Roya Klingner is the founder of the Global Centre for Gifted and Talented Children. Roya has launched the first Gifted Awareness Week in Germany. To mark the week and offer support for the substantial work Roya has done for giftedness both in Germany and globally, I interviewed Roya about her work and her aims for Gifted Awareness Week in Germany.
Q1. Tell me a bit about yourself and how you came to be involved with gifted education.
I am founder and head of the Global Center for Gifted & Talented Children and a specialist in Gifted Education. I was a gifted child myself and my mother was looking for a school for kids like me. At that time, the first president of the World Council for the Gifted & Talented Children, Dr. Iraj Broomand started a project for Gifted children in Iran. After several tests, I was accepted to join that school. It was my first involvement with gifted education as a child. Later on I chose to support those kids, who are different from avarage kids of the same age. Helping gifted children was a dream of my life, which I kept in my heart and put that as the goal for my activities. Today I am living my dream successfully and that feels good.
Q2. You host a fantastic series of presentations on giftedness which are held in Second Life. What can you tell me about them and where can people go to find about more about them.
I started a project in 2010 in second life, the Global Virtual Meeting for Gifted Education. The purpose of this event is to cultivate a global virtual meetings and share knowledge and experience about gifted education for students, educators, teachers and parents. Each Global Virtual Meeting is 50 minutes long and it is free. I hold one each month. You can find more information about this event here.
Q3. How is giftedness regarded in Germany both by education departments, schools and teachers?
Germany is a federal state where each of the 16 states has the right to create its own school policies and politics. The way gifted education is implemented in the German school system varies within the 16 federal states. Therefore, gifted education in Germany can only be evaluated by keeping the state-by-state differences in mind. Like other European countries, Germany needs to do more for gifted children, their potentials and talents. There are still so many things to do but we are on a good way, I hope.
Q4. What inspired you to launching the first Gifted Awareness Week in Germany and what are you aims for the week?
My inspiration came from other gifted awareness weeks in New Zealand, Ireland, Namibia… I think this is a good way to raise awareness about the importance of this topic in our society. More understanding and information will be achieved with these kind of events. We are looking forward to reading articles, blogs and interviews, share them and create a great gifted awareness for the first time in Germany. Find more information here.
Q5. What would you say to parents who have trouble getting schools to listen to them about their childrens’ needs?
I think, calmness and positivity are the best ways to get ones voice heard. Sometimes, if there are no more solutions for this kind of problem, I suggest to try more extra-curricular activities for developing of talents and potentials best.
Best wishes to Roya and The Global Centre for Gifted and Talented Children for the first Gifted Awareness Week in Germany.
by Peter Lydon