The rationale behind CoTalent
Why a project about ‘talent development’? Isn’t all education meant to develop talents? So why a special project, even a European project, and why develop specific tools?
All participants in this project think education is meant to develop our students’ talents. As teachers in institutions, we think it is important to have a specific view on students who do not fit in the things we usually do in class. Those who stand out, visible but sometimes invisible, ‘outliers’ who do or do not speak out. Sometimes we find them restless or even annoying. These are the students who need more than what we can give them in regular education. Or, as we say in this project: “Talents we cannot afford to lose” and even bigger: “Europe cannot afford to lose talents”. In Europe we need all creativity and innovative power we can develop. So therefore: we need to look better into our classrooms and find those students who stand out, visibly or invisibly.
In our European collaboration we found out that ‘talent’ is different in all kinds of ways. But the easy part is: students are not. All ‘talented’ student have similarities which we as teachers should be able to see and recognize. But at the same time we should develop a sharper view on those who are in our classrooms. You only see them when you recognize them, so we only need to learn how to recognize them.
Because we cannot afford to lose talent, we developed three different kinds of tools: videos that help you learn how to recognize what you see and to inspire you in your own activities. Tools that help you to spot talent, explain what aspects might be involved and show how to challenge students to make a difference. And tools that help you as a teacher to recognize and support talent development, making explicit what beliefs you have and how your actions in class are experienced by you, your fellow teachers and your students.
It doesn’t matter where you start. Just start with the tool you think you would like best. We think, and hope, you will be curious enough to start exploring the other tools as well. You ended up here because you obviously care for your students, you like to challenge them, you see the value of interdisciplinary work and you like to see students develop personal leadership for their personal development. Just as most talented students would, for they have fun in learning, like to be challenged and find it satisfying to work on personal leadership with likewise students and with that work on their personal development.
The CoTalent Team