søndag den 11. december 2011

National Talentcenter Dk

For many years, the concept of Gifted Children has been hard to define. In Denmark they were defined as: Children who are in the top five percent of the intelligence scale for their age group.  

In April 2011 the Danish Mininstry of Education (Undervisningsministeriet) created a project where Gifted and Talented children were basically divided into a broader group of “Children and Young People with Special Skills” or socalled “Gifted and Talented Children and Adolescents”. This broader group has been estimated to be about 10-15 percent of all children and adolescents. The Highly Gifted children were mentioned as a subgroup, due to having special educational needs compared to the norm, and refer to as the children that are more specifically identified to have IQ scores that is found in the top 1-2% of the population.  

However, since there is no consensus on the use of the concepts regarding "subgroups" of Gifted and Talented Children and Adolescents, just as there is no consensus on a single definition of the each groups' characteristics, the “Analysis and Recommendations” has so far for Talentdevelopement efforts to aim to include both groups into the broader group. Thereby making the main focus area of Talentdevelopement as the 10-15 % of all children and adolescents. The subgroup, defined as Highly Gifted, will only be mentioned where they find it relevant as part of their analysis, in order to develop initiatives that meet this group's special educational needs. Unfortunately so far this group has not been mentioned clearly.

Keeping in mind that talent is not just found in the obviously Gifted og Talented Children and Adolescents that can be easily identified, the project also mentioned that talented children are also found among “school dropouts”, as well as, amongst other groups of “at risk” children. These children are often oversseen, due to their behaviour and thereby do not have their needs met. The group did not mention the children that are cross-cultural, who have lived abroad or are living abroad in Denmark as well as a smaller group of children that are Gifted and Talented with Learning Disabilities, that we refer to as twice exceptional.

Having read about these issues abroad, nationally and having had numerous discussions about all this for some years, coming into contact with parents, children and profesionals via our forum Bente and I are hoping that by creating this group on facebook we can be part of this latest initiative. We would like to start a National Talentcenter that can be a networking central where people can meet and learn. Our focus on the Social and Emotional needs of Gifted and Talented Children and Adolescents we hope to make freely available, as well as explain and educate about different subgroups of children.

Social and Emotional issues of Gifted Children have been the focus of http://www.sengifted.org Their work as well as us working together with the recent changes happening Globally in relation to Gifted and Talented Children we hope to start a National Talentcenter so expertise can be readily made available, nationally as well as abroad. Information that is centeret on the need for information, teaching and councelling to wil help to serve the children, parents, educators or other professionals.

By taking this step, a small initiative seen from the outside, we hope that is the first official steps in working towards starting a National Talentcenter in Denmark. We hope to make some of the “initiatives taken and experiences made” Globaly readily available in Denmark. We hope to collect articles as well as projects from Denmark as well as abroad to inspire others.

Soon Denmark will be embarking on a new era where Talentdevelopement projects will be implemented into all schools. For this there will be a need for educators, information services as well as networking so all projects are realised with the maximum benefits available to the children. This we believe all this is best done as part of the Global initiatives surfacing for Gifted and Talented Children and Adolescents around the world.

Having seen the changes being made by Paula Olszewski-Kubilius from NAGC and all the activity that created, and work of The World Council for Gifted Children as well as alle the amazing people on internet working together creating an effecient “information web” for and about Gifted Children I am inspired. These people consisting of parents, teachers and other profesionals are really the people that change the face of Education, especially Gifted Education. Hereby they are making schools and society more inclusive of Gifted and Talented Children.

I am hoping that Denmark can benefit more from the work of Global efforts. For this I see the need for a National Talentcenter that collects the available people, and by helping them to share knowledge of their existance I am sure that the National Talentcenter will in time house the names of experts that alle contribute to building a Nationwide Danish Information Web that this can be used by all to benefit the children. In Denmark we allready have the experience and hard work of many others who would like to have more focus on the future education of Gifted and Talented Children and Adolescents. In order not to mention nor forget names I am rather going to keep focusing on finding the needs of these children, as well as finding the needs of the people that serve them have. Hopefully by connecting people Globally we can serve the children together.

There are many different positions, people and opinions - how can we talk together, pool our resources and share our knowledge? To benefit allready excisting projects, to learn from our past experiences and help to build future projects?

The gap between theory, research and practice is very large and this must be bridged, if the social and emotional needs of the Gifted and Talented Children and Adolescents is to be served efficiently, inorder to to benefit education in a cost effective manner. We must not forget that the Gifted and Talented were once toddlers too, a subgroup that sometimes stand out before starting school. How can we, working together, make a positive impact on their needs as well as their education in Denmark as well as Globally?

So far Talentdevelopment has been driven by enthusiasts, single “one off” projects and voluntary work. These projects have had a short term lifespan. There is no clearcut objectives for the education og Gifted and Talented Children and Adolescents, it’s still being developed. Talentdevelopement is only accepted in a few areas, we need to expand this acceptance. In order to serve the needs og Gifted and Talented Children and Adolescents there is a need to:

-         develope a better communication between excisting educational areas, 
-     network more to learn to appreciate eachothers efforts,
-         integrate and reuse excisting projects,
-         upgrade the competency of teachers.

In order to serve needs og Gifted and Talented Children and Adolecents in future, recognise the oppertunity that internet and computers have opened. Let's use them, together.

In addition to all of the above it is a known fact that Gifted and Talented Children and Adolescents also have “special” Social and Emotional needs that have to be taken into account in order for them to grow and explore their full potential. In this group, We hope that we can create awareness of this seen in the larger context, as well as through the identified subgroups.

How do "we" this? How can we contribute to the work of the Danish Ministry of Education and ensure a sustainable solution that serves the needs og Gifted and Talented Children and Adolescents?  

Would you like to join our group of individuals? Please join us on facebook.

Twice Exceptional Denmark

Twice Exceptional Denmark er lavet for dobbelt exceptionelle børn dvs. børn med særlige forudsætninger som samtidig har indlæringsvanskeligheder. Disse børn kan have opmærksomheds-, koncentrations- og kontakt- vanskeligheder som oftest er pga. Ordblindhed/ Dyslexi, ADHD, AS, PDD NOS, OCD, Tourette osv.

Det ofte set at Børn med særlige forudsætninger er af natur Asynkron Udviklet dvs. det halter med at deres emotionelle og sociale udvikling følger med det som ses ved jævnaldrende, samtidig med at de lærer lynhurtigt det emner de er motiveret for og ender således ofte foran jævnaldrende i disse oråder, uden sparringspartner. Børnene ender ofte meget ”misforstået” og en tværfagligindsats er nødvendig hvis sådan en situation skal kunne vendes.

Tværfaglighed bør bestå af en BMSF konsulent/psykolog og derudover specialister jvf. barnets specifikke diagnoser og andre problemer hver gang handleplaner udarbejdes, barnets evalueres osv. Men der er langt vej endnu, da BMSF ikke anerkendes i Kommunerne, og dermed overses det at barnet har behov for en ”særlig” forståelse og indsigt for at børnene kan få den rette hjælp jvf. Socialloven og Inklusion.

Men desværre ses disse børn i AKT forløb, heldagsskoler og kan ende i Udsatte grupper:

De unge, som kommer til opholdsstederne, har været vanskelige at placere i de kommunale tilbud, hvor hverken de unge, som kommer til opholdstederne eller de elever, der går i de kommunale tilbud, vil profitere af at være sammen.