The task of the state is to identify and develop everyone’s unique gifts and abilities

25 april 2017

The Analytical Center has organized and held a panel discussion «Everyone is Gifted» as part of the Moscow International Education Fair’s agenda.

“Each and everyone of us can in fact boast with a whole range of gifts. Identification  and clear determination  of individual development directions, considering this range of gifts, make it possible to get diversified impacts from an early age” Inna Karakchieva, the moderator, expert of the Analytical Center, reported. “The interest for systems of talent and abilities development has grown substantially during the fourth industrial revolution, both in Russia and abroad, and will continue to grow”.

Knowledge economy cultivates this interest through promoting a network of specialized schools with advanced curriculum in specific subjects and a system of state support in a form of awards, grants, contests etc.

“There are several reasons for this,” Ms. Karakchieva explained. “The first is that the modern-day society, which has declared that knowledge economy is the basis of the post-industrial society, has focused its attention on achieving maximum quality of the human capital in the shortest time possible. The second is that the required timeframe can be ensured only provided the pace of learning and development is much more intensive that today’s standards. For it is the gifted that command the pace of reforms because they have what it takes to be the driving force there.”

The existing mechanisms of sustaining gifts and abilities are usually geared towards helping schoolchildren to develop 1 or 2 of these. A very important period of children’s formation – that from birth before school enrolment - when the foundations for their future development are laid, is therefore missed. According to research done by Nobel laureate James Heckman, investments into early education compare as yielding provide  much greater long-term benefits than investments into school education, and a dozen times greater in the case of university education.  

For all that, gifted children, particularly the younger ones, need help to fully unlock their potential. And providing them with adequate support is of vital importance. According to foreign research, 26% of gifted children are successful at school, 55% demonstrate average performance, and the remaining 19% perform badly. The key activities that serve to develop and nurture gifts and abilities are beyond-the-classroom curricula, which poses a number of challenges for the existing system of education.

The “Everyone is Gifted” panelists carried a resolution on upgrading the system of work in this area, which agenda includes the following:

1. Upgrading the relevant regulatory and legal framework.

2. Creating a data resource dedicated to work with gifted children based on the personalized system centered on a learner’s individual learning profile.

3. Creating an infrastructure network for educational work with gifted children;

4. Creating an expert community of forced  education mentors within the system of continuous learning and retraining for teaching staff with Web as one of the tools.

5. Implementing a guidance (support, consultancy) system for working with gifted children.