Irish Gifted Education Awareness Week … May the Road Rise to Meet You!


 

 

by Lisa Conrad of Gifted Parenting Support

It is an honor to be invited to guest blog for Irish Gifted Awareness Week 2012. This year’s theme is “Gifted Children Inside and Outside the Classroom”. As a frequent contributor to a gifted chat on Twitter, I have been privileged to get to know many people in the gifted community in Ireland. My own interest in global gifted education initiatives further prompted me to learn more aboutIreland’s current state of affairs with regard to this community.

Ireland can be proud of the many initiatives that are underway there. In addition to Irish Gifted Awareness Week, Ireland is also represented on the Executive Council of the World Council for Giftedand Talented Children byMrs. Leslie Graves of Dublin. An immensely informative website and source of excellent webinars, Giftedkids.ie, can be found here.  An exciting program supported by this site, Mission V, is yet another initiative based in Ireland that supports a virtual reality for gifted children. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the blog by Dazzled and Frazzled that developed from the friendship of two women who recognized the power of parents to make a difference in the lives of gifted children.

The current economic climate has been difficult for Ireland as well as many other countries. It is during times like these that a nation’s thoughts turn to the next generation and to a brighter future. Oftentimes, a country will experience a ‘brain drain’ in response to this situation. Fortunately, forward thinking educators and parents in the gifted community have been working hard to raise awareness of the need to provide an appropriate education in the classroom and activities outside the classroom to meet the social and emotional needs of the exceptionally-able student. The Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland at DublinCity University, is a good example of this.

Every society needs to understand that nurturing these young minds is essential to growing a robust economy by putting university graduates into the workforce who exhibit leadership and critical thinking skills. It is a vital first step in competing on the world stage. Innovation and creative thinking have long been known as the path to a sound economic future.

As parents and educators continue to work together to support academically gifted and talented children in Ireland, I believe that the road will surely rise to meet you!