Coaching creative, talented and gifted potential drop-outs in their search for meaningPaper
Self-knowledge is fundamental in the complex and ongoing process of talent development, which is influenced by many factors. It is important for creative, talented and gifted children to gain insight in how personal characteristics (strengths and weaknesses) and environmental factors play a role in their developmental process. Self-knowledge leads to higher selfawareness and contributes to the ability to make deliberate choices. It is also necessary to be able to take responsibility for their own development by gaining an internal locus of control and developing autonomous learning skills and a growth mindset. It is challenging for children to discover how it is possible to invest in their own development in a way that fits them, given the available opportunities in their specific context. However, when children are aware of who they are and of the environmental factors that positively contribute to developing their talents, children can become meaningful for themselves and others. Searching for meaning is an issue that occupies many creative, talented and gifted children. Giving meaning to their existence can be absent, especially when they get stuck and experience a complete mismatch with the environment resulting in dropping out. This mismatch can lead to feelings of being misunderstood and often causes miscommunication between the child and the important people in their environment, and vice versa. A process oriented model of talent development is used to coach gifted children so that they themselves will be able to invest in what is needed to actualize their potential. It helps them to discover who they are, what lies within their circle of influence, in order to find out what they need to support them. This creates a higher sense of self-awareness, which gives them new perspectives on possibilities in finding their own way in their continuous search for meaning.