The CoTalent project aims to provide teachers in European higher education with tools to stimulate their talented students
Europe simply cannot afford to waste talent. Therefore, nine organisations strongly committed to talent development in higher education have joined forces to develop tools that can help teachers spot and stimulate talents. Their project working in Europe to Connect Talent development in higher education (CoTalent) has received EU funding under the Strategic Partnerships program within Erasmus+ Key Action 2, allowing it to run until August 2020. Hanze University of Applied Sciences (UAS) Groningen from the Netherlands leads the consortium.
The project addresses the problem that talented students in European higher education are not sufficiently challenged. As a consequence, young people do not fully develop their talents and the skills they need to have an excellent start in society. They might even drop out of education. There is a need to raise awareness about the importance of talent development in European higher education, also in relation to development of ethical and civic values and attitudes.
One way to handle this problem is to better equip teachers. Therefore, the nine organisations work together to develop tools which help talented young people reach their full potential. These tools are integrated into the CoTalent Wizard, an e-learning environment helping teachers to foster talent. It is developed in an international process of co-creation and consists of three parts:
- an instrument for teachers to self-evaluate their views towards talent development (MeTalent Mirror)
- an instrument to spot talented students (YouTalent Spotter)
- an integrated e-library consisting of texts, images and minimovies enabling teachers to foster talent and implement a research-based talent development program.
Partners in international co-creation
The CoTalent project coordinator is Professor Marca Wolfensberger, who leads the Research Centre for Talent Development in Higher Education and Society at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. She is also honours coordinator at the Faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University and President of the European Honors Council. The nine partners in the CoTalent project are:
- Hanze University of Applied Sciences (the Netherlands)
- The International Centre for the Study of Giftedness (ICBF) at the University of Muenster (Germany)
- Metropolitan University College (Denmark)
- The Austrian Research and Support Centre for the Gifted and Talented (Austria)
- The University of Antwerp (Belgium)
- The University Alexandru Ioan Cuza of Iasi (Romania)
- Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (the Netherlands)
- Utrecht University (the Netherlands)
- The European Honors Council, a Europe-wide network uniting people involved in talent development in higher education, is involved as associate partner.
More information about the project can be found at www.cotalentwizard.eu
CoTalent project planning
In the CoTalent project, teachers and students from the partner institutions work together in a process of co-creation to develop the CoTalent wizard, which aims to provide teachers in European higher education with tools to stimulate their talented students. Products are based on research. The CoTalent Wizard consists of an instrument for teachers to self-evaluate their views towards talent development (MeTalent Mirror), an instrument to spot talented students (YouTalent Spotter) and an integrated e-library consisting of texts, images and minimovies enabling teachers to implement a research-based talent development program, based on the three pillars of honors didactics.
Five main international events are organised in the CoTalent project. Two of these are used to co-create products. The week-long CoTalent workshops take place in June 2018 and summer 2019. The other three are public events where project results will be presented. The five main events are:
- 11-15 June 2018: CoTalent Workshop 1 – Hanze University of Applied Sciences (UAS), Groningen, Netherlands
The first CoTalent Workshop is an intensive program where students and teachers from the partner institutions co-create products to support teachers in stimulating talented students. In the week-long program, 12 teachers and 12 students from the CoTalent partner institutions come together to learn about talent development and honors pedagogies and co-create content for the CoTalent Wizard.
- November 2018: MeTalent, YouTalent Event 1 – Metropol University College, Copenhagen, Denmark
At this event, first draft versions (in English) of the MeTalent Mirror and the YouTalent Spotter will be presented to a mixed national and international audience (30 persons in total). Talented students are found in every school, including in higher education. However, the concept of ‘talent’ is socially constructed and culturally sensitive. The audience is asked to actively participate in evaluating and improving the outputs, using different international views towards the concept.
- 8-12 July, 2019: CoTalent Workshop 2 (C4-6) – University Alexandru Ioan Cuza of Iasi (UAIC), Iasi, Romania
WeTalent Workshop 2 again brings together 14 teachers and 12 students from the partner institutions, under the leadership of expert invited teaching staff, with the aim of co-creating content for the intellectual outputs of the Me Mirror and You Spotter task groups . The Workshop serves as a laboratory, providing input for the WeTalent e-Library.
- November 2019: MeTalent YouTalent Event 2 (E2) – The International Centre for the Study of Giftedness (ICBF) at the University of Muenster (Germany)
At the MeTalent YouTalent Event 2, final versions of the MeTalent Mirror and the YouTalent Spotter will be presented to a mixed national and international audience (60 persons in total). Versions in local languages are also finalised before this event. The participants are asked in a workshop-like setting to work with the products, using the English-language versions and local-language versions where possible.
- June 2020: CoTalent Wizard Event (E3) – Hanze University of Applied Sciences (UAS), Groningen, Netherlands
During this final event, the teachers and students who have worked in the co-creation process will present the complete CoTalent Wizard to other HEIs from around Europe. Active participation of the mixed national and international audience (100 persons in total) is required to optimize impact of the CoTalent Wizard in raising awareness for the importance of talent development and ethical and civic values and attitudes in European Higher Education.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein