Mentors of the gifted and talented - who are they? Social capital as well as the gifted or?

Presenter(s): Jasna Arrigoni

If I have seen further than the others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.
Isaac Newton

Mentoring is not a new term and is quite known in educational and academic as well as business circles. It involves the help that a knowledgeable person provides to a person, most often a child/young person, in need of that knowledge. Research often implies personality traits that a mentor should have or those that are preferred by young people. Mentoring can be viewed on multiple levels and in different activities. One can be a mentor for novice teachers, assistants, young doctoral students, children in need, potentially gifted children/youth, trainees at the beginning of their professional career, etc. They are the ones who spread the "corpus" of knowledge and good values ​​and transfer them to others with the aim of creating new added value in society both economically and ethically (Renzulli, 2012). We seldom ask ourselves which people they are, what problems they face, how they develop their competencies. In the education of the gifted, mentoring plays a key role, and people who lead and help others were mentioned already in Plato's days. From the very beginning of the development of the gifted area, mentoring gifted individuals has proven to be a very successful method (Grassinger, Porath, Ziegler, 2010). How much attention is paid to them? How much do local and state authorities systematically care about mentors and their status, rewards, and personal and professional development? Does it seem enough to develop mentoring programs that can be made available to gifted children and parents? Can a national mentoring program for the gifted be developed? What are the effects of online mentoring (CyberMentor)? (Stoeger et al., 2020)

The latest global aspirations in this area will be presented, new conceptual views on mentoring, the notion of the mentoring paradox (Ziegler et al., 2020) will be considered, the experiences and reflections of potential mentors through focus groups on their role, what they want and how they develop programs for the children they work with, and the problems they came across. Are there differences between mentors who work in different science and art camps and creative schools that gifted children attend? To what extent does individual mentoring (one-on-one) differ from group mentoring?