Teachers Training Programme to Support Gifted and Talented Students (GATE)

Teachers Training Programme to Support Gifted and Talented Students (GATE)

In the last decades, there has been a consistent increase in the interest towards the issue of gifted and talented underachievers. The current shifts in the nature of the global economy and the rapid technological advancements have led to major transformations in the type and availability of jobs in advanced countries.

With 75% of the fastest growing occupations requiring skills and knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), forecasts claiming that 40% of current occupations will be lost to automation in the next 20 years and the realization that Western countries are lagging behind their Asian peers in subjects critical to innovation (White, 2018), many European countries have been invested by a competitive anxiety.

The increasing pressure of globalization, economic competitiveness and the unsatisfactory results of pupils’ performance have led to increased focus on the academic achievement of gifted and talented students, who have the potential to become the innovators and leaders of the future.

Giftedness and talent are defined as “performance that is clearly at the upper end of the distribution in a specific talent domain even relative to other high-functioning individuals in that domain” (Subotnik et al., 2012). However, even when pupils are recognized to be capable of providing similar performances, they often fall short and fail to express their full potential. These cases are referred to as “gifted underachievement”.

Several researchers have been investigating the causes of this phenomenon, with most of them identifying such causes in the following 3 domains:

(i) motivation,

(ii) emotion,

(iii) school perception.

To help these pupils achieve their full potential, new teaching strategies are required.

Gifted pupils in the "GATE" project are:

1) "Pupils with an IQ of at least two standard deviations above the mean (at least 130 IQ)."
2) “Pupils who perform or have the ability to perform tasks and activities at a higher level than their peers” (Subotnik et al., 2012). 3) "Pupils who can effectively acquire knowledge and skills, apply them to solve new problems, learn quickly from experience and have a high level of creativity".

Project period: 01.01.2022 – 30.04.2024

Erasmus+ program: KA220 – Cooperation partnerships in school education

Target groups: Primary education teachers, mentors, gifted and talented pupils

Stakeholders: Public authorities, education experts, researchers, school staff.

Aim and objectives: GATE project aims to enhance the competencies and skills of primary education teachers and mentors to help gifted and talented pupils (age 8-11 y.o) develop their full potential. To fulfil this wide goal, the project foresees also the attainment of the following 4 specific objectives:

  • To design an innovative teaching methodology for GATE pupils;
  • To provide a training programme for primary education teachers;
  • To increase the academic performance of “gate underachieveres” in STEM subjects;
  • To increase awareness among teachers, educators, school staff, public authorities and education experts about GATE students.

Results: GATE foresees the realization of two main Results (R):

- R1: GATE Methodological Material. A new teaching methodology for GATE students that will merge Socio-emotional learing and the STEAM approach.

- R2: GATE Training Programme. A training programme for primary education teachers on the methodology devised. It will consist of at least 4 modules:

  1. Theoretical basis and review of teaching practices for GATE pupils;
  2. Teaching to GATE pupils in primary school;
  3. Teaching in GATE pupils only classes;
  4. Evaluation and assessment tools for teachers.

Project partners:

1. VsI "eMundus" (Lithuania)

2. Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania)

3. ISMA University (Lativa)

4. Zinev Art Technologies (Bulgaria)

5. Ron Vardi Center (Israel)