Paradigm Shifts in: Excellence, Innovation, Creativity, Gifted Education


Paradigm Shift is an important radical, significant change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way. This keynote will address a number of paradigm shifts relating to: Conceptions; definitions; processes; interventions; programmes; practices; school management; and international organizations.

In physics, the term “paradigm shift” means to throwing out theories, conceptions, definitions; processes, tools, approaches; programmes that can no longer stand because research, development of knowledge, and practices have shown them to be wrong. For example, for a long time we thought the atom was the smallest particle possible. It is all we could “see” with the tools that were available. New technology and research in physics proved that theory wrong.

Similarly, in gifted education, the term “paradigm shift” applies to renovate, restructure, and reformulate this field of knowledge, in the light of latest development in psychology, educational psychology, education, higher education, and technology. There is a desperate need to do so, and to open new horizons for research and practices.  Paradigm shifts will allow gifted education to develop, proceed and makes the required progress. The paradigm has to give way to a new one that can account for and explain better the new knowledge, and strengthen knowledge production. Paradigm changes enable researchers and educators to see this field of knowledge differently.

A comprehensive, scientific review indicates that many aspects of gifted education are flawed and even harmful to continue. Consequently, a new paradigm began to emerge in the beginning of the 21st century. This keynote will shed light on the main aspects and characteristics of these paradigm shifts in Excellence, innovation, creativity, and gifted education (e.g., old systems-new gifted, talented and creative students; giftedness-potentially gifted; creative-potential creativity; rigid curricula-teaching for productive thinking; routine cognitive and routine manual skills – non routine competencies; TCT-EPoC; rigid norms-dynamic norms; passive, learning – active, collaborative learning; mastery education – innovative education; conventional classrooms-virtual learning environments; memorizing - teaching thinking skills; average retardation-individualized, personalized, integrative, interdisciplinary educational opportunities for lifelong learning; grading to describe achievement- assessing performance efficiency; shift from teacher-cantered to a student cantered learning; and shift from face to face/multimedia based instruction to eLearning/virtual environments; whole-class instruction - differentiated instruction; …).

In addition, this keynote will address the survival skills in the digital learning environments, and innovative education. Innovation education aimed at preparing the children to: Become adult innovators and problem solvers; understand and appreciate their own cultures and to respect diversity of others; become active, responsible, productive, and compassionate citizens; and to engage with both the local (national) world around them and the global world. The intelligent, efficient use of technology has opened new doors to innovative facilities use at all types of educational institutions. This keynote will ponder a number of questions, including:

  • How should teachers be prepared and empowered to take up new roles and effectively perform teaching to meet the challenges and expectations raised from education reforms and paradigm shifts in gifted education?
  • How can we help gifted education to redesign itself?
  • How should pre-service teacher education change?
  • How should in-service teacher education change?
  • How should capacity building programmes change?