EGIFT – A new online learning platform on talent support for professionals and parents

Identifying and supporting talents is one of the main goals of education, and basically each participant of the teaching and learning process has certain interest in it. Supporting the talented has several aims. Perhaps the most important of them is that the child (optimally each and every child) find the field where they can reach their full potential, and get the opportunities to achieve something excellent within that sooner or later. It is an equally important aim that the child later become a contributing member of society and be able to make the world a better place to live in.

Reaching these goals is not only the subject teacher’s responsibility, but several other adults around the child have tasks to do. However, the practice of talent support efforts worldwide shows that many educators and experts, not to mention parents, struggle with the lack of information, thus the collaboration between the participants of education is inefficient and incidental.

These concerns led experts to create a unique project that can give stakeholders some assistance to overcome the problem of inefficient information. The Erasmus+ funded EGIFT Project was developed as a collaboration of the talent support organizations of nine countries (among which Hungary was represented by Matehetsz). The end result of the project is a high quality e-learning platform which is available free of charge for every educators, parents and experts interested in talent support.

The EGIFT Project

The main objective of the Erasmus+ funded project was to give those involved in talent support the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in this field. Many European experts and teachers worked for over three years on this complex learning platform to provide practical and theoretical knowledge to anyone who wish to learn more about talents and talented children, and give insight on the good practices existing worldwide.

To this end the project focuses on the development of skills and competencies of educators and other experts working in this field. Using open source systems they created an exploration based and constructive on-line space for learning.

The participants were organizations involved in talent support, mainly pedagogical departments of teacher training institutions and universities. Hungary was represented by Matehetsz (Magyar Tehetségsegítő Szervezetek Szövetsége – The Hungarian Association of Talent Support Organizations). Throughout the three years of work nine larger meetings, three summer schools and several one-day meetings were held to create the on-line learning material that provides a high (nearly MA) level of training. To those who would like to get an insight on the literature and terms of the field the material can be of great benefit, too.

The greatest strength of this training is that it flexibly adopts to not only the learning pace of the user but to their learning style as well – everyone can get access to the knowledge in the most suitable form: the lectures can be viewed on videos, read on screen or followed on slides.

The material is built around five Strands: Identification, Lived Experience, Social and Emotional Wellbeing, Teaching Strategies and Programme Design Principles.

Who is gifted? The first strand examines this issue that each educator who has ever been lucky to come across a high ability student needs to contemplate on at some point in his or her life. Yet, it is often the first obstacle these children meet on exploring their own potential. This topic serves as a theoretical base, covering the conceptions of intelligence and giftedness, and examines how the

characteristics of special populations of students interact with these conceptions. We can find out more about the terms “multiple exceptional” or “underachiever”. The goal is to develop an open-minded attitude, to be able to include those who would otherwise be ignored by the traditional model of giftedness, and to this end we need to focus on the skills and the strengths, not the drawbacks.

The second strand takes a closer look at the lives of gifted persons, exploring the methodology of examining the lived potential of successful high achievers and endeavouring to get a better understanding of why and how it is that some gifted persons are successful while others are not, particularly studying the role that internal and external learning resources play in the pursuit of excellence. As for the practical side, the users can apply the knowledge to analyse typical environmental contexts of gifted lives. Finally the specific challenges that gifted subgroups including underachievers and women face, is explored.

Social and emotional well-being is essential to us all. The third strand introduces the user to the topic of mental health of gifted persons, examines the risk factors, the strategies to reduce these factors, as well as the role the school environment plays in the mental health of gifted children.

The course is not limited to the discussion of theoretical issues. Strand Four provides teaching strategies that might come in handy to educators when teaching gifted children. After a general introduction to the topic it provides strategies and some examples, but it has also got a section that helps teachers examine their strategies and current practice.

The greatest impact this learning material could possibly make is in the fifth strand, Programme Design Principles, where experts can study the important factors they need to consider when establishing any kind of program for gifted and/or talented children. It is of great importance for the executives and leaders in the field of education to avoid the pitfalls that can hinder a good program to reach its full potential. The course covers the whole process from designing the program by understanding the important implication factors, arching from planning through implementation to assessment.

At the end of the final unit of each strand there is an assessment section where control questions help the users deepen the acquired knowledge. After successfully answering the questions they can obtain an individual certificate for that strand. The course provides a platform for participants to send messages to each other and they can get informed about important events as well.

This online platform created within the EGIFT Project provides valuable, high level and efficient knowledge, and it fills a large gap in many parts of the world. It is highly recommendable for all educators, education experts and parents who wish to support talented children on their ways to excellence. The website of this project.  You can register to the free online course here.


Talent is a special kind of natural resource that is available in every country.