RSS04.02 Excellence Beyond Borders: Breaking Down Barriers in Gifted Education

For a long time we believed that smart students would make it on their own. That, however, is a misconception. Smart students can rapidly adapt to expectations and their peers thus covering up their high abilities. As a result, their talents are lost and there is the risk of developing learning or behavioural problems. So, no, they not necessarily make it on their own, they need parents, teachers and counsellors who have the necessary knowledge and experience to offer the needed support.

Giftedness is more than IQ. Physical, musical, social and creative abilities are involved. In this course, you will study how personal characteristics – like motivation and performance anxiety - , abilities, and surroundings influence each other. We will discuss how to identify the needs of a gifted student. Gut feelings will be compared with research results.

You are asked to be critical, discussing difficult situations like ‘how do we encourage talent without being elitists?’, ‘do we want people to excel?’. You will be critical of both the way you work, and your own talents and talent development. You will investigate the conflict between stimulating talent and being fearful of doing so. Do we want people to excel? Do we dare excel ourselves?

Practical strategies will be explored and developed during the course. We will focus on learning and the learner thus moving us beyond issues of identification allowing teachers the opportunity to think about provision and support. Many gifted students are often bored at school and do not find the curriculum challenging enough. We will look at enrichment and extension activities available to the gifted child in both school and outside school environments.

Gifted students can, for example, benefit from taking university style courses with the exposure to new material and the more challenging curriculum providing the additional academic stimulation. This also has a social benefit with the students getting to mix with like-minded peers. The course will look at successful applications of enrichment models and help participants to set up similar style programmes in their own environments.

International experts will challenge you to look beyond the accepted views on giftedness. To look beyond protocols. And beyond national borders. This international course will train you to be a scientist practitioner. After completion, you will be able to use both knowledge and skills in your work as a psychologist, pedagogue, teacher, educational advisor, policy maker, or researcher at schools, school advisory services, (governmental) organisations and research centres.

Detailed program (pdf, 255 kB)


10 July 2023 - 14 July 2023
Course Fee

Regular: €700

Early Bird: €630 (application deadline* April 1st)

Scholarships and discounts Find more information here
Application deadline

May 1st

*Your application is only completed when the course fee has been paid

Course leader

Lianne Hoogeveen
Marielle Wittelings

Level of participant
  • Advanced Bachelor
  • Master
  • PhD
  • Postdoc
  • Professionals working in areas where the identification and support of talent is required
Admission requirements At least a bachelor degree (or nearly finishing the bachelor); experience with or a strong interest in supporting gifted people in learning and living
Admission documents
  • Motivation letter
  • CV
Mode of Study On Campus
Location To be determined