The rationale behind CoTalent

Why have a project about ‘talent development’? Isn’t all education meant to develop talents? So why do we need a special project, and in particular, a European project? Why develop specific tools?

All participants in this project understand that education is meant to develop our students’ talents. As teachers in institutions, we also think it is important to have a specific way to recognize and engage with students who do not fit into the more traditional ways of learning. 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: “Talents that Europe cannot afford to lose”. In Europe we need all the creativity and innovative power we can develop. Therefore, we need to look deeper 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’ students 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. First, we have made videos that will help you learn how to recognize the potential in your classroom, and inspire you in your own activities. Second, we have developed tools that will help you to spot talent, understand what this finding involves, and show how to challenge students to make a difference. Third, we have created tools that will help you as a teacher to recognize and support talent development, which will involve making your underlying beliefs explicit and grounded, and which will highlight how your actions in the classroom are experienced by you, your fellow teachers, and your students.

It doesn’t matter where you start. Simply 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 about your students.

You want to challenge them. You see the value of interdisciplinary work. You like to see students develop personal leadership for their personal development. You are here because you understand the potential your students have to become exceptional leaders of the future. Given their love of learning, many talented students like to be challenged and engaged, for they find it satisfying to enhance their personal leadership skills and knowledge base with like-minded students. By providing these tools and resources, we hope to help facilitate this form of personal development within your classroom.

Have fun!

The CoTalent Team