Living on the edge; Learning, flourishing and contributing in all ages

Living on the edge; Learning, flourishing and contributing in all ages

Living on the edge; Learning, flourishing and contributing in all ages

Symposium27Rianne van de Ven, Hoogbegaafd in Bedrijf, Netherlands; Frans Corten, Werk en Waarde, Netherlands; Noks Nauta, Instituut Hoogbegaafdheid Volwassenen, Netherlands

Everest 2Sat 09:00 - 10:30

Practice based

In this symposium three professionals, who each have about 20 years of experience in working and interacting with the gifted from the age of young adults until the end of life, share their observations and insights. How do these gifted learn and develop in all these stages of life? How do they gather wisdom and find their personal/specific purposes in work and life? How can they still serve society when they are retired from work?We share examples, experiences and ways to find a better living climate, we formulate some special needs and restrictions and we are open for discussion. How can a better living climate be realized for the development of the gifted all over the world?There is hardly any research on the development of gifted along the lifespan. Until now, most knowledge is gathered by observation in practice.

In young age gifted may look oldish and too wise for their age. As young adults they may want to achieve goals that only seem to be allowed to people in their forties. In the midlife period of their gifted lives, their identity formation seems important again. When their retirement comes nearby, they often still want to be an innovator and they create, start or develop new projects, studies or ideas. We conclude that age is a non-fitting concept for gifted people: they do not act according to the preconceived ideas of their environment. This may lead to challenges in various situations, where they search for opportunities to live their lives on their own way.In this symposium three professionals, who each have about 20 years of experience in working and interacting with the gifted from the age of young adults until the end of life, share their observations and insights. How do these gifted learn and develop in all these stages of life? How do they gather wisdom and find their personal/specific purposes in work and life? How can they still serve society when they are retired from work?We share examples, experiences and ways to find a better living climate, we formulate some special needs and restrictions and we are open for discussion. How can a better living climate be realized for the development of the gifted all over the world?There is hardly any research on the development of gifted along the lifespan. Until now, most knowledge is gathered by observation in practice. The speakers have written several books and other publications to share their observations and give a start for further research.Rianne van de Ven: Giftedness in practice. Strengthening personal leadership in gifted adults (2022)Frans Corten: Exceptional Talent. A guide for the gifted, the inventors and other birds of a rare feather (2021)Noks Nauta: Hoogbegaafde senioren (2020) (Gifted seniors, book in Dutch)

Presentation 1

In The Netherlands prior to 2000, no educational programs were available for gifted children. Even today no certainty exists that children will be identified as being gifted at an early age or provided with the specialized educational support they require. However, interest in gifted children is growing in the Netherlands, and because of this new attention, many adults are beginning to recognize their own gifted characteristics. Late (adult) identification as “gifted” often leads to feelings of mourning for what might have been, but also invigorates a passion for personal growth.Rianne van de Ven has been guiding these adults as a professional coach for 15 years. In her lecture she will talk about how gifted adults can grow when they expand their toolbox of strategies and strenghten their personal leadership.

Rianne van de Ven: Giftedness in practice. Strengthening personal leadership in gifted adults (2022)

Presentation 2

Gifted adults may have problems to learn in formal situations (like school, college, university, courses, trainings). They are easily bored on one hand and they often do not feel safe enough to open themselves for a learning or transforming experience on the other hand. We observe that often used methods in assessments, psychological interventions and education programs may not be effective for them. They stay outside or even above the learning process. They have built up several unpleasant experiences at school: when they showed themselves in their authentic preferences and fields of interest, they were ignored, bullied or laughed at, resulting in accumulating microtraumas.The result is that they do not learn from lighter interventions and are too anxious to open themselves for a more intense learning experience. This keeps them back from finding pleasure and purpose in work and life. How and where to find methods that are rewarding and interesting to them, and safe enough to open themselves for learning transforming experiences?

Frans Corten: Exceptional Talent. A guide for the gifted, the inventors and other birds of a rare feather (2021)

Presentation 3

Gifted seniors literally live towards, and, like gifted adults, on the edge of life. Characteristics of giftedness are still present in older gifted individuals, but can be expressed in a very different way than at a younger age. Not all of them know they are gifted. While many still have a lot to offer to the people around them and to society, their former (work) position in society can enable some to do so successfully. But many others don't realize their potential or know how to initiate new activities. Society generally only has average expectations of seniors, far from the (intellectual) edge.Aging comes with the loss of loved ones. In this group, this leads to even more difficulties in finding peers and building meaningful contacts. With the need for physical assistance, the loss of autonomy is a major challenge. Disappointment in life may even lead to feelings of depression. Also we see conflicts with, for example, care providers. So far, the combination of giftedness and dementia has not been studied, except in a few case studies.Knowledge of how giftedness manifests itself in old age is essential for the well-being of these people.Noks Nauta: Hoogbegaafde senioren (2020) (Gifted seniors, book in Dutch)

Giftedness across the Lifespan
_POLICY MAKERS, _PRACTITIONERS, _PSYCHOLOGISTS, _RESEARCHERS, gifted adults, highly gifted, personal leadership, seniors
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