Advocacy & 21st Globalness
On Giftedness and Global Movements around the world in advocacy and collaboration.. some 21st century stuff…
Hoagies G&T Page offers the following quote: “Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.” The Columbus Group, 1991, cited by Martha Morelock, “Giftedness: The view from within“, in Understanding Our Gifted, January 1992
Giftedness ….. is not only reserved for the wealthy, nor is it something that only appears in what is widely referred to as only the first world countries.
Giftedness….. , does not choose it’s reciepient by colour, creed, gendre, economic status or nationality..anymore than Down Syndrome, a cleft palate, autism or dyslexia does. It is within us, a humanness, shows itself rarely, and has the potential to do good, do bad, and sadly, and quite often to do nothing at all. Giftedness ‘happens’ on a global level, and knows no borders…..’
By this I mean, that it is a worldwide phenomenon and, in my experience it seems that every country in the world appears to have at least one or two, if not more very concerned people and groups, trying to advocate for the rights of this minority group. Yes, indeed, I would call them a minority group, as, according to the definition in the Oxford Concise Dictionary it defines ‘a minority’ as: ‘…a relatively small group of people, differeing from others in society of whom they are a part in, for example, race, religion, political persuasion etc…….’.
The one thing that all these people and groups have as a common denominator is the fundamental commitment to finding ways of supporting the exceptionally able or gifted and talented community, their children and advocating the need to secure their right to an appropriate education in which they may be engaged, learn something new everyday, and have happy opportunities to make friends amongst their ‘ intellectual’ or ‘able’ peers. This is an important point, and one that is also very important to keep in our sights as a global group, and close to our hearts, as it is when we start loosing sight of this, and let mundane sidetracks distract us from this purpose, or harmful differences divide us, that cracks appear, and as a whole we are weaker, and less able to assist our students.
As many countries have national gifted and advocacy organisations, such as the NAGC in the USA, Austega and NSW Association for Gifted & Talented Children in Australia, NAGC and NACE in Britain. There are also many centres of excelence that also support the gifted and talented such as ICIE in Paris, the CTY Center affiliates in Ireland, Spain and China, and The Begabungs Center in Germany. A great number of these also would be members of world regional type umbrella organizations such as ECHA in Europe, Asian Pacific Federation, IBERO American Federation, Arab Council for Gifted and Talented and so forth. (some of these seem not to have websites… )
There are also a number of Worldwide, or Global Groups or associations that have become established, over the years, to which many of these regional groups have become affiliated, and who strive to advocate for exceptionally able or gifted and talented children on a global level, seeking to unify and strengthen and promote movements toward the mandated support of the gifted in countries worldwide, along with supporting and encouraging continued research and interest in the area.
Is one example is of an organization of this type. This organization has been in existence for over 30 years, and brings many many gifted advocates and professionals together. The WCGTC conference every two years, and takes place in a different country each time. The organizsation maintain a website, produces a newsletter and an excellent peer reviewed journal for members. The journal is available to non-members, however at a cost. It holds a widely attended World Conference every year, which many in the field look forward to as a chance to get together and see and perhaps collaborate with other colleagues from around the world.
The next WCGTC Conference 2011, will be in Prague, in August 8th-12th . Bids for the 2013 Conference are now closed. Members or countries wishing to host the 2015 Conference may request a conference bid pack from WCGTC headquarters.
Another is group is IRATDE – A newer organization, The International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence. This is a professional organization of scientists working in the fields of talent development, creativity, excellence and innovation. They produce a newsletter, a journal and membership is free. The second conference of the IRATDE will be held from November 26-29, 2011 at the Sheraton Dammam Hotel & Towers, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
As we move on into the 21st century and beyond, it is evident that advancing technology may be changing the face of how organisations and individuals and or groups manage and approach advocacy and the sharing of information.. Social networking through avenues such as Twitter #gtchat , facebook(see an example here, Hoagies), ((and here, Mary’s Gifted Contacts) blogs (see a Gifted Parenting Support example here), (a Global Information Summary and Support example here), more on the sidebar blogrol links to the left of this page, and other platforms are making information exchanges much quicker than it was possible only a short few years ago.. It is also evident that Virtual Platforms(such as classroom enrichment for the gifted, by daynu/giftedkid.ie, in Ireland, see example here), (and conferences that run by the Bavarian Centre for Gifted, in Second life), may come into their own, where folk may not need to travel around the world to take part in conferences, but just attend from their own computer at home, or ‘Webinars’ which alow for global attendees to attend, such as those offered from ‘elluminate’, from their armchairs at home.. Skpe is also developing into a commonly used communication tool as well.. We have heard that many Universities are now entertaining the idea of becoming Virtual campuses, which would alow wider worldwide access from students accross the globe…. We are indeed standing on ther edge of an exciting and new world ahead..all of these appear to be breaking down alot of barriers as physical cultural borders disappear in cyberland…
It will be interesting to watch how/what the face of gifted and talented support and advocacy will look like, both on national and international levels.. I will hope to add information on this page as I see it happen. An interesting occurance the European Talent Day, taking place in April 2011, wouldn’t it be neat if this were to spread globally?…
Below, I thought it would be interesting, just to share this link from Canada, on how they perceive 21century schools will be:
A BBC article on University and it’s changing face as we move on into the future:
And finally an EXCELLENT description and useful blog site from a group of folk who seem to know their 21st century educator stuff: