Nurturing homegrown talent

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Gifted Filipinos can lead the country to success

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National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal

National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal

GIFTEDNESS is a term mostly associated with talent. While most believe the terms are synonymous and interchangeable, Professor Françoys Gagné, Ph.D, states otherwise.

Considered as one of the most prominent names in the field of gifted education, Gagné is the founder of the Differentiating Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT), a theory identified and used by international educational authorities to define their target population and plan intervention provisions.

According to the DMGT, giftedness is a superior natural ability that is evident without systematic learning or teaching. Gagné uses the term “gifted’ to designate any person who possesses a natural aptitude and places them among the top 10 percent of their age group.

Whereas, talent implies a mastered skill that has been developed exceptionally well.

The professor claims that for gifts to translate into talents, they must be developed through a variety of catalysts. These catalysts include intrapersonal factors such as perseverance, general curiosity, intrinsic motivation, and ambition, and environmental factors like family, school, and quality of the peer group.

Nature and nurture

There are over 1.27 million gifted children in the country according to data gathered by the Department of Education (DepEd) in 2010. A big number of these potentially gifted Filipinos are overlooked because of the lack of proper guidance and support.

 Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao

Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao

While environment plays an important role that can aid in developing children’s raw abilities, it can also present less than ideal influences. Giftedness and talent do not flourish on their own.

“Nurturing the potentially gifted is a shared responsibility of the family, as well as both public and private sectors, if they are to be developed maximally,” Dr. Letty Ho, president of the Philippine Center for Gifted Education Inc., points out.

Molding champs
It is not enough to have talent—how one’s talent is utilized is needed to achieve greater success on a broader scale. Moreover, improvements in economic growth are closely related to the level of cognitive skills of the population.

 Andrea Veneracion, National Artist for Music

Andrea Veneracion, National Artist for Music

Professor Gagné emphasizes, “Individuals, young and old, differ in many respects: their aptitudes or potentialities, their personal qualities, their needs and their interests, their will-power and their perseverance, their investment in time and energy in the development of their talents, the characteristics of their social environment, and the qualities of significant people around them. All these elements can contribute to a person’s level of professional success; they are the ingredients of outstanding success, in school and in adult life.”

 World-class performer Lea Salonga

World-class performer Lea Salonga

Gagné’s recent visit to the Philippines could not have come at a more opportune time, with the Philippine Center for Gifted Education Inc. bidding to spearhead the establishment of the Asean Association for Giftedness as a country showing strong economic growth.

Giftedness and talent could be a driving force for the Philippine economy to continue the steps it is taking towards becoming a progressive country. Nurturing homegrown talent can benefit the country greatly by spurring its development.

Gifted advocate
For over 25 years, formula milk brandPromil Pre-School has been an advocate of nurturing Filipino children’s gifts into talent. With the right balance of support from parents, proper care through the right learning environment, and proper nutrition, gifts can be nurtured into exceptional talents that benefit a larger community.

“We are one with Professor Gagné in promoting the proper nourishment of children’s gifts to become talents. This is one of those instances where proper education can really make the world of difference,” says Dian Yu, product manager of Wyeth Nutrition Inc., who helped welcome the DMGT founder to Manila.

From National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal to Andrea Veneracion, who gave the world the Philippine Madrigal Singers, to world-class performer Lea Salonga and boxing champion and congressman Manny Pacquiao, Filipinos whose gifts were developed into talents have proven to contribute immensely to the advancement of the country and building of national pride.

“This is a vision that we share with Professor Gagné. The brand was founded on the premise of making it easier for people to reach their full potentials and become gifts not just to themselves or their families, but also to their community. We believe that well-rounded and fully-developed talented individuals are those who are able to use their exceptional abilities for the greater good,” adds Yu.

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