ‘potential’ vs. ‘giftedness’- how to offer a dynamic view of giftedness- how to address the needs of HLP children and their families- the mission of parents associations

DGhK (German Association for Gifted Children)Britta Weinbrandt, Madeleine Majunke

Presentation 1: Gifted or what else...?

There are so many attributes to describe high learning potentials, such as gifted, talented, highly able, exceptional or highly gifted.

What do they imply and how are they used within science and daily life? It ranges from “Every child is gifted to the IQ of 130 as a statistical criterion for giftedness.” Both attitudes are not really helpful towards children in kindergarten and school or their parents.

The concepts of gifted, highly able, talented have connotations of elitism and/or academic ability and achievement being the only/most important standard. And the idea of every child being gifted neglects the diverse learning abilities of children.

The joint funding initiative of the federal and state governments LemaS project in Germany refers to the support of high performing students, high learning potentials in reference to learning and educational chances.The DGHK (german association of gifted children) has incorporated giftedness in their title. It is also a definition of their mission.

Nonetheless they start to question the word “gifted”. Since they are often a first partner where parents turn to, the implication of giftedness can either frighten parents or be of great help to them.

Different concepts of giftedness will be presented to contribution to a contemporary use of an appropriate terminology.Prof. Dr. Dagmar Bergs-Winkels / ASH BerlinProf. Dr. Christian Fischer / WWU MünsterGermany

Presentation 2: The zeitgeist shifted -- and also the connotation of " gifted"?

In my contribution, I will discuss the term "Giftedness" from a scientific point of view. I will discuss on three levels. From a meta-theoretical perspective, I will explore semantic aspects. From a theoretical perspective, I will distinguish it from related terms used alternatively in literature. From an implicit theory perspective, I will examine how the term is predominantly understood. Finally, I will discuss possible practical consequences for the further use of the term.Prof. Drs Albert ZieglerUniversity of Erlangen-NurembergGermany

Presentation 3: Giftedness as a label

In England the term ‘gifted’, regularly viewed as elitist, frequently alienated people especially in relation to accessing funding, raising awareness about needs, or persuading educational bodies to share details of relevant provision in schools – the description ‘gifted’ has more often been a burden than a benefit.

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), set up in 1967 regularly discussed terminology. Its Articles of Association refer to young people with exceptional intellectual and creative capabilities, without prescribing any specific criteria. The battle has frequently been about the term, not about the need. Given this context and the development in understanding internationally over the years about what constitutes ‘giftedness’, NAGC eventually changed its working name to Potential Plus UK and used the term ‘high learning potential’ which better describes the extraordinary and wide-ranging abilities these young people have, needing opportunities and support in order to realise them.‘Gifted’ closed doors; ‘potential’ opens them. Julie Taplin (Potential Plus UK), Denise Yates and Anna Comino-James (The Potential Trust) will share details of this shared journey, the pros and cons of changing terminology, how Potential Plus UK now uses Pfeiffer’s Tripartite Model to consider high learning potential through three lenses, and the impact this is starting to have.Julie Taplin - Potential Plus UKAnna Comino-James and/or Denise Yates - The Potential Trust

United Kingdom

Presentation 4

Teachers and parents don't always seem to be aware that characteristics associated with giftedness can be present in children and youngsters with a migration background. Educating them on such characteristics could help to identify gifted children from other cultures. However, using other concepts could also lead to more recognition and better opportunities for stimulating talents, creativity and personal development for everyone, regardless of background.The concept of developmental potential might be an inspirational alternative. It can be more broadly applied than in the educational context, and it refers to developing wisdom related to the values within a certain culture or domain. From a dynamic and systemic perspective, factors like intercultural miscommunication and misinterpretation of behavior could also hinder the recognition of talents. Looking through the lens of the dominant culture the picture of someone with a migration background can be incomplete.We want to share ideas about the use of other concepts and reflect on possible benefits and pitfalls of this approach. Recognizing the differences in culture will hopefully lead to stimulate more talents, to nurture creativity and to help children and adults develop their full potential in a way that is meaningful for them and for society.Leonieke Boogaard - Koepel Hoogbegaafdheid (Umbrella of Giftedness)

Desirée Houkema, Peers4Parents, The Netherlands

Connecting Research & Practice in Meaningful Ways
_PARENTS, _PRACTITIONERS, Giftedness as a label, Migration and High Learning Potential, Potential versus Giftedness
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